There are many different ways to engage in the process of therapy. The following is a brief introduction to some of the approaches I use and perspectives I work from.
Person Centred Therapy
Feeling valued, accepted and understood within an authentic relationship of care and trust creates the conditions needed for people to heal themselves, experience personal growth and meet their full potential. The therapeutic relationship provides a safe place to explore your thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behaviours to enhance personal awareness and promote self-directed and meaningful change.
Solution Focused Therapy
This is a goal-directed approach focused on solutions in the here and now, rather than on the problems that brought you to therapy. With awareness that change is always occurring in our lives, this therapy builds on your strengths, invites you to envision the life that you want and moves you toward living this way.
We make sense of our lives through the stories we have about ourselves and this shapes the way we experience the world. How did you come to know yourself and does this story represent all of who you are, who you have been, and who you could be in your life? Our sense of identity can both liberate and limit us when facing problems. This is a non-pathologizing approach that provides the opportunity to create a different self-narrative, one that feels more meaningful and true for you.
Feminist Anti-Oppression Framework
Our experiences and our struggles cannot be separated from the social, cultural and political contexts in which they occur. Using this framework helps us to understand the impacts that privilege, power, discrimination and oppression have in your life. The issues that bring people to therapy are often a result of, or response to, their experience in an oppressive society. This is a respectful and empowering way to work that focuses on your abilities to heal and thrive.
Trauma results in such highly distressing emotions that we cannot cope or make sense of the experience at the time. Therefore, the experience is not stored in our brains the way a regular memory is and the sensory memory remains in our nervous system. People may still experience a lot of pain and distress even though the trauma occurred a long time ago and it may to be very difficult to talk about. EMDR is not talk-therapy. It uses bi-lateral stimulation (usually through tapping or eye-movements) to activate the same natural healing process that occurs while we are in REM sleep. It can be used effectively for trauma as well as other “stuck” places where understanding and insight about problems haven’t changed how you feel or shifted unwanted patterns of thinking or behaviours.
The following is from the EMDR Institute Inc.
“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma” For more information visit emdr.com
Focusing Oriented Therapy
This approach is supported by neuroscience and can promote therapeutic change. It involves paying attention inside of your body and facilitates the internal processing of experiences and emotions. Benefits of this approach can include connection to deeper levels of personal awareness, wisdom and self-guidance.