Therapies I use
As a therapist, I use different tools depending on your presenting issue and what we collaboratively decide resonates with you. If you come for child or youth counselling we might use different approaches then couples or adult counselling sessions. If you have any specific questions that aren't answered here I would be more than happy to provide answers during our sessions.
Gottman Method Couples Counselling
Gottman Method Couples Therapy focuses on using assessment and research-based interventions.
The goals are to disarm conflicting verbal communication; increase intimacy, respect, and affection; remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy; and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
Couples counselling has a four part assessment structure. The first session is as a couple, followed by individual sessions for each partner, and the last assessment session is as a couple for treatment planning. From there, depending on the issues identified, we will meet weekly, biweekly, or monthly to address and overcome the issues that are affecting your relationship.
COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT)
Working from a cognitive behavioural perspective means that we will focus on how our mind interprets situations which then impacts our cognitions, emotions, and behaviours.
From this perspective we will look at: setting concrete goals and using specific techniques to change your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Some of the techniques we may use are: cognitive restructuring, thought journaling, exposure therapy, behaviour activation, and relaxation and stress reduction techniques.
SOLUTION-FOCUSED THERAPY (SFT)
When implementing solution-focused therapy the emphasis is on (you guessed it!) finding solutions. So, rather than rehashing the past, or causes of problems, we focus on finding the solutions that can help you overcome your issues without them taking center stage.
Some techniques we may use are: finding exceptions to the problem, doing one thing differently, identifying what we can change now, and social learning: using others as examples to get past current blocks.
Taking a narrative approach means focusing on the unique story of your life. The focus is on separating you as an individual from your problem.
As we live we create stories about our lives that we tell ourselves. Sometimes these stories can become bogged down with problems that keep us from focusing on our skills, values, abilities, and goals.
By re-storying your life and externalizing the problem you can regain your focus on events, people, and goals that are relevant to who you want to be. Some techniques we may use are: framing the problem, externalizing the problem, and creating new storylines.
An attachment perspective allows me to focus on your developmental process and how your formative years shaped how you interact with the world and form relationships with others.
Working from this perspective we can identify how developmental environments shaped how you attempt to meet your needs.
From this perspective we will explore creating relationships, establishing safety, setting boundaries for yourself and others, and understanding how developmental events have created your responses to the world.
In implementing trauma-informed care, (TIC) our focus will be on building physical and emotional safety, trust, transparency, and empowerment.
A trauma-informed perspective makes sense of our functioning and how the hurts of the past can stay with us and affect our current reality.
Some areas of focus during therapy would be: understanding physiological response, identifying triggering events and situations, building emotional regulation capacity, constructing supportive resources. Then, when you are ready, exploring your trauma in a collaborative manner to help you process and heal from it safely.
Ecotherapy is a newer therapy that focuses on our connection with nature. It is based on a systems view of the human psyche.
Working from this perspective we will focus on how you can connect with the natural world. I have found that immersive and experiential activities in nature can develop context and provide perspective shifts for individuals. Some activities we may explore are mindful hiking, gardening, shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), biking, skiing, snowboarding, and grounding techniques.