Counseling Approaches - Term Definitions
Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Therapy - AEDP is a transformation-based, healing-oriented model of therapy. Developed by Dr. Diana Fosha, AEDP has roots in attachment theory, affective neuroscience, body-focused approaches, and transformational studies. AEDP practitioners strive to foster the emergence of new and healing experiences through the in-depth processing of difficult emotional and relational experiences.
A cognitive–behavioral model of psychotherapy.It is an empirically based psychological intervention. It uses a combination of mindfulness and commitment based counseling techniques coupled with behavior changes.
Counseling focused on addressing and reducing symptoms related to addictions, while addressing the root causes of the addiction, and replacing it with healthy habits. Addiction is a recognized disease that affects the brain and its neurochemistry. The cycle of addiction is created by changes in brain chemistry and perpetuated by physiological, psychological, and emotional dependency. Addiction and recovery counseling focuses on interrupting the destructive cycle of seeking, using, recovering, and seeking again. In short interrupting the addiction cycle, and replacing it with healthy habits.
A variation of psychoanalysis that focuses on physical security, sexual satisfaction, and social connectedness.
A type of counseling that involves animals, typically pets, as a part of the counseling. The power of the relationship between animals and people is undeniable. It’s a natural step to bring animals to help people.
Art therapy, sometimes called creative arts therapy or expressive arts therapy, encourages people to express and understand emotions through artistic expression and through the creative process. Art therapy provides the client-artist with critical insight into emotions, thoughts, and feelings.
Attachment-based psychotherapy focuses one’s ability to experience and regulate emotions in a healthy way. Usually this approach is best for people who have experienced a significant emotional trauma resulting in an impairment in their ability to experience emotions in a healthy way. Attachment-based psychotherapy provides a framework that both allows desire and conflict to come forward and maintain a sense of emotional safety and stability as these traumatic emotions are processed in the therapeutic setting.
Bibliotherapy - Using books selected for their therapeutic content, in a planned reading program or as an adjunct to traditional talk therapy designed to facilitate relief from symptoms the client is experiencing. Ideally, bibliotherapy occurs in three distinct phases: first the client works to identify with a particular character in the recommended reading, which leads to the client having a cathartic experience. Finally, through discussion of the relevant passages, coupled with guidance from the therapist, the client realizes the solution suggested in the text as it relates to the reader's own experience.
Counseling provided by a therapist fluent in two or more languages.
Biofeedback, or applied psychophysiological feedback, is a patient-guided treatment that teaches an individual to control muscle tension, pain, body temperature, brain waves, and other bodily functions and processes through relaxation, visualization, and other cognitive control techniques. Biofeedback has been used to successfully treat a number of disorders and their symptoms, including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Raynaud's syndrome, epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), migraine headaches, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injury, and sleep related issues.
Bioenergetic Analysis is an experimental form of psychotherapy, based on the work of Alexander Lowen. The focus of Bioenergetic Analysis is to release chronic muscular tensions, manage emotions, while expanding your capacity for intimacy, and exploring new and more fulfilling ways of relating to others. There is a particular focus on the confluence of tenderness, aggression, and assertion as they relate to sexuality. The therapeutic relationship provides a place of emotional safety within which healing process can begin.
Bioenergetics is a form of psychodynamic psychotherapy that combines work with the body and mind to help people resolve their emotional problems and realize more of their potential for pleasure and joy in living.
Bioenergetics psychotherapists believe that there is a correlation between the mind and the body. What affects the body affects the mind, and what affects the mind affects the body. The psychological defenses one uses to handle the pain and stress of life are also anchored in the body. They appear in the body as unique muscular patterns that inhibit self-expression. These patterns can be identified and understood by bioenergetics psychotherapists who know how to look at the structure, movement, and breathing patterns in a person’s body.
Brainspotting - This is a psychotherapeutic approach designed to treat emotional trauma, body pain related to emotional trauma, and or traumatic memories. The main premise of this approach is that different areas in the visual field correspond to different parts of the brain, or brain spots. These brain spots are accessed, by the experienced brain spotting practitioner via the visual system. These brain spots are theorized to be an actual physiological subsystem of the brain that holds emotional experiences as memories. These subsystems are further theorized to be connected to the body’s autonomic, and limbic system within the body’s central nervous system. Brain spotting is theorized to access these systems and activate the body’s inherent capacity to heal itself.
A career counselor is a professional who assists people with career and life issues. Career counselors work with clients to teach them strategies on how to successfully find new or different employment. Career counseling assists clients to develop strategies and skills in exploring career options, identifying jobs, applying for jobs, networking, interviewing, resume and cover letter development, and creating a balance between work and a personal life.
A counseling speciality specifically for children & adolescents. Counseling provides an opportunity to talk confidentially with a counselor about personal concerns and to facilitate personal growth. The counselor and client work together to define and discuss personal issues and to reach mutually agreed upon goals. Addressing a range of issues such as: Depression, anxiety (panic attacks, test anxiety, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders), eating disorders, relationship difficulties, family conflict, grief and loss, self esteem, sexuality, substance abuse, sexual assault/trauma, anger management.
Christian counseling draws upon recognized psychotherapeutic techniques and Christian teachings.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a counseling approach that aims to teach the person new skills on how to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure.
Cognitive therapy addresses depression and other emotional challenges, by identifying troubled thinking, behavior, and emotional responses.
Coherence Therapy is a constructivist approach. Constructivism holds that each person actively forms or assembles the experiential reality that he or she inhabits and takes as independent, real and self-evident. Most of this is done unconsciously. Thus, symptoms are seen not as pathology, but as an outcome of the individual’s current constructions of reality.
A construct is defined simply as any internal representation of any aspect of self or the world
Core Energetics is a method of therapy that strives to achieve transformation through self-discovery. Developed by John C. Pierrakos, this technique differs from traditional talk therapy in that it engages the body’s energy source through physical activity including kicking, hitting, muscle flexing, extreme posturing, vocalizations and expressions, and joins these outlets to statements. By doing so, the client is provided with a cohesive conversation between body and mind. Core Energetics allows a client to deeply feel his emotions and conflicting feelings, and often times the client discovers the sensations of true healing more rapidly than with traditional talk therapy by itself. Core Energetics can be difficult, but it inspires creativity, surprise, excitement and uniqueness and offers immense physical and emotional healing.
These are counseling sessions that range in length from a half day to several days. They tend to be very focused and designed to bring about changes quickly.
Dance/movement therapy, or dance therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance for emotional, cognitive, social, behavioral and physical conditions. As a form of expressive therapy, DMT is founded on the basis that movement and emotion are directly related. The ultimate purpose of DMT is to find a healthy balance and sense of wholeness. Dance/movement therapists have unique embodied knowledge of the power of dance to communicate, connect, empower and heal.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) treatment is a cognitive-behavioral approach that emphasizes the interrelation of social factors and individuals thought and behavior. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those found in romantic, family and friend relationships.
The Diamond Approach® is a psycho-spiritual teaching about true nature and how to connect with it. With the utilization of object-relations theory and depth psychology, the Diamond Approach® effectively addresses true nature’s relationship to the personality structures.
Discernment counseling is an approach to counseling focused on assisting couples to examine all of their options before making a decision about divorce. This approach is appropriate for couples where one partner wants to work on and improve the relationship and the other is “leaning” towards a dissolution of the relationship. Discernment counseling differs from traditional marriage counseling in three ways: 1) The focus is on whether or not the problems in the marriage can be resolved, as opposed to working to solve the problems. 2) The therapist meets mostly 1x1 with each individual as opposed to meeting as a couple, with the focus being on each individuals “agenda” for the counseling process. It is only towards the end of the process that the therapist and couple meet as a group to discuss where the relationship is going. 3) Discernment counseling is a “brief therapy”, usually lasting from 4-6 sessions.
