EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
This is an approach that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. EMDR therapy is also effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and the myriad of problems that bring them in for therapy.
Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used as a client holds different aspects of a distrubing event, or thought, in mind. As this happens, for reasons believed to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the client will begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings.
This therapy is reccommended by the American Psychiatric Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Additionally, Veterans Affairs, the Pentagon, UK Department of Health, and other agencies also recommend this approach to therapy.
Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)
This approach shares similarities with the narrative approach, but really focuses on the use of solution focused questioning in an attempt to help the client recognize the resources they have. It is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems that brought clients to seek therapy. The SFBT approach assumes that all clients have some knowledge of what would make their life better, and that everyone who seeks help already possesses at least the minimal skills necessary to create solutions.
This approach to therapy attempts to maintain a non-blaming, respectful approach which places people as the experts in their own lives. It assumes people have valuable knowledge, skills, beliefs, values, etc., which can assist them to navigate difficult issues. This approach also views problems separate from people. The problem is the problem, as opposed to the person is the problem.People are meaning-making machines, and our brains are finding patterns and creating meaning every moment of our lives! This meaning making often takes the form of a personal narrative or story and can be both positive or problematic.Problem saturated narratives do not serve us well, can cause us emotional pain, and influence our decisions and behaviors. This approach allows us to explore and unpack how a story may have formed, how it is currently playing out, and discover where exceptions to the story exist. Exceptions are experiences which contradict the problems power and prominence. When we can identify exceptions we identify alternative and preferable narratives which is key to creating a narrative that is supportive.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
As the name suggests, CBT focuses on the way people think ("cognitive") and act ("behavioural"). The concept behind CBT is that our thoughts about a situation affect how we feel (emotionally and physically) and how we behave in that situation. People give meaning to events that are happening around us all the time; however, we often don’t realize that two people can give two very different meanings to the same event.
Principals of Gottman Couples Therapy
I originally grew up in British Columbia, in a small valley town of Princeton. Here I spent my days with friends and family swimming in the rivers, camping, hiking, riding dirtbikes and enjoying life. At 18 I moved to the Lower Mainland and attended college. I had two interests, one in fine arts and graphic design and the other in psychology. Fine arts won out, and after graduating the graphic design and communications program I spent years as a graphic designer, web designer, and sign maker.