Therapy Approach

I treat the individual as a whole and cater my approach to the personality, lifestyle, and needs of each person I work with. My approach is to help each of my clients gain a deeper understanding of themselves while assisting them to make the difficult changes needed to live rich and meaningful lives. With so many mixed messages coming at us it can be difficult to slow down and get in touch with what we truly need to feel our best so that we can direct our energy at what matters most. I utilize evidence based practices from a variety of psychological approaches to help each individual clarify what they value most and let go of behavioral patterns that no longer serve them.

My integrative approach can best be described as a combination of tenets from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). See below for further information on these psychological approaches.

ACT:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages: to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve your quality of life.

The aim of ACT is to help people create a rich full and meaningful life, while effectively handling the pain and stress that life inevitably brings. ACT (which is pronounced as the word ‘act’, not as the initials) does this by:

a) teaching you psychological skills to deal with your painful thoughts and feelings effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you. (These are known as mindfulness skills.)

  1. b) helping you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you  – ie your values – then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate you to change your life for the better.

More information on ACT can be found at: http://www.thehappinesstrap.com/about_act

 

DBT

DBT includes four sets of behavioral skills.

  • Mindfulness:the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
  • Distress Tolerance:how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness:how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
  • Emotion Regulation:how to change emotions that you want to change

The term “dialectical” means a synthesis or integration of opposites. The primary dialectic within DBT is between the seemingly opposite strategies of acceptance and change. For example, DBT therapists accept clients as they are while also acknowledging that they need to change in order to reach their goals. In addition, all of the skills and strategies taught in DBT are balanced in terms of acceptance and change. For example, the four skills modules include two sets of acceptance-oriented skills (mindfulness and distress tolerance) and two sets of change-oriented skills (emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness).

More information on DBT can be found at: http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm