TYPES OF COUNSELING
With You Every Step of the Way
ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as “ACT” (pronounced as the word “act”) is a mindfulness-based behavioral therapy that challenges the ground rules of most Western psychology. It utilizes an eclectic mix of metaphor, paradox, and mindfulness skills, along with a wide range of experiential exercises and values-guided behavioral interventions. ACT has proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions: depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer, anxiety, PTSD, anorexia, heroin abuse, marijuana abuse, and even schizophrenia.1 A study by Bach & Hayes showed that with only four hours of ACT, hospital re-admission rates for schizophrenic patients dropped by 50% over the next six months.
APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics as well as adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality, and job competence. ABA is effective for children and adults with psychological disorders in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, homes, and clinics. It has also been shown that consistent ABA can significantly improve behaviors and skills and decrease the need for special services.
ABA is commonly practiced as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with autism. According to the Center for Autism, ABA helps the autistic client improve social interactions, learn new skills, and maintain positive behaviors. ABA also helps transfer skills and behavior from one situation to another, controlling situations where negative behaviors arise and minimizing negative behaviors. With autism, ABA is most successful when intensely applied for more than 20 hours a week and prior to the age of 4. ABA can also help aging adults cope with the losses that come with age, like memory, strength, and relationships. For young and old, ABA can help individuals manage some of the lifestyle challenges that accompany many mental and physical health conditions.
Biofeedback therapy is a technique that trains people to improve their health by controlling certain bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily, such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature. These processes can be monitored visually. The monitor lets you see how your heart rate and blood pressure change in response to being stressed or remaining relaxed. Initially, you will use the monitor to see your progress, but eventually you will be able to achieve success without the use of a monitor or electrodes.
Biofeedback is an effective therapy for many conditions, but it is primarily used to treat high blood pressure, tension headache, migraine headache, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and urinary incontinence.
If you’re looking for quality Psychiatric Consultation sessions with a certified Psychologist that cares, then you’ve come to the right place. I guide my patients every step of the way and implement various methods to help them develop new attitudes towards all of life’s most complex matters. Schedule an appointment today and see what I can do for you.
Person-centered therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery.
Anyone who would be better off gaining more self-confidence, a stronger sense of identity, and the ability to build healthy interpersonal relationships and to trust his or her own decisions could benefit from person-centered therapy. This approach, alone or in combination with other types of therapy, can also be helpful for those who suffer from grief, depression, anxiety, stress, abuse, or other mental health conditions. Person-centered therapists work with both individuals and groups. Since the client must do a lot of the work in person-centered therapy, those who are more motivated are likely to be more successful.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.
CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior. Feeling distressed, in some cases, may distort one’s perception of reality. CBT aims to identify harmful thoughts, assess whether they are an accurate depiction of reality, and if they are not, employ strategies to challenge and overcome them.
CBT is time-limited and usually lasts for about 20 sessions. It is appropriate for people of all ages, including children, adolescents, and adults. Evidence has mounted that CBT can benefit numerous conditions, such as major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and many others. Research also indicates that CBT can be delivered effectively online, in addition to face-to-face therapy sessions.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY FOR INSOMNIA (CBT-I)
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is a technique for treating insomnia without (or alongside) medications. Insomnia is a common problem involving trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting quality sleep. CBT-I aims to improve sleep habits and behaviors by identifying and changing the thoughts and the behaviors that affect the ability of a person to sleep or sleep well.
The first step in treating insomnia with CBT-I is to identify the underlying causes of the insomnia. People with insomnia should evaluate or have their sleep patterns evaluated and take into account all possible factors that may be affecting the person's ability to sleep. This would involve keeping a sleep diary or journal for a couple weeks. The journal will help to identify patterns of thoughts or behaviors, stressors, etc. that could be contributing to the person's insomnia.
