Individual therapy happens one-on-one between a client and the therapist. It is private space for you connect with a trained professional and get help with issues that have become overwhelming to you, out of your control, or urgent in some way. Sessions are confidential and are designed to help you clarify the nature of the problem, identify clear goals, and set a course for recovery/healing.
In our first session together you can expect to have time to ask questions about what to expect from the process, as well as how I work. I will certainly be curious about your situation and your hopes/expectations about counseling, We will come to an understanding about the focus of the therapy and how best to proceed. The structure of the therapy, as well as the length of the treatment, will depend on your needs and my assessment of your situation and goals.
Trauma-Informed Therapy is an approach to psychological/emotional/relational problems that recognizes the role of past trauma on present day symptoms. The approach draws from numerous sources (including Neuroscience) and offers many highly effective strategies/interventions for healing the troubling effects of trauma.
Some of the sources I draw from in my practice include: EMDR, Parts Work, Education and Attachment Repair.
EMDR is a mind-body technique used to process disturbing memories that contribute to unexplained fears and self-defeating beliefs and behaviors.
At first I will take down a thorough history of your life. You and I will then identify a specific symptom or problem to focus on. I will ask you to hold in your awareness a disturbing memory, body sensation, feeling and core belief while I perform ‘bilateral
stimulation’ (i.e. eye movements that go back-and-forth or left-right tapping on your knees, hands or upper arms). This process is repeated until you can bring to mind the original memory without feeling any disturbance.
The type of problem you wish to focus on, your life circumstances and the amount of previous trauma you have will determine the length of treatment. Sometimes long-term therapy remains necessary. In other cases, ten sessions – performed weekly or every other week – is sufficient.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way the brain processes information. With successful treatment, you can maintain clear memories of a traumatic event, yet be free of related negative symptoms. No one knows exactly how EMDR achieves this result, yet studies show that EMDR—one of the most scientifically researched therapeutic methods in use today—is surprisingly effective. To learn more, visit www.emdria.org.
EMDR is particularly effective at processing single-incident traumas that were overwhelming at the time they occurred. Car accidents, difficult medical experiences, violent crime, exposure to family or community violence, etc. Modified EMDR protocols, when used in combination with other techniques, are also highly effective at processing issues related to more ongoing childhood neglect and/or abuse. Having a skilled EMDR therapist who knows when and how to apply the technique to your particular issue is essential!
Expressive Arts Therapy (EXA) uses our capacity for spontaneity and play to help us leap out-of-the-box and discover new options, perspectives, truths and solutions. Our ability to engage creatively with our problems brings new life to the effort (it’s fun!) and helps us connect with aspects of ourselves we didn’t know we had.
EXA is a form of Art Therapy that uses multiple creative media to explore and heal psychological wounds. Through training in the clinical use of visual art, drama, creative writing, music and movement, I tailor the therapy to your individual needs. I hold the creative activity itself in an accepting atmosphere—creative process and self-expression matter more then product! You do not need to be an ‘artist’ to do EXA.
Many people experience shyness or inhibition around their creativity. Art therapy is about using art to express and communicate how you feel. I am interested in how you experience the process, not how the art looks in the end. Still, if you are uncomfortable with creative expression, it is not required. Whether art gets made in a session is entirely up to you.
Art Therapy is a way to communicate your inner experience without words. This is important because it is not always easy to talk about life experiences directly, or in a way that conveys the essence of how we feel. This can happen if:
Expressive Arts Therapy is a wonderful way to access and convey our experience through images, scenes, sound and movement. It also allows us to view from the outside our inner stories and to actively engage in shaping the meaning we make of our lives.
Group Therapy comes in many forms. Some groups are purely educational, while others are designed to provide emotional support or relational healing/guidance. By definition, ‘Group Therapy’ implies that there is a trained professional leading the group (a group therapist or other mental health professional). Regardless of the type of group, Group Therapy offers particular benefits that Individual Therapy is unable to provide, including: