Cognitive Behavioural Therapy largely focuses on thoughts and how they may interfere with living a satisfying life. In CBT, clients gain insight into the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and how a change in thought pattern influences wellbeing. I aim to help clients identify their negative cognitions toward others, themselves, and the world, as well as encourage the cultivating of positive perspectives. I also provide strategies to move them closer toward attaining their wants and needs. CBT is an evidence based approach designed to work effectively with a wide range of issues, some of which include depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse, phobias, eating disorders, anger issues, and insomnia.
Dialectical behavioural therapy was originally designed to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder, but research shows that the approach is effective across a range of issues, such as mood and eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. DBT infuses cognitive behavioural therapy with mindfulness approaches in order to help clients regulate emotions and increase tolerance toward emotional distress. DBT can be effective for helping clients control impulsive behaviours, anger outbursts, and mood swings. The therapeutic process largely involves exploring how which thoughts, emotions, and behaviours of clients prevent them from attaining their long-term goals. Clients often learn that some behaviours serve a purpose in the short term, but bring them further away from their goals and values in the long-term. In DBT, rather than solely challenging thoughts, which is typical in the cognitive behavioural model, I incorporate mindfulness skills to help clients gain awareness of what bodily responses they experience when responding to dysfunctional thoughts and emotions. I also help clients learn how to express their needs without letting their emotions take over. In order to regulate emotions, I offer a variety of strategies and provide psychoeducation on assertiveness skills and interpersonal effectiveness.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an empirically validated treatment model that helps clients become aware of the present rather than focus predominantly on past or future events that may threaten wellbeing. Through experiential exercises, clients learn how to appreciate the here and now, which often contributes to a decrease in negative thoughts and emotions and increases the capacity to tolerate pain and discomfort that sometimes, is inevitable. Once clients learn to change their relationship toward some of their thoughts and feelings, they often develop a sense of hope and empowerment that is fundamental to the healing process. I also help clients get in touch with their needs and values to help them live the type of life that they desire. ACT has been proven effective in treating a variety of issues, some of which are anxiety, depression, phobias, obsessive behaviours, PTSD, childhood abuse, and relationship problems.
Narrative therapy is a strength based approach that views problems as separate from people. Although some problems in life are inevitable, narrative therapy focuses on the resources that clients have in order to work through difficulties. A fundamental feature of the approach is working through problems through storytelling. As humans, we are unique cultural beings because each of us has developed unique stories of our lives. How we make sense of these stories depends on our interpretations of our life experiences. Sometimes however, some of our interpretations prevent us from overcoming hardships. In narrative therapy I help clients determine whether alternative stories exist that bring them closer towards their desired path in life. In order to build an alternative, more adaptive story, I largely use two modes of collaboration that are fundamental to Narrative Therapy: 1) Externalizing conversations 2) Re-membering conversations. Narrative therapy has been proven to be effective with children and adults. Some of the issues that are targeted with narrative therapy are anxiety, depression, anger, eating disorders, ADHD, and conduct disorders.
Solution focused therapy is a brief therapy approach, also known as Solution Focused Brief Therapy. One of the reasons for its short time frame is due to a minimal focus on past experiences. SFT focuses predominantly on the present and future in order to help clients with goal attainment. SFT is based on the assumption that all clients have resources to cope even though they may not be aware of them. In therapy, clients often gain awareness of coping strategies that have successfully been used in the past, but that have unintentionally been neglected. Through collaborative work between myself and the client, clients re-identify their strengths and resources in order to create a fulfilling life. Conversations largely focus on what needs to happen in order to attain goals, and often, I use specific solution focused questions in order to help clients clearly envision the type of life that they desire. Some problem areas that have been successfully treated with the solution-focused approach include anxiety, depression, family and couples problems, behavioural issues, academic problems, and sexual disorders.
Clients often present with difficult emotions, such as sadness, hurt, guilt, or shame. Therapists who work with Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) guide clients in achieving change and growth by helping them accept their emotions rather than avoid them. When clients learn to accept their emotions, they gain a deeper understanding of their pain, which makes feelings more tolerable. Exploring painful emotions also helps to gain insight about the unmet need that is associated with the emotion. EFT work also involves distinguishing healthy from unhealthy emotions. Some emotions may be overwhelming and therefore will need to be regulated while others may be healthy and help in the decision-making process. Once clients fully explore the type of emotions that are helpful and unhelpful, they begin their path to recovery by understanding what they need to do in order to attain their goals.