Type Of Therapy

What is Cognitive Therapy?

There are several models of cognitive therapy however they all share basic elements. In this modality of treatment the therapist will explore, with the patient, the relationships among cognitions (thoughts), affect (emotions), behavior, and psychological distress. In addition, the therapist facilitates the cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring is simply a term for the changing of our thoughts (in the way we view ourselves, our world and how others perceive us). This restructuring of our thoughts includes the identification, exploration, and eventually the replacement of maladaptive or negative thoughts, beliefs, and/or messages. The replacement cognitions (or thoughts) produce a positive change in our behavior and emotions. Helps people look at their thought patterns and behaviors and develop alternative ones that they then practice and apply. An approach in which we examine dysfunctional thoughts that contribute to painful emotions and maladaptive behavior and change thinking to support the goals of the client.

Other Techniques Incorporated


Mindfulness teaches us to live in the "Now." It is a valuable tool that allows us to take a step back, to breathe and to observe the unfolding of the present moment while responding in a peaceful, non- judgmental manner. In practicing mindfulness, skills we can actually train the brain to bypass old neural circuits (producing irrational behavioral patterns fueled by anxiety, fear, and anger) and replace them with new mindful circuits. Mindfulness skills have been noted to: reduce chronic pain, symptoms of anxiety and depression, to decrease binge eating and to increase tolerance of distressing situations while promoting relaxation. Mindfulness skills include integrated mind-body techniques such as:

Psychodynamic Therapy

An approach in which we examine unconscious and subconscious content that drive beliefs, emotions, and behavior.

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)

DBT addresses issues around ability to regulate emotions, tolerate stress, and experience positive interpersonal relationships, that are indicators good mental and emotional health.

Biopsycosocial Spiritual Theory

is a general model or approach that suggests that biological, psychological (which entails thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), social, and spiritual factors all play a significant role in human functioning in the context of disease or illness.

Body Centered

What we could describe as body centered therapies includes such things as breath work, bodywork (REIKI). These therapies help people resolve issues through releasing them where they are centered or stored or restrained in the body.

Systems Theory

Looks at the family as a complex system in which the complete unit is greater than the sum of its parts. It looks at how the family is organized and views it as a natural social system. It notices the roles of the members of the family, how individuals negotiate, problem solve, and view the world and their place in it. We pay particular attention to the interaction of all the family members as well as to their patterns of behavior over time. (Napier & Whitaker, 1978)

Object Relations Theory

Is based on the theory that the primary motivational factors in one's life are based on human relationships, rather than sexual or aggressive triggers. Object relations is a variation of psychoanalytic theory and diverges from Freud’s belief that we are pleasure seeking beings; instead it suggests that humans seek relationships. Because relationships are at the center of this method of therapy, the client-therapist allegiance is paramount to the success of the treatment. This theory was developed by Melanie Klein, William Ronald Fairbairn, Anna Freud, Michael Balint, and Donald Winnincott. Addresses the root cause of the individual’s behavior by examining the early relational experiences with primary caregivers. It suggests that we all have internalized mental representations of people and relationships and that these internal experiences, formed in childhood, provide the framework for perceiving objective reality in adulthood (scarf, 1987)

Dream Analysis

Dreams are the road to the unconscious, which is always body-based. Dreams can be recorded and explored through journaling or art therapy, and sometimes through movement. Dreams can function to direct our attention to repressed, denied, or split-off aspects of our experience and to integrate them; to compensate for what we are missing in conscious life; to bring us into balance and wholeness; to discover or create meaning for our experience.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)

EMDR uses bilateral stimulation to release trauma stored in nervous system and/or energy field. It can support the installation of positive beliefs/thoughts/feelings as well. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, as an effective technique for treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders. Over the years it has been expanded to successfully treat other emotional issues, including grief and loss, depression, dissociation, and addiction, among others. The technique involves identifying negative beliefs and attitudes that arise from life events, and tracking their emotional and physical effects. The eye movements directed by the clinician stimulate the right and left hemispheres of the brain to work together, thereby accessing more aspects of experience, usually with more tolerance. When one feels stuck at a particular level of experience, such as negative thoughts, sometimes progress can be stimulated by attention to another level of experience, such as emotions, sensations, other memories or counter thoughts. Similarly, positive new beliefs and ego strengths can be "installed" with EMDR. I am trained in Level I EMDR. For more information about EMDR, look at www.EMDRIA.org.


Journaling has powerful positive effects on both our physical and mental health. As memory may be linear (left brain) or cyclical and associative (right brain), journaling accesses both left brain logic and narrative and the right brain sense of emotions and unusual connections. Daily journaling as a check-in allows us regular access to our thoughts and emotions, revealing patterns and themes over time, creating a personal record of change and growth. The practice of writing helps us confront our inner critic and move beyond the urge to censure ourselves, leading to greater self-acceptance. The release of negative emotion in this manner not only decreases anxiety, improves problem solving, and encourages effective action, it can induce physical changes as well, such as improving sleep, restoring appetite, decreasing blood pressure and boosting the immune system.

Some sample journaling exercises:

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem – whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. — and voice positive affirmations.

Touch Therapy

Traditional psychotherapy does not involve touch between the therapist and client, except as a way of greeting or saying goodbye. This is an important way of keeping clear boundaries between client and therapist.

By contrast, in Somatic Psychotherapy sometimes it is helpful and necessary for an individual to be supported by touch in order to bring awareness to areas of the body and to facilitate the process of releasing the effects of traumatic experience. The human experience includes both conscious and unconscious memory, the latter of which is held in the body in the form of somatic memory. We can experience somatic memory as vague physical complaints and symptoms, and habitual patterns and reactions whose origins we can't trace. Touching an area can help us focus and sense what is going on by noticing our internal reactions, either through emotions, thoughts, or sensations.

Even with touch, appropriate and comfortable boundaries are maintained in Somatic Psychotherapy. It is only done with the client's consent and for a clear clinical purpose. If a client says he or she is not comfortable with a proposed plan, the therapist will not be offended and alternative ways will be found to get to the problem. In fact, saying "no" may be a very empowering and important part of the therapy for clients who have been abused through touch.

Touch in somatic psychotherapy is not bodywork, nor does it directly manipulate body parts or tissues. Touch can be done by the client placing his or her hand on a part of the body, or by the therapist placing his or her hands on a particular area for the same purpose. Touch in Somatic Psychotherapy is never sexual in nature. Some examples of times when touch can be helpful are:

Nutritional Balancing

Improving your skills, lifestyle habits, and ways of thinking will only get you so far if your body is working against you. Healthy nutrition not only makes you healthier, but it makes life so much easier and joyous. Life is about keeping a good balance. You are in control; you may just need to be reminded or feel supported.


In standard treatment Reiki energy flows from the practitioners hand into the client. The client is usually laying on a massage table, and the client remains fully clothed. The practitioner places her/his hands on or near the clients body in a series of hand positions. These include positions around the head and shoulders, the stomach, and feet. Each position is held for three to ten minutes depending on how much Reiki the client needs at each position. The whole treatment usually lasts between 45 and 90 minutes.

Although Reiki energy is spiritual in nature, Reiki is not a religion. Practitioners and clients are free to continue believing anything they choose. Many have said that experiencing Reiki brings them closer to their spiritual beliefs. What one experiences during a Reiki treatment varies from person to person, however, feelings of deep relaxation is usually felt by all. As the Reiki energy encourages one to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings, a state of peace and well-being is experienced. Reiki has had a positive effect on all forms of illness and negative conditions. It is complementary and will work with any other medical intervention. Common conditions that can be treated are, but not limited to the following: