Meeting Your Needs
Psychodynamic Therapy is an in-depth form of talk therapy with roots in psychoanalysis. Guided by a therapist, clients share their innermost fears, desires, and challenges, at times in an uncensored stream of consciousness. The goal is the remission of symptoms, with clients often achieving ongoing improvements in all areas of life.
This form of psychotherapy, at its best, understands that the symptoms and the root cause of them, are not different areas of treatment - they are integrally inter-connected: symptoms are, usually, expressions of a Psyche’s attempt to cure itself from what is troubling it. Symptoms are an outcome of a root cause, in the absence of a ‘better’ (ie, less costly, or less damaging) solution. Neither symptoms, nor the root, should be treated differently - they should be treated together, at a pace which is attuned to a person’s psychological strength, and capacity for insight.
Like many other therapeutic interventions, this type of therapy aims to identify, acknowledge, express, and overcome negative feelings that may be holding the client back. By releasing these feelings and understanding their latent impact, clients are able to make peace with painful pasts and tackle future issues on their own. Confidence increases with catharsis, with lasting results.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) starts with the premise that our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all interconnected. Thus, when we commit the thinking errors, or “cognitive biases,” to which we are all susceptible, the whole system suffers. CBT is a critical part of changing that paradigm. It helps us address faulty automatic thinking of which we might not even be aware—a sort of negative white noise humming in the background of our minds, masquerading as fact or truth.
Through CBT, clients learn to identify these automatic negative thoughts, assess whether their thinking accurately reflects reality, and, if not, to employ a variety of structured questioning techniques to both challenge the thinking and replace it with something more constructive. This process of gaining insight into and modifying one’s cognitive and behavioral processes involves ongoing practice, with considerable growth and reflection taking place outside of session. For this reason, many clients tend to favor this technique, as it is solution-focused and can require fewer sessions.
CBT works for clients of all ages. Evidence supports its benefits for treating many disorders, including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and others. Research has also shown that CBT is just as effective in online settings.
Culturally-responsive therapy is best for tailoring our practices toward each individual client. Therapy doesn’t take place in a vacuum, and neither do clients’ lives. For this reason, cultural sensitivity practices have proven immensely beneficial in treatment relationships, allowing patient and therapist to achieve understanding and partnership regardless of differences in their respective backgrounds and experiences.
External influences lead to increased marginalization and stress, particularly for clients in at-risk communities. Acknowledging those external influences is crucial, as is developing and fostering a mutual language of respect and understanding in alignment with cultural expectations.
Sometimes, of course, it is the person’s very culture (nurturing as it might be) that contributes to their psychological suffering - through the fact that there isn’t a verbalised, validating ‘model’, which would encompass a particular individual’s predicament, is not written into the collective moral, and ethical, vocabulary!
All cultures are a source of strength, and of vulnerability. All cultures enrich, and restrict our identities. All cultures are validating, and conditional.
At Recovery Zone Counseling, I am committed to championing the rights of all races, cultures, and identity groups. Whatever your culture, beliefs, or background, I respect and honor the unique characteristics that intersected to create you.
Personal responsibility. Freedom. Self-determination. These are the bedrocks of Existential Therapy, an approach emphasizing client’s capacity to make rational choices and achieve maximum potential. In this unique philosophical model, therapist and client are co-venturers on the journey to confront and transcend fundamental human anxieties like death, loneliness and isolation.
The Existential method involves a range of approaches all centered on one goal: Helping the client make good choices by confronting negative internal messages; focusing on the landscape within, not external forces like societal expectations and family pressures. Working with a therapist in this modality can help unleash a client’s creativity, capacity for love and personal authenticity. The goal is to become the active force in your own life, following your internal star instead of allowing outside actors to determine your behavior.
If you find yourself struggling with how to make authentic, self-directed choices that hold meaning and truth for you, Existential Therapy might be the ideal approach. A therapist will help you identify and understand your unique array of challenges and symptoms, directing your focus toward positive experiences like relationships, spirituality, self-actualization, love and reverence.
Family Systems Therapy
In Family Systems Therapy, treatment involves the entire family unit, not just its symptomatic members. Because many psychological issues arise in the family of origin, healing the family as a whole can be crucial for individuals with mental health conditions. Therapists know how to navigate this delicate process to lead families to stronger connections and deeper healing.
Family Systems Therapy allows the family to work together to resolve a problem that affects one or more of its members. Examples of issues suited to this treatment method include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, addiction and eating disorders. Treatment involves first allowing each member of the family to share how they have been affected by the identified issues before moving on to explore individual family roles, underlying dynamics, and how best to support each other in light of strengths and weaknesses.
The family is one of the most pivotal units in society, and family issues can leave lasting scars. Using this therapy can change old paradigms and create possibilities for rebuilding a new family system that promotes the wellbeing of all its members.
Recovery Zone Counseling practices from a foundation of humanistic therapy. This means regardless of which additional evidence-based therapies used to most effectively meet clients’ needs, the approach will always be based in genuineness and equal collaboration with clients who are held in high positive regard. It is believed better therapy is provided when a therapist fully understands and empathizes with clients’ experience and world view.
Humanistic therapy is based on the fundamental belief that all human beings share an equal capacity for personal growth. Individuals who are stuck in unhealthy behavioral patterns are not believed to be deficient or problematic, but rather are viewed as having never experienced the interpersonal conditions necessary to safely explore wants and needs or to challenge oneself honestly.
In humanistic therapy, the therapeutic relationship is the primary therapeutic tool. The therapist must expressly convey three conditions, from which the client’s self-actualization will naturally occur. These conditions include: (1) genuineness (2) unconditional positive regard, and (3) empathy.