Psychotherapy for dissociative disorders often involves several different techniques, such as art therapy, Cognitive therapy, and or hypnotherapy, that assist in remembering and working through the trauma that triggered the dissociative symptoms.
Divorce mediation is about you and your soon to be ex-spouse deciding what is best for the both of you and most importantly, your children. In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, the mediator, and with their help, you work through the issues you need to be resolved so the two of you can end your marriage as amicably and cost effectively as possible.
Dream analysis therapy allows you to explore the relationships between the images and themes of your dreams and how they relate to situations you are dealing with in your life at the present moment. When taken in the larger context of your past life and times that you had the same emotional experience, you can often relate those previous situations to your current one and explore any possible associations.
Eidetic Image Therapy - Eidetic Image Therapy is a psychotherapy based on the idea that our brains store life events as eidetic images. These images are vivid and lively pictures in our minds, that reproduce important events in our lives with exact detail. The eidetic image, enables us to re-experience any life event, with all of the emotional and physical sensations associated with it, allowing the therapist and client to access the meaning or significance of that event. It is a fast moving, positive therapy that gets to problem areas quickly and promotes insight and personal growth.
Each eidetic is thought of a as “record” that is retrieved and thoroughly examined. Unresolved issues are revealed and their underlying causes are identified. From this enhanced perspective, emotional difficulties are viewed with greater insight, and the solutions to long-standing problems become clear, enhancing emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy in which the patient recalls a traumatic event while simultaneously undergoing bilateral stimulation that can consist of moving the eyes from side to side, vibrations or tapping movements on different sides of the body, or tones delivered through one ear, then the other, via headphones. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reducing their lingering influence and allowing clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms.
Emotionally focused therapy focuses people’s struggle to manage emotions and teaches how to use them constructively. The therapist assists in the identification, exploration, and transformation of emotional experiences. Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples provides a well researched road map for helping couples grow closer and resolve relational problems. The model is based on the science of emotions, attachment theory, humanistic psychology and family systems theory. EFT helps couples move from distress in their relationship to a safer, more fulfilling relationship.
Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) is the practice of using horses for emotional growth. Participants in therapy use feelings, behaviors, and patterns to better understand the horse and themselves. The field of using horses for therapy is new and growing rapidly. It has been proven to be very effective in building confidence, improving communication and giving personal insights to participants involved with equine assisted therapy.
Executive Coaching is a facilitative one-to-one, mutually designed relationship between a professional coach and a key contributor who has a powerful position in the organization…The coaching is contracted for the benefit of a client who is accountable for highly complex decisions with wide scope of impact on the organization and industry as a whole. The focus of the coaching is usually focused on organizational performance or development, but it may also serve a personal component as well
Existential psychotherapy is a philosophical method of therapy that operates on the belief that emotional and intellectual conflict is due to that individual's confrontation with the ‘givens’ of existence. Existential psychotherapy is an optimistic approach in that it embraces human potential, while remaining realistic by emphasizing a recognition of the intrinsic limitations of being human. Following in the tradition of the in-depth psychotherapies, existential therapy has much in common with psychodynamic, humanistic, experiential, and relational approaches to psychotherapy.
Works with families and couples as a whole system, to nurture change and development. It tends to focus on change in terms of the interactions between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.
Works with families and couples as a whole system, to nurture change and development. It tends to focus on change in terms of the interactions between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.
Financial coaching uses a wide variety of therapeutic and financial techniques, coupled with professional counseling that focuses on helping clients overcome their struggles to attain specific financial goals and aspirations they have set for themselves.
Forensic Psychology involves applying psychology to the field of criminal investigation and the law. An important aspect of forensic psychology is the ability to testify in court, reformulating psychological findings into the legal language of the courtroom, providing information to legal personnel in a way that can be understood, and used in the legal forum.
Freudian psychoanalysis uses several techniques including free associations, exploration of fantasies, and dreams to explore the reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that are outside of our conscious awareness. According to Freud, the unconscious mind influences our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of influences. The unconscious mind is thought to contain unacceptable or unpleasant feelings and experiences, that are the source of distress. The process of making these subconscious experiences conscious, with the assistance of the analysis, is the basis of the therapy.
Gestalt therapy is an existential/experiential form of counseling that emphasizes personal responsibility, and focuses experiences in the present moment, relationships, including the therapist-client relationship, and the self-regulating adjustments made as a result of the overall situation.
The Gottman method - This an approach to marriage and couples counseling that centers on 9 relationship specific tasks or skills. These areas of focus are: love maps, commitment, mutual fondness and admiration, trust, being responsive to each other's needs, creating and having shared meaning in your relationship, positive approach to problem solving, making life dreams come true, and having a positive perspective. These 9 areas of focus are designed to restore marital harmony.
Group therapy is a type of counseling that involves one or more therapists working with 6-10 people at the same time. Group therapy is sometimes used alone, but it is also commonly integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes individual therapy.
Guardians are adults who are legally responsible for protecting the well-being and interests of their ward, who is usually a minor. A guardian ad litem is a unique type of guardian in a relationship that has been created by a court order only for the duration of a legal action. Courts appoint these special representatives for infants, minors, and mentally incompetent persons, all of whom generally need help protecting their rights in court. Such court-appointed guardians figure in divorces, child neglect and abuse cases, paternity suits, contested inheritances, and so forth, and are usually attorneys.
This counseling technique involves the systematic practice of creating a detailed mental image of an attractive and peaceful setting or environment. Guided imagery is frequently paired with physical relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation. When guided imagery is paired with physical relaxation techniques, the aim is to associate the sensations of relaxation with the peaceful visual image, so that future practice sessions involving imagery alone will quickly bring back to mind the physical sensations of relaxation.
Hakomi helps people change what is referred to as “core material.” Core material is composed of memories, images, beliefs, neural patterns and deeply held emotional dispositions. It shapes the styles, habits, behaviors, perceptions and attitudes that define us as individuals. Typically, it exerts its influence unconsciously, by organizing our responses to the major themes of life: safety, belonging, support, power, freedom, control, responsibility, love, appreciation, sexuality, spirituality, etc. Some of this material supports our being who we wish to be, while some of it, learned in response to acute and chronic stress, continues to limit us. Hakomi allows the client to distinguish between the two, and to willingly change material that restricts his or her wholeness.
Heart Assisted Therapy® (HAT) is a counseling approach that incorporates a mindful whole of the individual’s cognitions, emotions, and sensory experiences using an integrative and self-nurturing protocol. HAT is a clinical mind-body and science-based approach that is client-centered and client-directed in keeping with the wisdom of psychologist, Carl Rogers and psychiatrist, Milton Erickson. The influence of the heart, heart energy, respiration, and the body’s innate electro-magnetic physiology relative to experience, memory, emotion, and sensation are subtle yet integral components built into the HAT protocol to foster the change process. The HAT model of psychotherapy is gentle but can be deceptively intense as treatment gets “to the heart of the matter” quickly while promoting healing shifts.
Human givens psychotherapy, is a humanistic approach to psychotherapy. This approach to psychotherapy was developed by William Glasser, with significant contributions by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell. The main premise of Human givens psychotherapy is that fulfillment of people's needs for control, power, achievement and intimacy depends on their ability to behave responsibly and conscientiously. This theory postulates that all manner of human suffering stems from these needs not being met. Their central tenants are, to having meaning and purpose, a sense of volition and control, being needed by others, having intimate connections and wider social connections, status, appropriate giving and receiving of attention etc, are crucial for mental health and well-being.