After identifying the possible underlying cause and the factors contributing to insomnia, the person can begin taking steps towards getting better sleep. In CBT-I these steps include stimulus control, sleep hygiene, sleep restriction, relaxation training, and cognitive therapy. Some sleep specialists recommend biofeedback as well. Usually, several methods are combined into a overall treatment concept. Currently no treatment method is recommended over another.It is neither recommended to administer a single intervention over a combination of different interventions.
CBT-I has been found to be an effective form of treatment of insomnia. It is also effective in treatment of insomnia related to or caused by mood disorders. Those who suffer with PTSD have also shown improvement.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIORAL (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas. First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual's ability to accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it. Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life. Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.
DBT was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. However, research shows that DBT has also been used successfully to treat people experiencing depression, bulimia, binge-eating, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic-stress disorder, and substance abuse. DBT skills are thought to have the capability of helping those who wish to improve their ability to regulate emotions, tolerate distress and negative emotion, be mindful and present in the given moment, and communicate and interact effectively with others.
Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning—often centering on you rather than on the symptom. The approach emphasizes your capacity to make rational choices and to develop to your maximum potential.
The existential approach stresses that:
- All people have the capacity for self-awareness.
- Each person has a unique identity that can be known only through relationships with others.
- People must continually re-create themselves because life’s meaning constantly changes.
- Anxiety is part of the human condition.
What else is existential therapy recommended for? Psychological problems—like substance abuse—result from an inhibited ability to make authentic, meaningful, and self-directed choices about how to live, according to the existential approach. Interventions often aim to increase self-awareness and self-understanding. Existential psychotherapists try to comprehend and alleviate a variety of symptoms, including excessive anxiety, apathy, alienation, nihilism, avoidance, shame, addiction, despair, depression, guilt, anger, rage, resentment, embitterment, purposelessness, psychosis, and violence. They also focus on life-enhancing experiences like relationships, love, caring, commitment, courage, creativity, power, will, presence, spirituality, individuation, self-actualization, authenticity, acceptance, transcendence, and awe.
EXPOSURE AND RESPONSE PREVENTION (ERP)
The mindset of exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP) is that controlled and prolonged exposure to the objects or situations that trigger an anxiety attack will lead to them causing diminishing levels of anxiety. Culmination of ERP will result in very little and, ultimately, manageable anxiety. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health profiles ERP as “the most widely practiced therapy” for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and phobias, both of which are presentations of anxiety disorders.
The main goal of the therapeutic exercises is for the patient to stay in contact with the trigger without engaging in ritual (escape) behaviors.
Therapy continues to the point where the patient is able to refrain from ritual (escape) activities on their own, for extended periods of time.
Another facet of ERP therapy is “imaginal therapy,” where a patient is required to imagine scenarios that cannot easily be recreated (like a fear of flying or a traumatic memory that triggers an anxiety reaction). Once the imagination (or memory) has been established, a therapist will walk the patient through their reactions in the same way as non-imaginal (in vivo) therapy.
In a 2003 study published in The Behavior Analyst Today, "Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Exposure and Response Prevention,” the researchers argued that the therapeutic effects of ERP are derived from subjects confronting their fears, and researchers blocking their avoidance or escape reactions. ERP aims to help patients see that their anxieties are unrealistic by showing them that nothing bad happens when those anxieties and other related disorders are in effect.
FAMILY SYSTEMS THERAPY
Family systems therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals resolve their problems in the context of their family units, where many issues are likely to begin. Each family member works together with the others to better understand their group dynamic and how their individual actions affect each other and the family unit as a whole. One of the most important premises of family systems therapy is that what happens to one member of a family happens to everyone in the family.
Many psychological issues begin early in life and stem from relationships within the family of origin, or the family one grows up in, even though these issues often surface later on in life. Families in conflict, as well as couples and individuals with issues and concerns related to their families of origin, can benefit from family systems therapy. This treatment approach can be helpful for such mental health conditions as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, personality disorders, addiction, and food-related disorders. Family systems therapy has also been shown to help individuals and family members better control and cope with physical disabilities and disorders.
