Therapeutic Approaches


Therapeutic Approaches


ACT is focused on helping individuals build enriched and meaningful lives by identifying personal values and choosing to take actions that are consistent with one's values. ACT uses several approaches including mindfulness to help to work with your suffering in new and more effective ways. It focuses on working with rather than fighting against painful feelings and thoughts, and views the struggle for control as a key barrier to moving forward in your life. 


Mindfulness in psychotherapy is based upon the idea that our automatic responses to suffering often involve overthinking and feeling swallowed by distress - or alternatively, distracting and distancing ourselves from our thoughts and feelings. Practicing mindfulness (a skill and way of being that can be learned!) helps individuals to learn to become aware of these patterns, and enables us to find a way to be with our thoughts and feelings in more constructive and compassionate ways. It is arguably inherent in every therapeutic modality, but also stands on its own as an approach.


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CBT starts with the premise that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected and influence each other. CBT generally involves identifying and changing unhelpful ways of thinking and/or changing behaviors that are related to your distress and struggles. I find it to be less focused on working directly with emotions. 


Brief Dynamic Therapy focuses on relationships as the foundation from which we experiences ourselves, our struggles, and the world. This approach centers around how the ingrained ways we perceive and act around others is connected to our struggles. Below are some common approaches regarding how we relate to others when going through difficult times and also, how we interact when inevitable challenges arise in our relationships:


  • Moving Towards - Collaborative, connected, open --> Tends to foster healthy closeness. 

  • Moving Against - Critical, argumentative --> Tends to push others away. 

  • Moving Away - Withdrawing, not sharing thoughts and feelings with others --> Tends to keep others at a distance. 

  • Moving Into – Holding others too tightly, difficulty giving others space, difficulty recognizing the boundary between one's self and others --> Tends to push others away. 


If you find that your common ways of interacting with others does not seem to be getting you what you want or need, this therapy can help you practice different ways to be with and interact with others so that you can experience healthier, more connected relationships, and improve other areas of struggle as well.


Exposure Therapy in its purest form helps people struggling with anxiety, panic, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  You remain in the driver's seat at all times as we work to help you slowly approach what is distressing or anxiety-provoking. We will discuss the ways your fears are getting in the way of leading the life you want and come up with strategies to help you move forward. Arguably, the philosophy of Exposure Therapy, that is, approaching what is uncomfortable, scary, and/or difficult, is in nearly every therapeutic approach. 


DBT offers concrete, practical coping tools to help you manage when pain feels intense and overwhelming. DBT also has a wonderful set of tools dedicated to increasing your effectiveness in relationships in both personal and professional realms. I use DBT as an adjunct to other approaches. I do not use DBT as a stand-alone treatment but can provide recommendations for clinicians who do.


I have found 'parts of self' work to be immensely powerful and helpful. As such, I am learning more about Internal Family Systems. I am engaging in trainings on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and am working to incorporate this valuable trauma-based approach into my practice. I appreciate the focus on the full self (body, emotions, mind) in the moment, and the identification and accessing of body-based resources. I have recently learned about Liberation Psychology and appreciate its emphasis on decolonizing psychology and its approaches, acknowledging oppressive environments, and focusing on action tied to liberation (change) versus simply amelioration (acceptance of status quo).