Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that we can experience at some point in our lives. Through counseling and treatment, we are able to help you recover motivation, perspective, and joy that you once had in your life.
Many individuals can experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger post traumatic events. We can help you overcome these symptoms and guide you through the process of grief and healing.
Relationship counseling can be beneficial to couples and families who are looking to strengthen their emotional connection, in all stages of their relationships. Therapy sessions are held with both couples and/or entire families. This is a supportive place to discuss issues and solutions to better strengthen your relationships.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudianpsychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an approach to psychotherapy that identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities or families within each person’s mental system. These sub-personalities consist of wounded parts and painful emotions such as anger and shame, and parts that try to control and protect the person from the pain of the wounded parts. The sub-personalities are often in conflict with each other and with one’s core Self, a concept that describes the confident, compassionate, whole person that is at the core of every individual. IFS focuses on healing the wounded parts and restoring mental balance and harmony by changing the dynamics that create discord among the sub-personalities and the Self.
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 accept and be present in the current moment. Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing 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.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) was developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD to address the effects of trauma. Levine developed this approach after observing that prey animals, whose lives are routinely threatened in the wild, are able to recover readily by physically releasing the energy they accumulate during stressful events. Humans, on the other hand, often override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with feelings of shame and pervasive thoughts, judgments, and fears. Somatic Experiencing aims to help people move past the place where they might be “stuck” in processing a traumatic event.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, is a research-supported, integrative psychotherapy approach designed to treat symptoms of trauma and posttraumatic stress. EMDR sessions follow a specific sequence of phases, and practitioners use bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, to help the client process unresolved memories from adverse experiences. EMDR can be used to address any number of concerns, and it is compatible with other types of therapy.
The theoretical framework for EMDR therapy explains that some memories associated with adverse life experiences may remain unprocessed due to the high level of disturbance experienced at the time of the event. The stored memory may be linked to emotions, negative cognitions, and physical sensations experienced during the event and the unprocessed memory can affect the way a person responds to subsequent similar adverse experiences. Through EMDR therapy, these fragmented memories can be reprocessed so that they become more coherent and less disruptive.
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).
Mindfulness-based interventions, therapeutic approaches grounded in mindfulness, promote the practice as an important part of good physical and mental health. Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectal behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) are some mindfulness-based interventions currently utilized in therapy.
Designed to deliberately focus a person’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental, mindfulness-based interventions, help to be more present and alive in life.
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.
Depth Psychology is one of the many therapeutic approaches derived from Jungian Psychology. This method relies on discovering the motives behind mental problems as a means to treat them. During depth psychology, a therapist works with a client to reveal the source of their issue, rather than the symptoms associated with it. Once identified, the maladaptive motives can be transformed, resulting in healthier, more positive thoughts and behaviors. Dreamwork, Sandplay, and art therapy are all methods of accessing the unconscious.
SFBT, which aims to help people experiencing difficulty find tools they can use immediately to manage symptoms and cope with challenges, is grounded in the belief that although individuals may already have the skills to create change in their lives, they often need help identifying and developing those skills. Similarly, SFBT recognizes that people already know, on some level, what change is needed in their lives, and SFBT practitioners work to help the people in their care clarify their goals. Practitioners of SFBT encourage individuals to imagine the future they desire and then work to collaboratively develop a series of steps that will help them achieve those goals. In particular, therapists can help those in treatment identify a time in life when a current issue was either less detrimental or more manageable and evaluate what factors were different or what solutions may have been present in the past.
Susan Owen is a Board of Social Work approved supervisor and can be reached at email@example.com
Renata Huewitt is a Virginia Board of Counseling approved clinical supervisor for LPC and LMFT licensure. If you are looking for clinical supervision, feel free to email your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.