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Approaches

You are a unique, one-of-a-kind person,
with a rich history and experience.

To best serve you, I may use a blend of techniques and practices that are most suitable for your situation. I will customize a treatment plan that is specifically tailored to meet your individual needs and help you achieve your goals.

The following are some of the most effective modalities which are clinically proven to help you better cope with your thoughts and emotions, develop long-term joy and empowerment and to perform at your best.

CBT (COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY)

“For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
-Shakespeare (Hamlet: Act II, Scene II)

No matter how good (or bad) things are, there’s no objective reality and the world is what we perceive it to be; basically, it’s all about perspective.

When we have up to 70,000 thoughts per day and a majority of them are negative that just pop up intrusively, it’s important to squash those Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s) before they become a habit.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented evidence-based practice that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving; the way that we perceive a situation is more closely connected to our reaction than the situation itself.

Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that lend to people’s difficulties, and thus, change the way they feel.

More closely, CBT works by changing people’s attitudes and their behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs, and attitudes that are held and how these processes relate to the way a person behaves, as a way of dealing with emotional problems.

CBT focuses on solutions, challenging distorted cognitions, and changing destructive patterns of behavior ultimately leading to enduring improvement in functioning.

Full participation in sessions and completion of assignments at home are required for facilitating the efficacy of treatment.

ACT (ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY)

“Psychological flexibility is the ability to adapt to a situation with awareness, openness, and focus and to take effective action, guided by your values.”
-Russ Harris

ACT is an evidence-based modality that teaches mindfulness skills to help individuals live and behave in ways consistent with personal values while developing psychological flexibility.

It helps individuals recognize ways in which their attempts to suppress, manage, and control emotional experiences create challenges. By recognizing and addressing these hurdles, individuals can become better able to make room for values-based actions that support well-being.

Here are the 6 Core Therapeutic Processes of ACT:

  • Contacting the Present Moment (Be Here Now): You’ll learn to consciously pay attention to your here-and-now experience instead of drifting off into your thoughts or operating on “automatic pilot.”
  • Defusion (Watch Your Thinking): Learn to “step back” or detach from your thoughts, images and memories. We see our thoughts for what they are – nothing more or less than words or pictures. We hold them lightly, instead of clutching them tightly.
  • Acceptance (Open Up): You’ll practice opening up and making space for difficult feelings, sensations and emotions. Instead of fight them or resist them, or get overwhelmed by them, we let them be.
  • Self-as-Context (Pure Awareness): Be a more objective observer of your own thoughts and learn to catch yourself when you are falling into “analysis paralysis.”
  • Values (Know What Matters): Explore what, deep in your heart, you really want your life to be about. What do you want to stand for?
  • Committed Action (Do What it Takes): You’ll be encouraged and supported to take effective action guided by your values.

MBCT (MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY)

“Change is the only constant.”

MBCT combines cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies, such as meditation and breathing exercises, in order to help individuals better understand and manage their thoughts and emotions in order to achieve relief from feelings of distress.

MBCT helps clients learn how to recognize their sense of being and see themselves as separate from their thoughts and moods.

After developing an awareness of the separation between thoughts, emotions, and the self, people in treatment may find that while the self and the emotions may exist simultaneously, they do not have to exist within the same realm.

This insight can contribute to healing by helping individuals learn to interject positive thoughts into negative moods in order to disable those negative moods.

Exactly how does it work?

  • Mindfulness helps you be aware of your own thought and mood patterns.
  • Mindfulness helps you learn how to be present and appreciate the small pleasures of daily life.
  • Mindfulness teaches you how to stop the downward spiral that can emerge from a bad mood or painful memory.
  • Mindfulness allows you to “shift gears” from you present state of mind to one which is more aware, more balanced and less judgmental.
  • Mindfulness gives you access to another approach to dealing with difficult emotions and moods.

You’ll learn to practice mindfulness whenever the opportunity is present to help you to maintain a healthy sense of awareness and balance throughout your day.

