Areas of Expertise
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that cause emotional difficulties. CBT is used to treat a wide range of issues, including sleeping difficulties, relationship problems, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, and depression. CBT works by changing a person's attitude and behavior by focusing on his or her thoughts, images, and beliefs (a person’s cognitive processes) and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves as a way of dealing with emotional problems.
An important advantage of cognitive behavioral therapy is that it tends to be short term, taking five to ten months for most emotional problems. Clients attend one session per week; each session lasts approximately 50 minutes. During this time, the client and therapist work together to understand what the problems are and develop new strategies for tackling them. CBT introduces patients to a set of principles that they can apply whenever they need to; principles that will last a lifetime.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is a way to help people with a broad variety of emotional difficulties and mental illnesses. It can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better and can increase well-being and healing.
Problems helped by psychotherapy include difficulties coping with daily life; the impact of trauma, medical illness or loss, like the death of a loved one; and specific mental disorders, like depression or anxiety. There are several different types of psychotherapy and some types may work better with certain problems or issues. Psychotherapy may be used in combination with medication or other therapies.
Therapy may be conducted in an individual, family, couple, or group setting, and can help both children and adults. Sessions are typically held once a week for about 50 minutes, though both the frequency and length of sessions may vary, based on goals developed together between the client and therapist. Both client and therapist need to be actively involved in psychotherapy. The trust and relationship between a person and his/her therapist is essential to working together effectively and benefiting from treatment.
Psychotherapy can be short term (a few sessions dealing with immediate issues) or long-term (months or years), dealing with longstanding and complex issues. The goals of treatment and arrangements for how often and how long to meet are planned jointly by the client and therapist.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.
At first glance, EMDR appears to approach psychological issues in an unusual way. It does not rely primarily on talk therapy or medications. Instead, EMDR uses a patient's brain's own natural ability to process information by use of bilateral stimulation (rapid eye movements or alternating pulses or sounds on the right and left sides of the body.) With proper guidance, bilateral stimulations speeds the processing of memory so that the negative emotions and beliefs associated with painful memories are reduced and even transformed into a more healthy, adaptive response.
Sensorimotor psychotherapy is a body-based talk therapy, integrating current findings from neuroscience to help clients heal from traumatic events as well as the emotional wounds individuals carry from early life experiences.
Recent advances in trauma research and neuroscience tell us that traumatic and emotionally disturbing memories are held in the nervous system, allowing us to become "triggered" by current experiences, and have strong feelings of panic, rage, or helplessness , even if we know intellectually that we are not actually in danger.
In Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, we invite clients to become curious about the ways their bodies hold onto and express negative patterns associated with the sensations, emotions and beliefs that limit their ability to live full, satisfying lives. With mindfulness, we work together with clients to find ways to replace physical habits that inhibit growth with ones that support physical, emotional, and psychological health.
DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy)
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 be present in the current moment. Second, DISTRESS TOLERANCE helps to increase 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.
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.