Types of Therapy
I draw on my professional experience to select the most appropriate type of therapy to meet the specific needs of each of my clients. I am a firm believer in Dr. Milton H. Erickson’s statement: “Each person is a unique individual. Hence, psychotherapy should be formulated to meet the uniqueness of the individual’s needs.” Below are the therapies I have found to be the most beneficial to my clients.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. The therapist assists the client in identifying, testing the reality of, and correcting dysfunctional beliefs underlying his or her thinking. The therapist then helps the client modify those thoughts and the behaviors that flow from them. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and client and often calls for “homework” assignments.
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) was developed by Dr. Albert Ellis. REBT is a structured approach to emotional problem solving in which I adopt an active–directive approach to helping you solve your own problems. According to the REBT, our emotions result from our beliefs, many of which are irrational, and thus cause us to suffer unnecessarily. As Dr. Albert Ellis stated, “We teach people that they upset themselves. We can’t change the past, so we change how people are thinking, feeling and behaving in the present,” the REBT therapist questions the client’s beliefs and replace those that are self-defeating with more life-enhancing alternatives. I will then encourage you to change your actions to align with your new, rational beliefs to relieve your emotional problems. As such, this active approach often includes homework assignments to help you put into practice what you have learned within therapy sessions.
Clinical hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention used by licensed and trained therapists for treating a psychological or physical problem (American Society of Clinical Hypnosis).
Clinical hypnosis can be used in different forms like: encourage you to use your imagination to help you in bringing the things you are imagining, present ideas or suggestions to you in your areas of struggle, and help you better understand underlying motivations or identify whether past events or experiences are associated with causing a problem. Hypnosis avoids the critical censor of the conscious mind, which often defeats what you know to be in our best interests.
In the mental health area, hypnosis is used for phobias, anxiety, sexual problems, alcoholism, smoking control, weight control, chronic pain, self-esteem/ego strengthening, memory/concentration improvement and forensic work.
Hypnosis usually uses in conjunction with other forms of psychotherapy.
Answers to some misconceptions about hypnosis:
- You will not become unconscious and you will be aware of everything at all times.
- You will not begin to reveal information you wish to keep secret. Hypnosis is not a sleep.
You will not be partially or completely under the command of the hypnotist. You are in control of yourself, and cannot be made to do anything that is against your will.
Mindfulness is an approach used today in psychotherapy to reduce stress, manage pain and suffering, and enhance productivity and quality of life.
As Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Mindfulness Based- Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, wrote: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; in the present moment; and non-judgmentally”.
Mindfulness is a way of learning to take charge of whatever is happening in your life, that no one else can do for you. It helps you learn how to use your inner abilities to respond more effectively to stress, pain, and illness. You practice mindfulness by concentrating on the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or future.
Mindfulness is already within you; you do not need to go and get it.
People that will benefit from mindfulness are facing:
- Stress — (like from health, job, family, financial)
- Chronic pain and illness
- Anxiety and panic
- Sleep disturbances
- High blood pressure
Mindfulness Based-Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Based on mindfulness meditation and CBT Dr. Zindel & Dr. Mark Williams developed the mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to help people who suffer from depression to make shift in their relationship to the thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that contribute to depressive relapse.
The approach will help reduce the recurrence of depression that many people suffer from.
Relationship and Couple Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Couple Therapy is an active approach to identifying, understanding and resolving unhealthy patterns of conflict, communication and emotional distress in relationships.
Individual differences and conflicts are common in most of the relationships and can create negative emotional reactions, emotional withdrawal and resistance. Research by John Gottman, a leading couple therapist shows that the success or failure of a relationship can be predicted with about 90% accuracy.
If you would like to read more about it, I recommend reading John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert.
Another approach is Sue Johnson’s Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT). The approach based on scientific study of adult love and bonding processes in couples (attachment theory). The focus of the therapy is to help facilitate the creation of secure, lasting bonds between intimate partners and reinforce any preexisting positive bonds. Couples may find this method a beneficial approach, as it can help people better understand both their own emotional responses and those of significant people in their lives.
Structural Family Theory (SFT)
My training and personal experience also based on the Structural Family Theory (SFT) by Salvador Menuhin that addresses problems in functioning within a family. When we map the relationships between family members or between subsets of the family we see that pathology rests not in the individual, but within the family system.
In addition, Virginia Satir, with her novel ideas at the time that the “surface problem” itself (“she is always yield on me in front of friends”) is seldom the real problem; rather, how you cope with the issue created the problem. Satir also offered insights into the particular problems that low self-esteem could cause in relationships.
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