These are some of the therapeutic methods I have in my toolbox to design an individualized plan for my clients.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring relationships among a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT a therapist will actively work with a person to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs. By addressing these patterns, the person and therapist can work together to develop constructive ways of thinking that will produce healthier behaviors and beliefs. For instance, CBT can help someone replace thoughts that lead to low self-esteem ("I can't do anything right") with positive expectations ("I can do this most of the time, based on my prior experiences"). The core principles of CBT are identifying negative or false beliefs and testing or restructuring them. Studies of CBT have shown it to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. Individuals who undergo CBT show changes in brain activity, suggesting that this therapy actually improves your brain functioning as well.
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness 2017
Family Therapy helps people in a close relationship help each other by recognizing and building on member's strengths and relational resources. It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. This therapy is designed to enable people to talk about their issues in ways that respect their experiences, invite engagement and support recovery.
AFT Association for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice 2017
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them. MBCT was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.
Play therapy is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children (Carmichael, 2006; Landreth, 2002; O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). The curative powers inherent in play are used in many ways. Therapists strategically utilize play therapy to help children express what is troubling them when they do not have the verbal language to express their thoughts and feelings (Gil, 1991). In play therapy, toys are like the child's words and play is the child's language (Landreth, 2002). Through play, therapists may help children learn more adaptive behaviors when there are emotional or social skills deficits (Pedro-Carroll & Reddy, 2005). The positive relationship that develops between therapist and child during play therapy sessions can provide a corrective emotional experience necessary for healing (Moustakas, 1997). Play therapy may also be used to promote cognitive development and provide insight about and resolution of inner conflicts or dysfunctional thinking in the child (O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983; Reddy, Files-Hall, & Schaefer, 2005).
Association for Play Therapy United States 2017
The goal of psychodynamic therapy is to recognize negative patterns of behavior and feeling that are rooted in past experiences and resolve them. This type of therapy often uses open-ended questions and free association so that people have the opportunity to discuss whatever is on their minds. The therapist then works with the person to sift through these thoughts and identify unconscious patterns of negative behavior or feelings and how they have been caused or influenced by past experiences and unresolved feelings. By bringing these associations to the person’s attention they can learn to overcome the unhelpful behaviors and feelings which they caused. Psychodynamic therapy is often useful for treating depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, and other mental illnesses.
NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness 2017
Children who experience traumatic events may develop debilitating symptoms or challenges that affect their ability to function and put them at risk for long-term problems. As shown by the results of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, there is a strong relationship between trauma experiences in childhood and poor physical, mental, and behavioral outcomes later in life.1 It is crucial that treatments to address trauma be trauma specific, in that they explicitly address the traumatic experiences and the impact of the experiences on the child’s and caregiver’s lives. In addition, the treatments should be sensitive to the child’s and family’s cultural beliefs and values. Trauma-specific treatments are delivered by specialized mental health professionals and are generally designed to “help children regain a sense of control over the trauma, destigmatize the potential shame the trauma has engendered, [and] normalize symptoms as common and understandable responses to the traumatic event.”2 Typically, these interventions include the use of specific strategies such as trauma narratives, cognitive reframing, and emotion regulation skills. In addition, trauma-specific treatments often require active participation of parents or caregivers.
Circle of Security International presents trainings around the globe focusing on the early intervention models to increase attachment and security developed by Glen Cooper, Kent Hoffman, and Bert Powell.
By integrating the 4-step spirit piece into any mind/body focused interventions (therapy, medicine, education, caregiving, hospice) we are providing a missing piece and changing a PARTIAL-istic approach into a WHOLE- istic one.
What methodology is best? Does it matter? What techniques will my therapist use? Beginning a therapeutic relationship can be the start of change and growth. Questions are welcomed here. Therapeutic methodologies are tools to interpret thoughts, feelings and behaviors and craft steps to help the client reach their goals. Having more tools to use alone or in combination allows your therapist to create an individualized treatment plan—your issues as they impact your life right now. This is called Eclectic Treatment or Systematic Treatment Selection. The research has shown individualized treatment based on a therapist’s broad knowledge, training, and experience can address a client as a whole person rather than a diagnosis. If you're interest in reading further about Eclectic and Systematic Treatment Selection go to our resources page for more information.
Abella Counseling, L.L.C.
Questions Are Welcome Here