GOTTMAN METHOD FOR HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
The Gottman Method for Healthy Relationships is a form of couples-based therapy and education that draws on the pioneering studies of relationships by psychologist John M. Gottman and clinical practice conducted by John Gottman and his wife, psychologist Julie Gottman. Nearly 40 years of research have led John Gottman to identify the elements it takes for relationships to last—among all types of couples across all phases of life. There are nine components of what the Gottmans call The Sound Relationship House, from partners making mental maps of each other’s world to learning how to break through relationship gridlock. One of the reigning insights of the science-based approach is that in the dynamics of relationship systems, negative emotions like defensiveness and contempt have more power to hurt a relationship than positive emotions have to help a relationship. As a result, the structured therapy focuses on developing understanding and skills so that partners can maintain fondness and admiration, turn toward each other to get their needs met (especially when they are hurting), manage conflict, and enact their dreams—and what to do when they mess up (because everyone does).
INTERPERSONAL THERAPY (IPT)
Interpersonal therapy, or IPT, is a short-term, focused treatment for depression. Studies have shown that IPT, which addresses interpersonal issues, may be at least as effective as short-term treatment with antidepressants for mild to moderate forms of clinical depression. Originally developed to treat depression in adults, it has been shown to be effective in treating adolescent depression and is commonly recommended as a treatment for depression in children.
Events surrounding interpersonal relationships do not cause depression. But depression occurs within an interpersonal context and affects relationships and the roles of people within those relationships. By addressing interpersonal issues, interpersonal therapy for depression puts emphasis on the way symptoms are related to a person's relationships, including family and peers.
The immediate goals of treatment are rapid symptom reduction and improved social adjustment. The long-term goal is to enable people with depression to make their own needed adjustments. When they can do that, they are better able to cope with and reduce depressive symptoms.
Jungian therapy, sometimes known as Jungian analysis, is an in-depth, analytical form of talk therapy designed to bring together the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind to help a person feel balanced and whole. Jungian therapy calls for clients to delve into the deeper and often darker elements of their mind and look at the “real” self rather than the self they present to the outside world.
Jungian therapy can help improve the lives of those with depression, anxiety, grief, phobias, relationship or trauma issues, low self-esteem, or other emotional problems. It is also appropriate for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of themselves and is willing to make a commitment to the work involved in acquiring that knowledge.
MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a modified form of cognitive therapy that incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises. Using these tools, MBCT therapists teach clients how to break away from negative thought patterns that can cause a downward spiral into a depressed state so they will be able to fight off depression before it takes hold.
MBCT was developed for people with recurring episodes of depression or unhappiness, to prevent relapse. It has been proven effective in patients with major depressive disorder who have experienced at least three episodes of depression. Mindfulness-based relapse prevention may also be helpful for treating generalized anxiety disorders and addictions. MBCT has also been shown to improve symptoms of depression in some people with physical health conditions, such as vascular disease and traumatic brain injury.
Motivational interviewing is a counseling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behavior. It is a practical, empathetic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.
Motivational interviewing is often used to address addiction and the management of physical health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. This intervention helps people become motivated to change the behaviors that are preventing them from making healthier choices. It can also prepare individuals for further, more specific types of therapies. Research has shown that this intervention works well with individuals who start off unmotivated or unprepared for change. It is less useful for those who are already motivated to change. Motivational interviewing is also appropriate for people who are angry or hostile. They may not be ready to commit to change, but motivational interviewing can help them move through the emotional stages of change necessary to find their motivation.
PARENT-CHILD INTERACTION THERAPY (PCIT)
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a combination of play therapy and behavioral therapy for young children and their parents or caregivers. The adults learn and practice new skills and techniques for relating to children with emotional or behavior problems, language issues, developmental disabilities, or mental health disorders.
