I don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. Techniques and modalities are determined once the problem is understood. The one constant in my approach is that it’s person-centered which means connection is the key. Without a sense of connection it seems progress is more difficult. Once we understand the problem and it’s history we can explore options on ways to resolve and heal.
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 some of the modalities I use.
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.
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.