This approach to counseling sees human beings as having an innate tendency to develop towards their full potential. But this is inevitably blocked or distorted by our life experiences, in particular those who tell us we are only loved or valued if we behave in certain ways and not others, or have certain feelings and not others. As a result, because we have a deep need to feel valued, we tend to distort or deny to our awareness those of our inner experiences that we believe will not be acceptable. The counselor or therapist in this approach aims to provide an environment in which the client does not feel under threat or judgement. This enables the client to experience and accept more of who they are as a person, and reconnect with their own values and sense of self-worth. This reconnection with their inner resources enables them to find their own way to move forward.
Hypnosis -- or hypnotherapy -- uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person's attention is so focused while in this state that anything going on around the person is temporarily blocked out or ignored. In this naturally occurring state, a person may focus his or her attention -- with the help of a trained therapist -- on specific thoughts or tasks.
Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) - Imagery rehearsal treatment (IRT) is a cognitive-behavioral intervention focusing on nightmare alleviation.
Imago Relationship Therapy is a form of marriage counseling that takes a relationship approach rather than an individual approach to problem solving in a marriage. Imago means " 'the inner unconscious image of the opposite sex' or what you're looking for in a partner but aren't aware of. Imago therapy helps people to understand these unconscious factors (the Imago) in their selection of each other. It reveals the emotional dynamics that are being replayed from childhood, and it teaches couples how to relate to each other, and themselves, in a more nurturing, loving way. Hendrix memorialized imago therapy in his 1988 book, Getting the Love You Want, A Guide for Couples.
Individual counseling is an opportunity to talk confidentially with a counselor about personal concerns and to facilitate personal growth. The counselor and client work together to define and discuss personal issues and to reach mutually agreed upon goals. Addressing a range of issues such as: Depression, anxiety (panic attacks, test anxiety, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders), eating disorders, relationship difficulties, family conflict, grief and loss, self esteem, sexuality, substance abuse, sexual assault/trauma, anger management.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, this approach is based on the premise that people's subpersonalities interact and change in many of the same ways that families or other human groups do. The model provides a usable map of this intrapsychic territory and explicates its parallels with family interactions. The IFS model can be used to illuminate how and why parts of a person polarize with one another, creating paralyzing inner alliances that resemble the destructive coalitions found in dysfunctional families. It can also be utilized to tap core resources within people.
In practice, interpersonal counseling is a method where counselors adhere fairly strictly to a playbook of options. They keep focus on the interpersonal aspects of the individual's life and do not diverge from them. IPT is also fairly rigid in its application, and it automatically discards things like major personality issues. It is meant to be a short therapy. It also employs some cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.
Jungian analysis is a specialized form of psychotherapy in which the Jungian analyst and patient work together to increase the patient’s consciousness in order to move toward psychological balance and wholeness, and to bring relief and meaning to psychological suffering. The process can treat a broad range of emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety, and it can also assist anyone who wishes to pursue psychological growth. At the heart of Jungian analysis is a realignment of conscious and unconscious aspects of the personality with an ensuing creation of new values and purpose.
Life Coaching is a service that is profoundly different from therapy, or counseling. The coaching process is a present and future focused process. It addresses specific personal projects, business successes, general conditions and transitions in the client's personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make your life be what you want it to be.
Logosynthesis Therapy - Is an energy centric form of psychotherapy. In Logosynthesis it is believed that suffering is a product of a lack of a awareness of our essence, and of our creative tasks in the world. This lack of awareness results in pieces of our essence being dissociated, and then combining with introjects to form rigid energy structures that are the focus of the therapy. Through Logosynthesis the power of words themselves are able to dissolve these rigid energy structures allowing them to be reclaimed by the living self.
Logotherapy/Existential Analysis (LTEA) - Logotherapy / Existential Analysis (LTEA) focuses on the search for a meaning in life. Which it identifies as the primary motivational force for individuals. This theraputic philosphy focuses on three aspects of human nature, 1) Freedom of will - According to LTEA humans basically free to decide and capable of taking action in two distinct areas, internal or psychological, and external the widerworld at large, referring to both environmental and social areas of life. 2) Will to meaning - People are free to exercise their will, and most importantly free use their will, to achieve their individual and or collective goals. 3) Meaning in life - LTEA is based on the idea that meaning is an objective reality, as opposed to a mere illusion arising within the perceptional apparatus of the observer.