Aimed mostly at parents and caregivers, this intervention teaches specific skills they can use to help improve physical and verbal exchanges with their children. PCIT was developed for children ages 2 to 7 and has been shown to be effective for children who exhibit disruptive behavior or have experienced trauma, as well as those on the autism spectrum. PCIT and PCIT-based programs are also evidence-based interventions for preventing child abuse and neglect and for decreasing the child’s risk of antisocial and criminal behavior later in life.
Play therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach primarily used to help children ages 3 to 12 explore their lives and freely express repressed thoughts and emotions through play.
Therapeutic play normally takes place in a safe, comfortable playroom, where very few rules or limits are imposed on the child, encouraging free expression and allowing the therapist to observe the child’s choices, decisions, and play style. The goal is to help children learn to express themselves in healthier ways, become more respectful and empathetic, and discover new and more positive ways to solve problems.
Therapeutic play helps children with social or emotional deficits learn to communicate better, change their behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and relate to others in positive ways. It is appropriate for children undergoing or witnessing stressful events in their lives, such as a serious illness or hospitalization, domestic violence, abuse, trauma, a family crisis, or an upsetting change in their environment. Play therapy can help children with academic and social problems, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, anxiety, depression, grief, or anger, as well as those with attention deficit disorders or who are on the autism spectrum.
The theories and techniques that distinguish psychodynamic therapy from other types of therapy include a focus on recognizing, acknowledging, understanding, expressing, and overcoming negative and contradictory feelings and repressed emotions in order to improve the client’s interpersonal experiences and relationships. This includes helping the client understand how repressed earlier emotions affect current decision-making, behavior, and relationships. Psychodynamic therapy also aims to help those who are aware of and understand the origins of their social difficulties, but are not able to overcome their problems on their own. Clients learn to analyze and resolve their current issues and change their behavior in current relationships through this deep exploration and analysis of earlier experiences and emotions.
The theories and techniques that distinguish psychodynamic therapy from other types of therapy include a focus on recognizing, acknowledging, understanding, expressing, and overcoming negative and contradictory feelings and repressed emotions in order to improve the client’s interpersonal experiences and relationships. This includes helping the client understand how repressed earlier emotions affect current decision-making, behavior, and relationships. Psychodynamic therapy also aims to help those who are aware of and understand the origins of their social difficulties, but are not able to overcome their problems on their own. Clents learn to analyze and resolve their current issues and change their behavior in current relationships through this deep exploration and analysis of earlier experiences and emotions.
RATIONAL EMOTIVE BEHAVIOR THERAPY
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy that helps you identify self-defeating thoughts and feelings, challenge the rationality of those feelings, and replace them with healthier, more productive beliefs. REBT focuses mostly on the present time to help you understand how unhealthy thoughts and beliefs create emotional distress which, in turn, leads to unhealthy actions and behaviors that interfere with your current life goals. Once identified and understood, negative thoughts and actions can be changed and replaced with more positive and productive behavior, allowing you to develop more successful personal and professional relationships.
REBT can help you with negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, guilt, and extreme or inappropriate anger. This approach is also used to help change stressful and self-defeating behaviors, such as aggression, unhealthy eating, and procrastination that get in the way of your quality of life and reaching your goals.
STRUCTURAL FAMILY THERAPY
Structural family therapy (SFT) is a treatment that addresses patterns of interaction that create problems within families. Mental health issues are viewed as signs of a dysfunctional family; therefore, the focus of treatment is on changing the family structure rather than changing individual family members. The goal of SFT is to improve communications and interactions among family members and to highlight appropriate boundaries to create a healthier family structure.
SOLUTION-FOCUSED BRIEF THERAPY
Unlike traditional forms of therapy that take time to analyze problems, pathology and past life events, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find quicker resolution of one’s problems. This method takes the approach that you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions.
SFBT can stand alone as a therapeutic intervention, or it can be used along with other therapy styles and treatments. It is used to treat people of all ages and a variety of issues, including child behavioral problems, family dysfunction, domestic or child abuse, addiction, and relationship problems. Though not a cure for psychiatric disorders such as depression or schizophrenia, SFBT may help improve quality of life for those who suffer from these conditions.