Approaches to Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT was first developed by Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis.  CBT is based on the theory that psychological problems are the result of distorted thinking, which emanates from learned negative views of self, others, and the world.  The major goals and mechanisms of change are to provide symptomatic relief through alteration of identified, target thoughts; to identify self-destructive thoughts (cognitions); to modify specific erroneous assumptions; to promote self-control over thinking patterns and behaviors.  Homework is essential in this approach, and I utilize the Mind Over Mood Workbook by Greenberger and Padesky with clients.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

EMDR is a time efficient, comprehensive methodology for the treatment of disturbing experiences that underlie many mental problems, or pathologies.  EMDR, which utilizes eye movement as part of its approach, helps victims of trauma to re-process and transmute all of the elements of the negative or unpleasant information about the event.

Transformation and integration can be seen in all elements of the information: images, sensations, and beliefs.  EMDR is sometimes referred to as “The Accelerated Information Processing model”.  EMDR was first developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1980.  EMDR is not undertaken until the clinician has assessed the readiness of the client to participate in this form of therapy.

Marriage or Couples Therapy

Couples or marriage therapy is frequently requested when a couple is experiencing uncomfortable levels of emotional conflict.  Most often, couples request help when they feel they are not getting their emotional and relationship needs met adequately.  Faulty communication between the parties is often intractable and leads to misunderstandings at many levels.

While there are different approaches to couples work, the most practical approach emphasizes the development communication skill development.  The “Imago” work of Dr. Harville Hendrix is particularly helpful in this regard, as it integrates a psychoanalytic approach to understanding historic problems in both partners, and it does so using the tools outlined in this “Imago” method.  His book and workbook are listed in the book reference section of this website.

Meditation as a Therapeutic Approach

Meditation is not a form of psychotherapy, per se.  It is the practice and discipline of clearing the confused and non-helpful thoughts in one’s mind.  This practice is often referred to as “mindfulness” meditation.  There are a number of practices under the meditation umbrella, so to speak. Many of these practices originate from Buddhism, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, and Christian contemplative meditation.  Meditation can be practiced by oneself (best to have guidance from a teacher, especially in the beginning) or in a group meditation practice.  Occasionally, in psychotherapy, the therapist may offer a “guided meditation”.  Basically, meditation can be a very helpful adjunct to other therapies.

I invite you to contact me to find out more or to discuss a consultation.

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