Therapy Approaches

About EMDR        Image result for EMDRIA logo

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can causes intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

About Sensorimotor Psychotherapy SensoryMotorLogo

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy developed by Pat Ogden in the 1970’s, combines somatic therapies, attachment theory, cognitive applications, neuroscience, and techniques from the Hakomi Bodywork method. As a psychotherapist and body therapist who was interested in helping her clients overcome the disconnect that their physical actions had from their psychological issues, chose to blend both psychotherapy and somatic therapy to create this widely recognized and gentle form of treatment.

This method of treatment is highly effective for people suffering from PTSD, dissociation, or emotional reactivity disorders. It is particularly helpful in working with the effects of trauma and abuse, emotional pain, and limiting belief systems. Many people who have otherwise not been able to recover successfully from traumatic situations, have found that the sensorimotor psychotherapy technique allows them to find relief. Because the emotional and cognitive processing centers are being indirectly accessed, rather than directly, those who cannot work within those realms due to severe trauma have seen beneficial results.

About CBT

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment that helps patients understand the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. CBT is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders including phobias, addiction, depression and anxiety.

Cognitive behavior therapy is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior. The underlying concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a fundamental role in our behavior. For example, a person who spends a lot of time thinking about plane crashes, runway accidents, and other air disasters may find themselves avoiding air travel. The goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to teach patients that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment.

Cognitive behavior therapy has become increasingly popular in recent years with both mental health consumers and treatment professionals. Because CBT is usually a short-term treatment option, it is often more affordable than some other types of therapy. CBT is also empirically supported and has been shown to effectively help patients overcome a wide variety of maladaptive behaviors.

About DBT

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) treatment is a cognitive-behavioral approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those found in romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels.

People who are sometimes diagnosed with borderline personality disorder experience extreme swings in their emotions, see the world in black-and-white shades, and seem to always be jumping from one crisis to another. Because few people understand such reactions — most of all their own family and a childhood that emphasized invalidation — they don’t have any methods for coping with these sudden, intense surges of emotion. DBT is a method for teaching skills that will help in this task.

About Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy where two or more clients work with one or more therapists or counselors. This method is a popular format for support groups, where group members can learn from the experiences of others and offer advice. This method is also more cost effective than individual psychotherapy and is oftentimes more effective.

It is common for those suffering from a mental illness or problem behavior to feel alone, isolated or different. Group therapy can help clients by providing a peer group of individuals that are currently experiencing the same symptoms or who have recovered from a similar problem. Group members can also provide emotional support and a safe forum to practice new behaviors.

About  Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counselling and community work, which centres people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills,competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist you to reduce the influence of problems in your life. The term “narrative” implies listening to and telling or re-telling stories about yourself and the problems in your life. In the face of serious and sometimes potentially deadly problems, the idea of hearing or telling stories may seem a trivial pursuit. It is hard to believe that conversations can shape new realities. But they do. Narrative Therapy is about providing therapeutic contexts that can allow you to be moved or transported; you will move from:

Thin to thicker understandings about who you are
Negative dominant stories to more preferred stories
Hopelessness to realizing your potential
Loneliness to having a sense of belonging to a community of caring others
Victim to being a survivor

The bridges of meaning we build with others through listening and retelling of stories can help healing developments flourish instead of wither and be forgotten. Language can shape events into narratives of hope.

About Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps you accept the difficulties that come with life. ACT has been around for a long but seems to be gaining media attention lately. Categorically speaking, ACT is a form of mindfulness based therapy, theorizing that greater well-being can be attained by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings. Essentially, ACT looks at your character traits and behaviors to assist you in reducing avoidant coping styles. ACT also addresses your commitment to making changes, and what to do about it when you can’t stick to your goals

About Mindfulness      

Mindfulness Based Approaches are designed to deliberately focus one’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental. Mindfulness has its roots in Eastern techniques, in particular Buddhist meditation.  Mindfulness Based/Contemplative Based Approaches were developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale. The practice requires that one intentionally directs focus away from states of mind that would otherwise occupy them, such as frightening or worrisome thoughts, and instead observe and accept the present situation and all it has to offer, regardless of whether that is good or bad. Mindfulness approaches include mindfulness based cognitive therapy, (MBCT), mindfulness based stress reductions (MBSR), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Mindfulness based approaches and contemplative approaches are becoming widely accepted methods for relieving symptoms related to many psychological issues and can be applied across many different population segments. Mindfulness is practiced individually or in group settings.