Our therapists are experienced and talented providers of counseling and psychotherapy to adults, children, and teenagers. They have been trained in a variety of approaches. Some of these methods may include:
- Cognitive Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Behavior Therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Strategic Therapy
- Clinical Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
- EMDR Therapy
- Energy Psychology methods such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
Our philosophy is to not limit ourselves to any one technique, theory, or method. All of our therapists are compassionate, patient-centered, multimodal, and integrative. This means that we individualize our approach to each patient. We avoid “cookie cutter” approaches or trying to fit the patient to any one method. We adjust our methods to each patient because everyone is unique. We draw from the wide array of techniques and approaches in which we have been trained.
No one approach works with everyone. In developing a treatment plan for a patient, we integrate the therapeutic techniques that are indicated.
Essential ingredients of good therapy
A therapist’s skill in using therapeutic techniques is a necessary ingredient for good therapy. However, the therapist’s technical skills alone are not sufficient. Psychotherapy is more than using techniques. If therapy was just about techniques, then most people would get better from reading a self-help book or a psychotherapy textbook! Clearly this is not the case. This is the reason there are millions of self-help books on the market!
A good therapist is both compassionate and technically proficient.
Individual therapy is an interaction between two humans, the patient being the person coming to the therapist for professional help. If the patient does not perceive the therapist as having compassion, there is no therapy. Therefore, an essential ingredient in all psychotherapy is compassion. The therapist must have and demonstrate compassion.
The need to know “why”
Nothing happens for no reason at all in life. And human beings are complex. There are often multiple reasons why people feel and behave as they do. Because it is human nature to want to know “why”, you may search for a compelling reason from the past to explain why you are the way you are. However, without a time machine you can never know for sure what events in the past caused you to feel and act the way you do in the present. There are always multiple determinants.
Ultimately, to satisfy our need to know “why”, what we all do is make up a reason or reasons. If the reason(s) we make up feel like they fit, then we adopt those reasons as our reality. The problem is that the reasons we make up do not necessarily help us change or get better. Good therapy is about making up reasons that not only feel right, but also help us make necessary changes so that we can get better, feel better and function better.
The human condition
As fallible human beings, we are all similar and different from one another. We all have needs. We all seek acceptance and recognition in one form or another. We all need to feel safe however that is defined. We all have core values which guide or misguide our behavior.
Good individual therapy is about helping you, the patient, understand what your needs are, and find or develop the skills to get your needs met. Good therapy is about helping you identify realistic and healthy ways to get the acceptance and recognition that you seek. Good therapy is about helping you establish realistic safety in your life however that is defined. And good therapy is about helping you identify your core values and commit to behaving in ways that are consistent with your core values.
What we treat
We specialize in providing psychotherapy for problems of generalized anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, depression, chronic pain, bipolar disorder, self-defeating behaviors, attention deficit disorder, addictions, sexual dysfunction, sexual orientation, trauma and PTSD, grief, loss, job and career transitions, life changes, and parent-child issues.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT
Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT is a popular and practical modern approach to counseling and psychotherapy that focuses on changing self-defeating ways of thinking and behaving. The basic assumption of this therapy approach is that underlying every feeling is a thought. Therefore, to change the way you feel, you need to pinpoint the associated thought or thoughts and change them.
CBT is generally a time-limited or short-term structured form of psychotherapy that emphasizes a collaborative partnership between the client and the therapist. In more traditional forms of psychotherapy based on the Freudian psychoanalytic approach, the therapist mostly listens and takes notes. In CBT, the therapist is more active and engaged and when appropriate, gives advice. The CBT therapist is a teacher and instructs the client in new more effective coping skills. CBT is considered a psycho-educational approach. Therefore, the client is also expected to be active and engaged for CBT to be effective. CBT therapists encourage and expect the client to do homework and keep written records.
Clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy
So much of what we do every day is controlled by our subconscious or unconscious mind. This is the reason that clinical hypnosis is a useful therapeutic tool. Clinical hypnosis provides a focusing mechanism and a doorway to the subconscious mind. But hypnosis by itself is not a complete therapy. Our therapists employ cognitive, emotionally focused, and behavioral techniques to address the self-defeating thinking and feeling patterns you need to change to get well.
Not everyone needs long-term therapy. Frequently short-term or brief therapy is indicated to understand and resolve pressing problems. Short-Term or Brief Psychotherapy generally runs anywhere between two sessions and a dozen sessions.
The therapy contract
Good therapy entails putting together a verbal and sometimes a written contract or working agreement between the therapist, and you, the patient. This is done at the outset of therapy and it is periodically reviewed and as necessary reformulated throughout the course of treatment.
Often, patients enter therapy with established core beliefs that tend to be expressed as absolutes. Frequently, the events they describe are verbalized as ALWAYS happening. Patients then become trapped in specific negative behavior patterns because of those beliefs. The beliefs are usually not true or valid. This is what causes trouble.
In our counseling and psychotherapy practice, our therapists will gently help you to challenge your established belief systems so that the possibility of change can occur. It is your therapist’s responsibility to assist you in changing beliefs that no longer serve you well – beliefs that make you feel trapped and helpless.
At the beginning of therapy, we will work on understanding you and formulating a conceptual framework for understanding your presenting problems and symptoms. We believe in fully informed consent and thus, want you, our patient, to understand your therapist’s explanations and rationale for proposing the use of one intervention technique versus another.
Your therapist’s goal will be to help you create positive change in the shortest amount of time, to save you time and money, and to help you feel better as soon as possible.
Online therapy sessions
Nowadays, in the age of COVID, in addition to sessions in person in the office, we are also doing therapy sessions online for everyone’s safety. So, as long as you have a computer or an iPad, you can see your therapist from anywhere or in the comfort of your home or office!