In my clinical work, I use a variety of specific modalities that help guide my approach
PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy) Developed by Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, PACT combines cutting edge research from neurobiology and attachment theory to help couples shift out of conflict and into deeper and more loving connections. For more information click HERE.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR is a therapeutic method that has been in use since 1989,
which utilizes bilateral sensory stimulation of the brain in
conjunction with a set of highly elaborated and well researched
therapeutic protocols and procedures, to facilitate accelerated
processing of psychological issues. What is dramatically different
about EMDR as compared with traditional psychotherapies is that,
with simple traumas, it can yield positive results in a much shorter
time frame–often in anywhere from 1–5(50-75 min)sessions.
More complex traumas, such as childhood sexual abuse, usually
take longer to resolve.
How Does EMDR Work?
Memories of distressing events are stored by the brain as a
“gestalt”, complete with all the related sensory, emotional and
cognitive information: visuals, sounds, scents, thoughts, feelings
and body sensations. Memories of successive distressing events are
then layered on top of the original memories in memory networks
of seemingly related events. This can create blockages in the
brain’s ability to process new information adaptively, that is, to
resolve distressing or traumatic events.
A psychologist named Francine Shapiro discovered that it was
possible to stimulate the brain’s two hemispheres through
“alternating left-right visual, audio and tactile stimulation” (for
instance, through hand movements, flashing lights, alternating
tones or “buzzes” from vibrating devices, or by simple hand taps).
This sort of bilateral sensory stimulation, coupled with the
therapeutic procedures of EMDR, can reduce the “charge” of
disturbing memories and emotions, and enhance the brain’s ability
to respond adaptively to situations by creating links to different memory
networks. This process is sometimes referred to as neuronal integration.
Hakomi is a body-centered, mindfulness-based psychotherapy method
that is influenced by humanistic therapy approaches such as Gestalt
therapy, and by Buddhist meditation traditions. Hakomi is experiential,
i.e., it focuses on experiences in the present moment to deepen the
therapeutic process and facilitate change. Its goals are to undo the
ingrained defenses that limit people’s vitality and ability to find
fulfillment in life.
Hakomi is a multifaceted system of therapeutic principles and
techniques aimed at helping psychotherapy to go deeper and create
more far-reaching results. One of many therapeutic methods to emerge
from the hugely influential Human Potential Movement in the 1960s
and 1970s, it draws heavily on both the Gestalt Therapy of Fritz Perls
and Zen Buddhism. Like Gestalt, it is a largely experiential method,
interested more in generating experiences in the moment to access the
unconscious and initiate more profound change. Its overarching goals
are to undo the ingrained characterological patterns of defense that
restrict the unfolding of a client’s innate vitality, or organic self, and
foster greater aliveness and fulfillment. With the body awareness and
mindfulness that Hakomi uses as tools for self-exploration, clients who
are feeling as though they’ve reached a plateau with traditional insight-
oriented, talk therapy are often able to go deeper into their core issues
and achieve more lasting, transformational change. The heart of the Hakomi Method
are the five Principles, which Hakomi therapists are taught not to employ just
as techniques but to integrateinto their way of being. The five Principles are: mindfulness, non-violence, organicity, mind-body connection, and unity. In Hakomi,
mindfulnessis both an internal attitude of the therapist and a technique
for accessing deeper material. Since the therapist is working to get
below the surface of the defenses, she is often more directive than in
psychodynamic or person-centered approaches, but because of the
principle of non-violence she strives to be less forceful than the
sometimes very intense Gestalt approach.
Mindfulness is the art of bringing our attention and curiosity to your thoughts, feelings and sensations as they arise without judgment or attachment. Learning to be more mindful is a key life skill that will increase your awareness and insight in service of transformation, personal well being and the quality of your relationships.
DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY
DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is a treatment for severe emotional dysregulation, for example, dual diagnoses, PTSD, eating disorders and severe mood disorders (Bi-polar disorders, major depression and anxiety). Clients with these disorders often experience great suffering as they try to manage the emotional and relational crises of their lives. DBT teaches essential behavioral coping skills which help to reduce that suffering. While DBT is most often associated with the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT skills and concepts can also be very useful to in the treatment of “ordinary” life problems. DBT emphasizes acceptance and change (a “dialectic”).
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a goal-oriented, present focused therapy that teaches a client how emotions, behaviors and cognitions can create distress. CBT uses a skills-based, systematic process that helps you to overcome symptoms and improve functioning. “CBT” is used in diverse ways to designate behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to refer to therapy based on a combination of behavioral and cognitive research, such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating and substance abuse disorders.