Your therapist wholeheartedly believes in the importance of the therapeutic relationship, and through her genuine caring and appreciation for her clients, she has the sacred privilege of witnessing them uncover their truest selves.
Our well-being is largely dependent on the quality and harmony of our relationships. Interpersonal problems can cause us significant distress, whether due to a conflict with others, the loss of a loved one, loneliness, a breakup, or social uncertainty. If interpersonal problems become a pattern in our lives, distress can evolve into depression, and other mood disorders can be exacerbated.
The goal of Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is to relieve depression and other mood disorders by focusing on underlying relational issues rather than on symptoms. IPT consists of four different components to improve a person’s social environment, coping, and interpersonal functioning. The first aim is to improve a person’s social environment. This may involve strategies to reduce social isolation or involvement in unfulfilling relationships and to increase engagement in desired relationships. Second, if the client experienced an onset of symptoms following the death of a loved one, IPT will help with managing grief. Third, IPT focuses on assisting the client in coping with life transitions that involve interpersonal difficulties or loss, such as divorce, moving out of town, empty-nesting, and retirement. Lastly, IPT helps the client to manage conflicts that arise in relationships with their partner, family members, friends, and coworkers.
IPT is a solution-focused and insight-based therapy approach. You might like IPT if you want to learn practical strategies for improved communication and coping, while also receiving support from your therapist who will listen carefully to the interpersonal issues in your life and help you to clarify your goals and priorities.
Evidence-based mindfulness practices can be incorporated into almost any therapy method, but are also the cornerstone of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Therapy (MBRT).
Mindfulness practice utilizes meditation and breathing exercises to improve a person’s way of experiencing emotion. Understandably, most people wish to avoid negative emotions. However, by avoiding the discomfort of emotions, we may fail to recognize negative thinking patterns and opportunities for growth and improved happiness. Sometimes a person feels so pained by negative emotions that they will do almost anything to escape them. In such cases, a person may develop unhealthy and self-destructive habits to avoid pain, including self-harm, disordered eating, substance use, and other high-risk behaviors. Mindfulness is one highly effective method of strengthening anyone’s capacity to tolerate the discomfort of negative emotion, and even to develop a sense of peace and strength in the face of difficulty. Through regular mindfulness practice, a person can change neural pathways so that they will be more likely to experience calmness in the face of difficulty.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a type of cognitive therapy that involves mindfulness practices such as meditation and breathing exercises that promote relaxation and well-being. Mindfulness practice and cognitive therapy are complementary to one another. Central to mindfulness is the gentle, non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts. Clients are taught to observe their thinking as if they are an outsider noticing the thoughts pass. This heightened awareness facilitates cognitive therapy, enabling a client to recognize and let go of harmful thinking patterns that would otherwise cause feelings of depression and anxiety. By preventing the thinking from taking hold, the client is able to stave off a period of depression and/or anxiety before either takes hold.
MBCT has been proven effective in treating recurrent depression, unhappiness, anxiety, and in preventing relapse for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders. It has also been shown effective in treating depression when it is associated with various medical conditions including vascular disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Narrative therapy is based on the premise our lives are a series of stories, and that it’s our task to frame these stories in a way that empowers us. By viewing people as separate from their symptoms, the narrative-therapy-trained therapist helps clients gain perspective on their issues, emboldening them to make impactful changes and re-write the narrative for the better.
For clients whose self-concept is centered around pathologizing statements like “I’m OCD” or “I suffer from depression,” this type of therapy is an especially powerful treatment mechanism. After listening to the client express these thoughts and labels, the therapist will guide the client toward telling positive stories about themselves, thereby improving self-esteem. The ultimate goal is for the client to internalize the knowledge that he or she is more than their problems and fears.
Narrative therapy can also help the client tease out the significant stories that form the underlying basis for the client’s personality. With the therapist as a collaborator, the client is supported in viewing themselves as the expert on their own life, the author of their own story. As such, the client is empowered to awaken and uncover their own dreams and goals, focusing on the things they want instead of what they don’t want—the abundance, not the lack.
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is the ultimate treatment technique for the goal-oriented client. Rather than exploring past problems and pathologies, SFBT allows the client to pose a question or problem and work with the therapist to explore solutions and answers. The idea behind this approach is that the client innately knows what is needed to resolve his or her problems. Here, the therapist is a facilitator, not a solver.
The foundation of SFBT is goal setting. After clarifying what the client wants, the therapist questions the client as to what they hope to achieve through therapy and how the client anticipates their life will change if their problems were solved. This Socratic inquiry helps the client frame a plan of action. Indeed, one of the pivotal moments in SFBT is the so-called miracle question: “If a miracle happened while you slept tonight, what would be different in your life tomorrow?” This question opens the client’s mind to creative thinking, goal-setting, and plan creation that can lead to life-changing solutions.
Through a combination of question-and-answer techniques, rating scales, and words of encouragement, the therapist helps the client recognize their best qualities with an eye toward achieving resiliency in future endeavors. All this positivity conditions the client to focus on what they can do, not on what they can’t, allowing exponential progress in all areas of life—far beyond even the question at hand.
Couples Therapy teaches skills to strengthen relationships, deepen and enhance understanding between partners. The therapy process begins with a relationship assessment. This important first step looks at your relationship’s current status across several important domains linked to an overall sense of well-being, happiness and compatibility. Your therapist will then tailor your therapy, targeting the specific areas identified as challenges. Sessions will sometimes incorporate structured exercises to help partners learn new skills and work through issues as efficiently and effectively as possible.