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

“Hope has proven a powerful predictor of outcome in every study
we’ve done so far.”

-Charles R. Snyder

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning that aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to flourish.

We do so by focusing on strengths not weakness, by building the good in life, and instead of helping “struggling” lives reach “normalcy,” we move average lives towards “exceptionalism.”

The Top 3 Things Positive Psychology Focuses On:

  • Positive experiences (such as happiness, inspiration, joy, and love)
  • Positive attributes and states (like compassion, gratitude, and resilience)
  • Positive associations (applying positive concepts within entire organizations and institutions)

Other topics of emphasis include: optimism, character strengths, life satisfaction, happiness, well-being, gratitude, compassion (including self-compassion), self-esteem, self-confidence, hope and elevation.

The following PERMA Model is a comprehensive framework for understanding and improving well-being.

P – Positive Emotions: Enjoying yourself in the moment and experiencing positive emotions is an important factor.

E – Engagement: In which we may lose track of time and become completed engrossed in something we enjoy and excel at.

R – (Positive Relationships): Humans are social creatures and having deep, meaningful connections and relationships with others are vital to our well-being.

M – Meaning: Even a happy person may not be able to sustain that happiness without a sense of meaning or greater purpose.

A – Accomplishment: Accomplishing and achieving your goals are necessary in feeling good and confident.

SCHEMA THERAPY

“We experience the world today through the filter that has been formed during childhood.”

Schema Therapy is an integrative approach to treatment that combines the best aspects of cognitive-behavioral, experiential, interpersonal, and psychoanalytic therapies into one unified model.

It has shown remarkable results in helping people change negative (“maladaptive”) patterns which they’ve lived with for a long time, even when other methods and efforts they’ve tried before have been largely unsuccessful.

The schemas that are targeted in treatment are enduring and self-defeating patterns that typically begin early in life. When parents can, more or less, meet the child’s emotional needs, then he develops into a healthy adult. In contrast, negative schemas develop when childhood needs are not met.

Some basic child’s needs are safety, acceptance and praise, empathy, guidance and protection. Others include love, nurturing and attention, “stable base” predictability, and validation of feelings and needs.

When a schema is triggered by events, you tend to experience extreme negative emotions. These patterns consist of dysfunctional thoughts and feelings that have been repeated and solidified over the years.

The goal of Schema Therapy is not to eliminate schemas, but to help you get your core needs met in a healthy, adaptive way, so that recovery is quick, and you are triggered less frequently and less intensely.

BRAIN HEALTH

“Your brain is the organ of your personality, character, and intelligence and is heavily involved in making you who you are.”
-Dr. Daniel G. Amen

As simple as it sounds, the principle “if your brain works better, so will you,” has turned around thousands of lives and inspired them to have much healthier brains and therefore, successful lives.

“Change your brain, change your life.”

Your brain is involved in everything you do, and is also in control of everything you do, think, and feel.

To optimize the way you function in this world, you have to first optimize your brain health.

We’ll go over the basic principles and brain-behavior systems (functions, problems, solutions) to change your brain and life. Other brain-healthy topics may include: nutrition/gut-brain connection, physical exercise, neuroimaging and decreasing the risk for brain aging, Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia.

Then there’s neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change throughout an individual’s life – our brains are constantly being shaped by experience.

With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway – and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.

Neuroplasticity is the ‘muscle building’ part of the brain; the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don’t use fades away. That’s the physical basis of why making a thought or action over and over again increases its power.

Over time, it becomes automatic: a part of us. We literally become what we think and do.

That is why “neuro-rewiring” is important, so that we can consciously reshape our brains for greater clarity, happiness, self-compassion, improved health, and reduced anxiety.

I’ll offer you tools to integrate positive aspects of your experiences into your mental awareness so that when your brain’s neurons make new connections, they make lasting changes in your brain and your life.

Remember, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”

Want to hit the ground running?

Let’s set up a session, and we’ll design a plan that’s right for you!