I incorporate a variety of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT) including, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Solution-Focused Therapy, and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
For clients with traumatic histories, I typically use methods that geared toward deep healing. This methods include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Sensorimotor or Somatic techniques, and Adult Attachment techniques.
Below you’ll find a general and brief overview of each of these therapies.
Initially the focus is on the present and looks at what and how a person thinks more than why a person thinks that way. Depending on circumstances and life history, this how and why focus can quickly resolve maladaptive thoughts an behaviors At times, effective therapy might be as short as a couple sessions, but other times a deeper look into core beliefs and schema may be required. The extent of depth depends on the specific needs of the individual.
CBT is very goal oriented and each session clients work toward completing goals and objectives. Homework exercises are used to help you monitor and track your thoughts and mental images, recognizing how those ideas affect your mood and behavior. You also learn coping skills, such as problem solving, relaxation, and self-care.
Typically, treatment lasts 4 to 16 weeks.
A component of this therapy is learning how to accept difficult situations, thoughts, feelings with compassion.
One goal is to suspend judgment and to just “notice” what’s going on in your mind and body. Once this level of awareness occurs, strategies for responding to early warning signs difficulties can be used to chose a different path or course of action.
Awareness exercises will be used to help increase present moment, nonjudgmental awareness of bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings.
DBT addresses four core areas:
Mindfulness / Interpersonal effectiveness / Distress tolerance / Emotion regulation
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy typically used for borderline personality disorder developed in the 1990’s by Marsha Linehan.
This form of therapy is called “Dialectical” because it deals with emotional and rational aspects, and with acceptance and change. DBT mixes cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness techniques and encourages clients to be aware of the current moment and accept reality.
DBT tries to replace rigid/dichotomous worldviews. It emphasizes the importance of a more holistic approach to life and stresses that balance is important in life. Clients strive to achieve a middle ground between reason and emotion.
This is also known as Solution Focused Breif Therapy (SFBT). As the name implies, the focus is not on the problem, but on the solution. This approach works extremely well for many conditions and results can be seen quickly.
SFBT works best with clients that are ready to change, when resistance is only a mis-match between the therapist’s suggestion and the client’s worldview, the client is expert, therapist is a collaborative partner. SFBT is straightforward and easy to understand.
The first step in EMDR treatment is to identify the traumatic memory, belief or image. The clinician works with you to desensitize the target by focusing on specific thoughts or images while engaging in specific eye movements. Most people notice negative thoughts start to diminish, and new, positive thoughts begin to take their place.
What is Internal Family Systems?
IFS is a somewhat novel approach that deals with identifying the”Parts” of your personality which tend to cause problematic behaviors. Once the parts are identified, we work toward understanding how and why these parts came about and then learn how to help/heal them so that the behaviors they cause can be effectively dealt changed. In doing this work we come to know our “Self” which is at the core of our being. Another goal of this therapy is to become more “Self-Led”. By getting to know all our parts we find the psychic wounds they’re trying to protect us from re-experiencing. It is here that the deep healing can begin to occur.
What is Sensorimotor Therapy?
Sensorimotor therapy or Somatic therapy involves deepening awareness of the mind/emotion/body connection. We focus of the body and where it holds the memories of traumatic events then work to free the body of the memories through movement, posture and the felt experience of safety.