Major mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.
Marriage counseling is a type of therapy for a married couple or established couple that assists in resolving problems in the relationship. Typically, two people attend counseling sessions together to discuss specific issues. Marriage counseling helps couples learn to deal more effectively with problems, and can help prevent problems from becoming more serious. Research shows that marriage counseling, when effective, tends to improve a person's physical as well as mental health, in addition to improving the relationship.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them.
‘Mindfulness’ is a common translation of a term from Buddhist psychology that means ‘awareness’ or ‘bare attention’. It is frequently used to refer to a way of paying attention that is sensitive, accepting and independent of any thoughts that may be present. Mindfulness is the antithesis of mental habits in which the mind is on ‘automatic pilot’ where, most experiences pass by completely unrecognized. Mindfulness therapy encourages clients to focus on their breathing and their body, in order to notice but not judge their thoughts and to generally live in the moment.
Music therapy is an allied health profession and one of the expressive therapies, consisting of an interpersonal process in which a trained music therapist uses music and all of its facets—physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual—to help clients to improve or maintain their health. Music therapists primarily help clients improve their health across various domains (e.g., cognitive functioning, motor skills, emotional and affective development, behavior and social skills, and quality of life) by using music experiences (e.g., free improvisation, singing, songwriting, listening to and discussing music, moving to music) to achieve treatment goals and objectives. It is considered both an art and a science, with a qualitative and quantitative research literature base incorporating areas such as clinical therapy, biomusicology, musical acoustics, music theory, psychoacoustics, embodied music cognition, aesthetics of music, and comparative musicology.
Narrative therapy is a collaborative approach to counseling. It focuses on the stories of the client’s life and is based on the idea that problems are manufactured in social, cultural and political contexts. Each person produces the meaning of their life from the stories, or narratives that are available in these contexts.
Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. It is a kind of biofeedback for the brain, which practitioners say can address a host of issues — among them ADHD,autism spectrum disorders, depression and anxiety — by allowing patients to alter their own brain waves through practice and repetition.
NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes).
Object relations therapy - Object relations therapy uses the patient therapist relationship as the focal point of the process of healing. The patient and therapist join together to examine the patients internal world, exploring the effects of early childhood memories and experiences. The focus of therapy is the early childhood relationships with important caretakers in the patient's life. In object relations therapy each memory is considered to be an "object" that relates to early childhood memories. It is theorized that these memories shape our personality and influence aspects of the patient's life. Through exploration of these memories and their interrelationship to the present, insight is gained and the process of healing is facilitated.
Online counseling or e-therapy is a new way to ‘see’ a therapist. Busy schedules, difficulty with traveling to the therapist’s office, fear of going out in public, privacy concerns and 24 hour availability are only a few of the reasons given for choosing the e-therapy service. E-therapy is not a universal substitute for face-to-face psychotherapy. Rather, it is an alternative therapeutic process that can help some people with some types of issues.
Also known as client-centered, non-directive, or Rogerian therapy, it is an approach to counseling and psychotherapy that places much of the responsibility for the treatment process on the client, with the therapist taking a non-directive role. Two primary goals of person-centered therapy are increased self-esteem and greater openness to experience. Some of the related changes that this form of therapy seeks to foster in clients include closer agreement between the client's idealized and actual selves; better self-understanding; lower levels of defensiveness, guilt, and insecurity; more positive and comfortable relationships with others; and an increased capacity to experience and express feelings at the moment they occur.
Play therapy is a form of counseling (or therapy) by which licensed mental health professionals use play-based models and techniques to better communicate with and help clients, especially children, achieve optimal mental health.
What does premarital counseling look like? It is as varying and unique as the personality and background of the therapist. Finding someone that you can trust, and who honors your unique situation, is essential. All too many couples get caught up in spending time planning their weddings without developing a plan for their marriage. The early stages of a relationship, when the feelings you have for your partner are usually positive, is the ideal time to become more conscious and intentional in the ways you interact and work together. Counseling can give you insights into where your particular relationship dynamics might be heading in the wrong direction. There is an educational aspect to pre-marital counseling as well, so that you can learn better communication skills and learn how to negotiate conflict so that you can resolve your differences in a way that actually strengthens your connection.
Psychoanalytic therapy looks at how the unconscious mind influences thoughts and behaviors. Psychoanalysis frequently involves looking at early childhood experiences in order to discover how these events might have shaped the individual and how they contribute to current actions. People undergoing psychoanalytic therapy often meet with their therapist at least once a week and may remain in therapy for a number of weeks, months or years.
Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT) - This is a fusion of several approaches to hum an behavior as it pertains to psychotherapy. PACT therapy is a fusion of attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation. Attachment theory, postulates that early childhood relationships directly effect the ways in which we conduct ourselves in our adult relationships. Developmental neuroscience postulates that our brains are hard wired to both seek safety and relationships, which can a source of internal relationship conflict. Lastly arousal regulation, meaning the moment-to-moment ability to manage one’s energy, alertness, and readiness to engage. PACT therapists use elements of all three of these theories, it has a reputation for effectively treating the most challenging couples. This approach was developed by Dr. Stan Tatkin.
Psychodrama is a therapeutic discipline which uses action methods, sociometry, role training, and group dynamics to facilitate constructive change in the lives of participants. By closely approximating life situations in a structured environment, the participant is able to recreate and enact scenes in a way which allows both insight and an opportunity to practice new life skills.
Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.
A psychological test is an objective and standardized measure of an individual's mental and/or behavioral characteristics. Psychological tests are typically, but not necessarily, a series of tasks or problems that the respondent has to solve. Psychological assessment is similar to psychological testing but usually involves a more comprehensive assessment of the individual. Psychological assessment is a process that involves checking the integration of information from multiple sources, such as tests of normal and abnormal personality, tests of ability or intelligence, tests of interests or attitudes, as well as information from personal interviews. Collateral information is also collected about personal, occupational, or medical history, such as from records or from interviews with parents, spouses, teachers, or previous therapists or physicians.
Psychosynthesis is an approach to human development initiated by Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974) beginning around 1910 and continuing to the present day. It is both a theory and practice where the focus is to achieve a synthesis, a coming together of the various parts of an individual's personality into a more cohesive self. That person can then function in a way that is more life-affirming and authentic. Another major aspect of psychosynthesis is its affirmation of the spiritual dimension of the person, i.e. the "higher", "deeper", or "transpersonal" self. This higher self is seen as a source of wisdom, inspiration, unconditional love, and the will to meaning in our lives.
Rapid Resolution Therapy® (RRT) is an immediately effective, revolutionary and holistic psychotherapeutic approach to healing and positive behavioral change. Dr. Connelly’s Rapid Resolution Therapy eliminates the negative emotional or behavioral influence of traumatic events, whether these experiences are remembered, repressed or forgotten. It is not necessary to relive past events or experience any pain. The mind is cleared, organized and optimized. There are dramatic improvements in thoughts, feelings and behavior. Unconscious conflicts blocking desired change are pinpointed and resolved. As the root cause of problems is cleared, positive change endures.
Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) - Previously called rational therapy and rational emotive therapy, is a comprehensive, active-directive, philosophically and empirically based psychotherapy which focuses on resolving emotional and behavioral problems and disturbances and enabling people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
RET is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The primary focus of this treatment approach is to suggest changes in thinking that will lead to changes in behavior, thereby alleviating or improving presenting symptoms. The therapy emphasizes changing irrational thinking patterns that cause emotional distress into thoughts that are more reasonable and rational.
