Our approach to therapy draws from a range of psychological/behavioral theories. Each therapist tailors their approach to the unique needs of each individual client. More specifically, we synthesize aspects of the following approaches as needed:
Cognitive-behavioral theory: This approach is very useful when clients need tools and strategies to interrupt negative thought patterns and behaviors. Cognitive therapy includes looking at one‘s internal dialogue, seeing where thought patterns may be self-defeating, and shifting these patterns to more optimal and self-nurturing ways of thinking.
Attachment theory: This approach considers the quality of one‘s current intimate relationships and explores how emotionally secure one felt in early relationships with parents. Attachment theory provides a useful framework for psychotherapy because it can pinpoint vulnerabilities in relation to self and others and help clients gain insight into dysfunctional patterns of relating
Mind-body techniques: It is often very helpful in psychotherapy to provide behavioral tools that enable clients to better manage stress and experience a greater sense of well-being. The mind-body approach utilizes various relaxation techniques such as meditation, visualization, and even simple breathing exercises.
Psychodynamic theory: This approach looks at how early experiences affect current feelings about oneself (e.g., self-esteem) and current relationships. Oftentimes when a client feels caught in repetitive thought and behavioral patterns that do not facilitate growth and joy, it is useful to explore how she/he has made sense of early life experiences.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy: DBT is a modified form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. This therapeutic modality is designed to help change patterns of behavior and is largely skill based. It is typically composed of four main modules. It works well for individuals that want to work on regulating emotions, increasing mindfulness or awareness, tolerating stress and improve interpersonal skills. It has been proven effective for those with mood disorders such as BiPolar and personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder. It also can be beneficial for those struggling with self harming behaviors and anyone who would like to improve these skills.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Also known as tapping, EFT stimulates various meridian points via firm tapping and spoken intention/affirmation. Tapping is shown to reduce anxiety and calm the flight or fight response in the nervous system.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR therapy facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories and other adverse life experience to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR therapy, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced.
CBCT® (Cognitively-Based Compassion Training) is a system of contemplative exercises designed to strengthen and sustain compassion. Practices include training in attentional stability and increased emotional awareness, as well as targeted analytical reflections to understand better one’s relationship with self and others. The reflective exercises seek critical insights into the way one’s mindsets and attitudes can be shifted to support personal resiliency, to foster an inclusive and more accurate understanding of others, and ultimately to intensify altruistic motivation. With practice, informed compassion can become a spontaneous response that permeates one’s life. The approach aims to bring a shift of perspective through reflection about ourselves, our relationship to others as well as the events in our everyday lives and develop an understanding of our interconnection.
Some Tips for successful treatment:
- Be specific about the concerns that led to your decision to seek counseling
- Establish with your therapist desired goals for your work
- Discuss your progress with your therapist as you go along
- Participate actively, and be as open and honest as possible