Informed by an understanding that different interventions work for different people and presenting problems, I diversified my training and experience to include both short and long term as well as cognitive-based and emotion-focused therapies. I am competent in the following treatment modalities.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is described by its developer, Dr. Marsha Linehan, as a cognitive behavioural treatment based on dialectical and biopsychosocial theories of psychological functioning. These theoretical orientations analyze the individual aspects (a behaviour) of a system or interaction in relation to other parts of that system (context, environment, other behaviours) and the larger whole (culture).
More specifically, DBT aims to change behavioural, emotional, cognitive and interpersonal patterns that interfere with individuals having the lives they desire. It is comprised of 4 modules: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance.
I participated in a training program facilitated by Dr. Marsha Linehan and have almost a decade of experience providing group and individual DBT.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) evolved from philosophy, psychology and science. CBT was influenced by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. Dr. Albert Ellis, one of the early pioneers blending behavioural and cognitive sciences, credits Dr. Alfred Adler as being an influential precursor to modern CBT. I earned my Master’s and completed 3 years of Doctoral training at Adler University, where I was fortunate to receive in depth instruction in cognitive-behavioural treatments.
CBT is short-term, goal-oriented treatment that promotes objectivity and flexibility in thinking. Rather than treating thoughts and beliefs as fact or truth, CBT fosters an understanding of these as having been shaped by our experiences, culture, etc. CBT encourages examination of beliefs and evaluation of whether or not these are serving to promote health and/or are relevant to current circumstances. Becoming aware of how thoughts influence feelings and behaviours not only increases insight, it often also leads to different emotional and behavioural outcomes.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCBT) was developed by Drs. Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale, and is based on Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program. MBCBT combines the principles of CBT with meditative practices including yoga and mindfulness meditation. I am fortunate to have participated in mindfulness training with Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Marsha Linehan, Daniel Siegel, and Neil Bockian. I have had a personal daily meditation practice for the last 25 years.
Emotion Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson as a structured, attachment informed approach to couple therapy. This goal oriented treatment aims to enhance understanding, expand and/or re-organize emotional responses, create lasting changes in interactional patterns by introducing new ways of communicating and connecting, and to foster the creation of a secure attachment bond between couples. I completed a course in EFT with Dr. Sue Johnson as part of my couple therapy training.
Exposure Therapy and Response Prevention (ERP) is a form of behaviour therapy (often used in conjunction with medication/CBT) to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other repetitive behaviours. Exposure involves imagined (covert) or direct (in vivo) controlled exposure to anxiety-provoking stimuli. The response prevention piece encompasses training in resisting the compulsion (usually a behavioural response such as hand washing). The goal of ERP is to reduce the anxiety stemming from the provoking stimulus without engaging in the compulsive behaviour typically used to neutralize that anxious response.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is an insight-oriented therapy that emphasizes intrapsychic and unconscious conflicts related to psychosocial development. Drawing on psychoanalytic, ego, and self-psychology theories, I guide individuals through analyses of emotions, thoughts, early life experiences, and beliefs to gain insight into their current problems. Learning to identify defense mechanisms and recognize recurring patterns can help individuals to develop new ways of coping and to change maladaptive patterns of behaviour and/or interactions.