Approaches

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy | Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy | Solution-Focused and Brief Therapy |
Coaching | Emotionally Focused Therapy | Learned Happiness | Choice Therapy & Reality Therapy |
Focusing | Family Systems Therapy | Body-Centered Psychotherapy |
Present Moment Awareness or Presencing | EMDR | Parenting Coordinator | Core Transformation Process


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

“Life is available only in the present moment.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a system of therapy which combines four major components: Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotional Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness, as well as utilizing standard cognitive-behavioral techniques. DBT may be the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated to be generally effective in treating: BPD, mood disorders, sexual abuse survivors, and chemical dependency.

Linehan (the founder of DBT) combined a commitment to the core conditions of acceptance and change through the Hegelian principle of dialectical progress (in which thesis + antithesis → synthesis) and assembled an array of skills for emotional self-regulation drawn from Western psychological traditions and Eastern meditative traditions. A climate of unconditional acceptance is required (not Rogers’ positive humanist approach, but Thich Nhat Hanh’s metaphysically neutral one), in which to develop a successful therapeutic alliance.


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

"Your beliefs become your thoughts
Your thoughts become your words
Your words become your actions
Your actions become your habits
Your habits become your character
Your character becomes your destiny."
Mahatma Ghandi

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is especially effective with the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic, stress, and the loss of purpose. With CBT, I assist clients to become more aware of the connection between their thought patterns and situations in life. Uncomfortable emotions and habitual reactions often accompany maladaptive thinking. The goals of CBT are to provide skills to alter ways of thinking, calm the mind, recognize distorted thinking, and choose appropriate actions that produce desirable results.

There is no need to revisit the past in order to take a positive stance today. The past is here in the form of belief systems carried in to the present. The past exerts its influence in current-day thinking patterns and attitudes. When an irrational belief is developed, it continues to exert influence until more dependable beliefs are learned. The past cannot be changed, but how the past influences the present and the future can.

Often we are on auto-pilot, acting in accordance with outgrown or irrational beliefs. Irrational beliefs cause thinking that does not match the reality, or what is actually there, compared to what is perceived or interpreted. To describe a belief as irrational means:


Association for Humanistic Psychology
Yaloma.com

Solution-Focused and Brief Therapy

Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), often referred to as simply 'solution focused therapy' or 'brief therapy', is based upon social constructionist philosophy, and is a natural derivative of a strengths-based approach to counselling. It focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that motivated them to seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future and then therapist and client start attending to any moves towards it - small increments or large changes. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.

Solution focused therapists believe that change is constant. By helping people identify the things that they wish to have changed in their life and also to attend to those things that are currently happening that they wish to continue to have happen, SFBT therapists help their clients to construct a concrete vision of a preferred future for themselves. The SFBT therapist then helps the client to identify times in their current life that are closer to this future, and examines what is different on these occasions. By bringing these small successes to their awareness, and helping them to repeat these successful things they do when the problem is not there or less severe, the therapists helps the client move towards the preferred future they have identified and envisioned.

One way of understanding the practice of SFBT is displayed through the acronym MECSTAT, which stands for Miracle questions, Exception questions, Coping questions, Scaling questions, Time-out, Accolades and Task.

If you want to get started right now, here are four questions to ask yourself: What are you hoping to achieve from meeting/working with me (your therapist)? If these “hopes” were realized, how would your life be different? What are you doing (or have already done) that contribute to the realization of these hopes?

What is one small thing that you could do right now that you imagine would be successful in moving you in the direction of your vision for your future?

sfbta.org

Coaching

When one door opens,
another closes; if you are caught in the hallway,
hang wallpaper.

As a coach, I help you identify the skills and capabilities that are already present, and enable you to use them to the best of your ability. I assist in the building of new skills which increase your forward movement. Combined with Appreciative Inquiry, I encourage the judicious use of powerful questions with the aim to help shift perspectives on any issue in your life, and thereby discover different solutions and options, in order to achieve your goals. I accompany your journey to achieve your deepest aspirations.

Coaching is particularly effective in the treatment of disordered eating, addictions, anger, aimlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, powerlessness, depression, and stress. It is also wonderful in the treatment of an increase in enjoyment and enthusiasm for life. I have found that coaching creates more of a quantitative difference than a qualitative one. EMDR (see below) can enhance the positive states that are expressed and experienced through coaching.


Emotionally Focused Therapy

"Lace is as much about the space between the threads
as it is about the threads themselves."

Emotional bonding is part of our heritage and a basis of our survival; it is one of our deepest human instincts. We want to matter to other people, and we need safe emotional connections. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples therapy developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg. It is based on attachment theory and the nature of relationship distress. Negative patterns of interactions are identified as well as core emotions that underlie and motivate. New dynamics that promote respect, closeness, and caring are initiated and practiced with guided support. The goals of EFT are to expand and re-organize key emotional responses, create positive shifts in communication, and foster a secure bond between partners. Couples often immediately experience more connection and deeper understanding.


Learned Happiness

Health and happiness are derived from the ability to restore balance
in response to continual disruption.

I have had tremendous success with my clients through utilizing aspects of my model of Learned Happiness. Whether my clients present with anxiety, grief, depression, addictions, or a sense of meaninglessness, they have benefited from understanding and internalizing this model.

Since the innate pursuit of happiness guides our choices and decisions, it is my belief that most mental illness is an expression of misguided beliefs about happiness and suffering. The process of Learned Happiness is designed to direct us to choose thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that result in greater inner peace, connection and service to others, and life satisfaction. (To learn more, see Learned Happiness page.)

gradworks.umi.com

Choice Theory and Reality Therapy

"What lies behind us and what lies before us
are small matters compared to what lies within us." R.W. Emerson

Choice Theory is based on the work of William Glasser. A central aspect of Choice Theory is the belief that we are internally, not externally motivated.

The fundamental motivators are: