Therapy is tailored to each client’s individual needs. Time will be spent determining what the best plan of action is to address each client’s unique goals and needs. The model of therapy that is used will depend on the client’s goals and may vary throughout the course of treatment as therapy evolves. I work in the following models of therapy:
During individual therapy a client works one on one with a therapist. Time is spent building trust in the therapeutic relationship and then working together to address and solve the client’s challenges.
During Couples Therapy couples meet with a therapist to improve their relationship by addressing situations and challenges that are causing stress in their relationship. Couples therapy can be helpful at all stages of a relationship.
During family therapy the whole family meets with the therapist. Family therapy helps individuals and family units resolve their problems by exploring how the presenting issue affects each individual, how it affects the whole family and what roles each family members play in relation to the issue. The family members work together to explore how their family works, how their individual actions affect each other and the family as a whole.
More methods include:
Trauma Informed Therapy
Trauma-informed therapy is not about a specific intervention but rather tailoring interventions in the context of the individual’s trauma history, triggers, and specific needs. It is a lens through which the therapist views their clients, taking into account the impact of trauma on emotions, regulation, and behavior. They will also consider the effects of intergenerational trauma on clients.
What to expect
Trauma-informed therapists emphasize the following areas in their practice:
Physical and emotional safety. A trauma-informed therapist will take steps to ensure that clients feel both physically and emotionally safe in their sessions.
Collaboration. Trauma-informed therapists aim to empower clients by educating them about their options and giving them an active role in their care.
Transparency. Trauma-informed therapists are open and honest with clients.
Competency. Trauma-informed therapists make sure that they are educated and up to date in research and best practices for working with clients who have experienced trauma. They are also aware of the unique cultural considerations that each client experiences.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy directed at present-time issues and based on the idea that the way an individual thinks and feels affects the way they behave. The focus is on problem solving, and the goal is to change clients' thought patterns in order to change their responses to difficult situations. A CBT approach can be applied to a wide range of mental health issues and conditions.
What to Expect
In CBT you will first learn to identify painful and upsetting thoughts you have about current problems and to determine whether or not these thoughts are realistic. If these thoughts are deemed unrealistic, you will learn skills that help you change your thinking patterns so they are more accurate with respect to a given situation. Once your perspective is more realistic, the therapist can help you determine an appropriate course of action. You will probably get “homework” to do between sessions. That work may include exercises that will help you learn to apply the skills and solutions you come up with in therapy to the way you think and act in your day-to-day life.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behavior, regardless of what is going on in their lives and how they feel about it.
What to Expect
Working with a therapist, you will learn to listen to your own self-talk or the way you talk to yourself specifically about traumatic events, problematic relationships, physical limitations, or other challenges. You can then decide if a problem requires immediate action and change or if it can, or must, be accepted for what it is while you learn to make behavioral changes that can modify the situation. You may look at what hasn’t worked for you in the past, and the therapist can help you stop repeating thought patterns and behaviors that can cause you more problems in the long run. Once you have faced and accepted your current challenges, you can make a commitment to stop fighting your past and your emotions and, instead, start practicing more confident and optimistic behavior, based on your personal values and goals.
Unlike traditional psychology that focuses more on the causes and symptoms of mental illnesses and emotional disturbances, positive psychology emphasizes traits, thinking patterns, behaviors, and experiences that are forward-thinking and can help improve the quality of a person’s day-to-day life. These may include optimism, spirituality, hopefulness, happiness, creativity, perseverance, justice, and the practice of free will. It is an exploration of one’s strengths, rather than one’s weaknesses. The goal of positive psychology is not to replace those traditional forms of therapy that center on negative experiences, but instead to expand and give more balance to the therapeutic process.
What to Expect
Positive psychology is sometimes referred to as “the science of happiness.” One of the questions positive psychologists try to address is: “Can a person be happy and realistic at the same time?” While acknowledging the problems of the world and of the individual, positive psychologists believe one can still lead a productive, meaningful, and satisfying life. The goal is to minimize negativity in one’s thinking and behavior, to develop a more optimistic attitude that will enhance, rather than disrupt one’s social, professional, and spiritual life. Positive therapists and counselors use a variety of exercises and interventions to help their clients become more self-aware and identify their own positive traits and strengths.
Solution Focused Therapy
Unlike traditional forms of therapy that take time to analyze problems, pathology and past life events, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find quicker resolution of one’s problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions.
What to Expect
Goal setting is at the foundation of SFBT; one of the first steps is to identify and clarify your goals. The therapist will begin by questioning what you hope to get out of working with the therapist and how, specifically, your life would change when steps were taken to resolve problems. By answering these types of questions, you can begin to identify solutions and come up with a plan for change.
Strength-based therapy is a type of positive psychotherapy and counseling that focuses more on your internal strengths and resourcefulness, and less on weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. This focus sets up a positive mindset that helps you build on you best qualities, find your strengths, improve resilience and change worldview to one that is more positive. A positive attitude, in turn, can help your expectations of yourself and others become more reasonable.
What to Expect
Strength-based therapy is talk therapy that guides you toward a retelling of your personal history of traumas, stressors, and pain with more emphasis on yourself as a survivor than as a victim, and more emphasis on your strengths and survival skills than on your weakness. The goal is for you to recognize that you already have the skills and strength to survive and can use those same strengths to deal with tough situations in other areas of your life.