The Therapy "Menu"
I like to think of my therapy style as a buffet of choices, such as you might find in a salad bar. I tend to mix and match the ingredients listed below in a way that that seems to best meet my client's needs. However, I encourage you to tell me what works best for you.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Some people come to therapy with a goal in mind; they want to progress from "point A" to "point B." They want to change something specific (for example, reduce anxiety). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven effective with thousands of people to help change specific beliefs and behaviors through targeted exercises in thinking. CBT usually involves written assignments and homework during the times in between therapy sessions.
The philosophy of CBT is that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors. Thus, CBT is aimed towards identifying these thoughts, or beliefs, and perhaps making changes in thinking to create happier lives.
CBT incorporates elements of other types of psychotherapy. As in Person Centered Therapy, the therapist listens in an accepting way. CBT may include physical quieting techniques such as Guided Imagery or Autogenic Training. And without Mindfulness, we would not be able to do the detailed tracking of activities and emotions that are part of CBT.
CBT therapy is designed to be warm, respectful , and collaborative - something the therapist and client create together.
Person Centered Therapy
Some people really just want to talk and be heard. They don't want to do written exercises. They don't want a whole lot of advice. Sometimes just talking things over and putting your thoughts into words can clarify feelings, desires and values. Sometimes it helps just to "feel felt" or to feel that someone has really heard you. In Person Centered Therapy, the therapist mostly just listens in an accepting way and reflects what he or she is hearing back to the client.
Guided Imagery and Relaxation
Some people respond really well to techniques such as autogenic training or guided imagery exercises to help them relax, let go of fears, and even increase physical well being. I love to lead people into relaxation and self-empowerment using one or more of these techniques.
Mindfulness simply means a way of observing yourself, other people, and situations with kindness and curiosity - without trying to change reality. This practice is not linked with any particular religion (although some religions have adopted it). Rather, it is a way of being aware of what is. Many people have found that simple mindfulness alone can be a powerful tool for personal change.