Couples therapy is a dynamic mix of each individual’s history, personality, current patterns, and future goals or expectations. With this much dynamic intermixing, relationship therapy is one of the most complex forms of therapy – requiring specialized training. Rarely does one therapeutic approach fully address all issues, which is why we have a diverse skill set to draw from. At Clearheart, our main focus is toward relationship solutions that work, providing new communication skills to locate core issues, and then addressing those core issues for ongoing success. Some of the models that we draw upon include Emotion-focused therapy, Conscious Communication from the Hendricks Institute, Imago, to name a few.
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, developed Dr. Francine Shapiro over 30 years ago, has increasingly become the gold standard for trauma related release therapies. Whenever we have unprocessed experiences, the suppression of either memory or emotions related to the experience produce many secondary affects, such as some forms of anxiety and depression. EMDR focuses first on achieving a calm state from which to address distressing issues, deactivating the emotional charge associated with the experience through an eye-movement protocol, then replacing the association with a more positive or empowered perspective in your sub-conscious. To learn more you can read Getting Past your Past, by Dr. Shapiro, or discuss further with your Clearheart therapist to determine if this is suitable for you.
MBCT – Mindfulness-based Cognitive therapy
Mindfulness-based Cognitive therapy combines the ability to focus on thoughts and perceptions that produce distress, through a more neutral mindful perspective. This form of therapy is often used in conjunction with Somatic methods, such as visualization and breath-techniques, to produce a calm state from which to neutralize your attachment to the distressing thought, sensation, or emotion. Observing, rather than being gripped within an emotional or mental narrative, allows fresh perspectives to surface.
CBT – Cognitive Behavioral therapy
Cognitive Behavioral therapy is an evidence-based form of therapy that addresses the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When thoughts and beliefs are challenged, often the feeling related to the thought will shift, allowing your behavior to modify as well. Behavioral habituation requires both an intentional interruption of the behavior, and a reframe of the thoughts associated with the maladaptive pattern. CBT has become essentially an umbrella- term, with many other sub branches. It is often implicit in most forms of therapy.
DBT - Dialectical Behavioral therapy
Dialectical Behavioral therapy is a form of CBT that specifically challenges high social reactivity, and behaviors that impede relationships. Dialectic is a way of looking at a behavior by observing what it is not; in other words, deconstructing a behavior. Understanding aspects of a behavior, rather than viewing it as a whole, allows increased choice in reactivity. When we can reflect on the opposite of what we assume, new perspectives may surface. DBT is often used to interrupt self-defeating thoughts and behaviors.
Soma means ‘of the body’; Somatic Experiencing therapy is based on the seminal work of Dr. Peter Levine, within trauma research and discourse. Somatic therapy incorporates more than trauma-based focus today, and instead may be thought of as the relationship between emotions and experiences within the body or physical sensation. Emotions are essentially energy, in motion, in the body. Most of us have learned how to manage, suppress, think, or rationalize emotions – rather than accept and feel them. Somatic approaches are often coupled with other forms of therapy to re-integrate a whole-person experience of wellness.
Psychodynamic therapy focuses on the relationship between past events, usually childhood, and current issues. Insights gained through exploring the root or source of counterproductive patterns, beliefs, and behaviors can often lead to real and lasting changes. While most forms of short-term therapy (6-20 sessions) will focus on current conditions, psychodynamic approaches can be approached in segments over time. Reflection and integration of insights gained through this approach may require time to integrate into current functioning, therefore pacing of sessions can be quite individualized.
This term is two-fold within the field of psychology: Psycho-educational Assessment refers to an assessment, via a series of tests/interviews, to determine learning behaviors. Typically a Psycho-Ed assessment becomes relevant when challenged by learning in some way, due to neurocognitive functioning. The second, more global, use of the term refers to the use of learning tools and terms within the counseling process. Commonly within couples therapy the introduction of some tools/materials, in order to have a shared meaning of terms between client and counselor, helps facilitate progress. In this sense, any suggested reading or introduction of materials within the session is considered Psycho-educational.
Clinical hypnosis bypasses the conscious mind, and communicates directly with the sub-conscious mind. As an adjunct with other methods of therapy, hypnosis may be beneficial to re-frame self-defeating behaviors in the sub-conscious in order to ease our attachment to them. Repetitive or compulsive habits are often the focus of this method of therapy.