As a therapist I use a number of different theories/approaches with individuals and couples. After building a relationship with the client this allows me to choose the best theory or approach to use in the therapy process in order to meet the needs of the individual or couple. Below I briefly profile some of these theories and approaches for both individuals and couples.
Individual Therapy Theories
The eclectic approach would best describe my approach to individual counseling. This approach draws on multiple theoretical orientations and techniques. This allows me to use the most effective method available to address each individual’s needs. Multi-modal approach is another name used for eclectic therapy. Because eclectic therapy is flexible, the therapist can create an intentional, individual plan for each client based on their unique needs. So this usually leads to better results much quicker in the therapy process.
The eclectic therapy allows for an individualized approach that is adaptable. So the client’s specific and unique needs can be met with an individualized treatment plan. The eclectic approach is engaging in the use of multiple techniques that will help people feel more interested and engaged in the therapy process. It is flexible and allows the therapist to assess needs and select approaches and techniques that will help the client the most.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
My primary approach centers around Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It is an approach that helps the client recognize negative or unhelpful thought and behavior patterns. CBT is based on the idea that your thoughts, emotions, and actions are connected to one another. CBT aims to help the client identify and begin to explore the client’s thoughts and emotions. Because thoughts and emotions can have an affect on your life and your actions. The client begins to identify these patterns. Than the client begins seeking to learn how to change behavior and develop new coping strategies to tackle their problems.
According to the American Psychological Association, the core concepts of CBT include: (1) Psychological issues are partly based on unhelpful ways of thinking, (2) Psychological issues are partly based on learning patterns of behavior, (3) and those living with these issues can improve with better coping mechanisms and management to help relieve their symptoms.
CBT is one of the most studied therapy approaches. Many consider it to be the best treatment available for a number of mental health conditions. I look forward to working with you to overcome the challenges you may be facing in life. Contact our office to set up an appointment!
Couples Therapy Approaches
The Gottman Method is the primary approach I use in couples therapy. Intense research with thousands of couples by Dr. John Gottman and his wife Dr. Judy Gottman led to its development. They have developed scales that help identify the elements of stability in relationships and the interactive patterns that cause couples to divorce.
Gottman’s studies point to relationship difficulties caused by the “Four Horsemen”. These predictive factors of divorce include: (1) Criticism of the partner’s personality, (2) Defensiveness, (3) Stonewalling, or refusing to interact, (4) and Contempt.
The goals of the Gottman method include increasing closeness and friendship behaviors, addressing conflict productively, and building a life of shared meaning together. The Gottman method involves customizing principles from the research to each couple’s particular situation.
The Seven principles include: (1) Building love maps, (2) Expressing fondness and admiration, (3) Turning towards one another, (4) Accepting influence, (5)Solving problems that are solvable, (6) Managing conflict and overcoming gridlock, (7) and Creating shared meaning.