General Approach to Therapy:
My approach to therapy is one of collaboration with my clients. Frequently, we try to solve the mystery of why they continue to engage in the same maladaptive behavior or interpersonal patterns or why they experience particular symptoms, such as depression or anxiety. We may explore emotional reactions, disturbing or traumatic memories, interpersonal concerns, goals, etc. Interventions for each client are carefully thought out and designed to address the particular issues and problems that each client presents. I draw upon my knowledge and training in Attachment Theory, Psychoanalytic Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, EMDR Therapy, Internal Family Systems Therapy, Family Systems Therapy, Communication Theory, Relational Skills, and Therapeutic Assessment to think about the needs of the client and to develop interventions. Together, the client and I determine the course of therapy and work to create change or improve situations in his or her life.
EMDR therapy is a type of therapy that has gained a great deal of recognition in the field of psychology in the more recent past. I have received training in this type of therapy and have been successfully utilizing its techniques with clients. I now get people calling and asking specifically for treatment with EMDR Therapy, but many people do not know much about it yet.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for a variety of emotional difficulties and self-esteem issues with trauma-related origins. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that lead the client to “reprocess” past trauma and negative messages that cause distress in the client’s life. It accelerates treatment for a variety of difficulties such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, and depression that are related to past events and present-day distress. Disturbing or intrusive feelings or thoughts begin to lose power as they become relegated to the past. EMDR therapy incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic theories. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.
The amount of time the complete treatment will take depends upon the history of the client.
Complete treatment of the targets involves a three pronged protocol (1-past memories, 2-present disturbance, 3-future actions), and are needed to alleviate the symptoms and address the complete clinical picture. The goal of EMDR therapy is to reprocess completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. “Reprocessing” does not necessarily mean talking about it. “Reprocessing” means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be processed and stored appropriately in your brain. That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and then it will be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded. Negative emotions, feelings, and behaviors are generally caused by unresolved earlier experiences that are pushing you in the wrong directions. The goal of EMDR therapy is to leave you with the emotions, understanding, and perspectives that will lead to healthy and useful behaviors and interactions.
For more information, go to www.emdr.com or www.emdria.com.
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), developed by Richard Schwartz, PhD in the 1990’s, is a non-pathologizing, evidence-based model of therapy. Richard Schwartz applied the teachings of Family Systems Theory and the idea of “multiplicity of mind” to the individual. While other theories work with multiple parts or subpersonalities of the individual, Dr. Schwartz took this a step further. He focused on how the different parts of a person can work together or against one another and how they can become more integrated, understood, and led by the Self. IFS works with the internal family (made up of different parts of the person – a family of parts) that exists within each of us. The basic assumption of the model is that everyone possesses a core Self which is untarnished and from which flows a never-ending resource of love and self-compassion.
To understand how IFS works, think about how you may feel like one part of you wants to do something (like work on a project), while another part wants to do something else (for example, something more fun or relaxing). Parts of ourselves can be helpful (for example, a part that helps us stay on task and get things done or a part that can be effective in social situations) or they can feel maladaptive, such as a part that gets very angry too quickly, a part that shuts down, or a part that abuses substances. We may also have parts of ourselves that we don’t want to deal with which seem to carry hurt, sadness, shame, or other painful feelings.
IFS is a gentle, respectful, and collaborative method for looking at our internal system of parts, understanding how they work together, and relieving the pain and burdens we carry to live happier and more effective lives. Clients come to understand themselves more deeply, unburden negative beliefs about themselves, and access their internal resource of Self, leading to great shifts in self-regard and well-being.
For more information about IFS, please visit: www.selfleadership.org