After a thorough assessment we will collaborate to determine treatment goals and length of treatment. Though I am eclectic in my approach, I am theoretically grounded in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Family Systems Theory.
I complete a thorough assessment with the couple and with each partner separately in order to develop clear and specific treatment goals. These goals are essential to the work that will follow. My aim is to identify the “relationship dance” that maintains the problem and then help the couple find “new steps” that will bring relief and lasting change to the relationship. I most admire the research and writings of John Gottman, Terrence Real, and Sue Johnson. Sue Johnson is one of the originators of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).
I usually meet for 5-7 sessions with couples who are planning marriage. We start with a family map called a Genogram and then, using the Prepare/Enrich Couple Inventory, look at places of agreement and places of difference. The inventory looks at things like attitudes towards finances, the roll of family and friends, parenting, and personal habits as well as personality traits and relationship dynamics. From there we develop homework assignments and I gather information and resources that will enhance your relationship in the areas that need attention.
This is a highly effective treatment that uses bilateral stimulation to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and now other disorders where a person is hindered by past events. I have used Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as an exciting and effective treatment since 2008. This treatment is especially helpful to those who have experienced a single traumatic event such as a car accident, an act of violence or a natural disaster; however, it is also helpful to those who were exposed more chronically to traumatic events over time. EMDR is recommended for the treatment of PTSD by both the American Psychiatric Association and the U.S.. Department of Veteran Affairs, among others. Researchers and clinicians are now finding EMDR effective for other disorders that seem rooted in troubling past events.
EMDR relies on bilateral stimulation of the brain through alternating eye movements while a client thinks about their traumatic memory and connects it with related feelings and body sensations. It helps clients move safely through the emotional processing of that event and on to more integrated, adaptive, and less distressing ways of relating to that experience.
As I state above, EMDR is an exciting treatment to experience. I have helped clients move from crippling shame, guilt and fear to thinking about the event without these stressful feelings and even to recognizing their own strengths and hopeful future. I use EMDR as a single mode of therapy or in conjunction with other talk therapies. To learn more about EMDR check out www.emdria.com or www.emdrnetwork.org.
Sometimes people are lacking in the skills necessary to make specific changes in their lives. I have training in Mindfulness Based Therapy and can address issues such as anger, stress, and communication with skills development.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a treatment protocol that combines cognitive behavioral strategies with the practice of mindfulness in order to help individuals better tolerate distress, regulate their emotions, and deal more effectively with interpersonal relationships. As clients incorporate DBT skills, they are able to live more fully “in the moment.” Actually, the primary aim of DBT is to help people “build lives that are worth living.” This treatment includes DBT individual therapy, skills class, and phone coaching as well as a consultation team for the therapist. I provide adherent individual DBT and co-facilitate a DBT group on Tuesday mornings from 10:30-12:15.