Reichian therapy is the name given to a type of therapy developed by Wilhem Reich, often also referred to as Orgone Therapy, Orgonomy Therapy, or Orgonomy. Reichian therapy basically holds that our capacity to experience joy and fully-realized lives is constricted by walls and armor we put up to protect us from the world. Reichian therapy looks at the attitudes patients use to close themselves off, and helps the patient analyze them and eventually break them down, in order to live more expressive, open lives.
Relational therapy is the practice of assessing client’s psychological, emotional, and relational distress and present chronic suffering, in the context of their connectedness to others. The central focus is an effort to ascertain the root of the issues at hand.
A retreat can either be a time of solitude or a community experience. Some retreats are held in silence, and on others there may be a great deal of conversation, depending on the understanding and accepted practices of the host facility and/or the participant(s). Retreats are often conducted at rural or remote locations, either privately, or at a retreat centre.
Rogerian therapy focuses on immediate conscious experience. Rogers describes therapy as a process of freeing a person and removing obstacles so that normal growth and development can proceed and the client can become independent and self-directed.
The Rubenfeld Synergy Method (RSM) is an alternative healing method which combines touch and talk together to help people deal with the stresses in their lives. It uses the body as the starting point, because the body is home to our thoughts, our feelings, and our spirit. By exploring these relationships, we can claim a greater role in our own physical and emotional wellness.
Sandplay Therapy is a therapeutic method developed by Dora Kalff and based on the psychological principles of C.G. Jung. Sandplay is a creative form of therapy in using imagination, “a concentrated extract of the life forces both physical and psychic”(C.G. Jung). It is characterized by the use of sand, water and miniatures in the creation of images within the “free and protected space” of the therapeutic relationship and the sand tray. A series of Sandplay images portrayed in the sand tray create an ongoing dialogue between the conscious and the unconscious aspects of the client’s psyche, which activates a healing process and the development of personality.
Schema therapy is an innovative psychotherapy developed by Dr. Jeffrey Young for personality disorders, chronic depression, and other difficult individual and couples' problems. Schema therapy integrates elements of cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, object relations, and gestalt therapy into one unified, systematic approach to treatment. Schema therapy has recently been blended with mindfulness meditation for clients who want to add a spiritual dimension to their lives.
Seeking Safety Therapy - The Seeking Safety Therapy approach is designed to treat both substance abuse disorders and PTSD, simultaneously. Safety is the overarching goal, (helping clients attain safety in their relationships, thinking, behavior and emotions). The focus is on is ideals, to counteract the loss of ideals in both PTSD and substance abuse. Seeking Safety Therapy was developed under a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse by Dr. Lisa Najavits.
In Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, clients are guided through a physical journey through a somatic experience into discovery of their own body as a vehicle for recovery. By using somatic interventions and strategies, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy creates a fluid, elegant, and dynamically effective body therapy that allows clients to draw their strength from their own inner wisdom. The goal of this method of therapy is to reach deeply into the body and mind in order to powerfully touch the soul.
Sex therapy is the treatment of sexual dysfunction, such as, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low libido, unwanted sexual fetishes, sexual addiction, painful sex, or a lack of sexual confidence, assisting people who are recovering from sexual assault, problems commonly caused by stress, tiredness, and other environmental and relationship factors. Sex therapists assist those experiencing problems in overcoming them, in doing so possibly regaining an active and healthy sex life.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. The approach does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. The therapist or counselor uses respectful curiosity to invite the client to envision their preferred future and then therapist and client start attending to any moves towards it, whether these are small increments or large changes. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE), invented by Peter A. Levine, is a naturalistic approach to help you regulate your nervous system and reorganize after a stressful or traumatic event, as well as relieve the symptoms of ongoing and chronic (traumatic) stress.
It is based on the observation that animals in nature are hardly traumatized even though they regularly face life threats. When animals face threat, their bodies produce energy needed to survive. Once threat is over, animals instinctively release energy and come back to their equilibrium. Like animals, we humans basically have similar responses to threat. However, we can fail to release energy when our highly-developed neo-cortex overrides the natural release process of our instincts and body. This unreleased energy ends up being trapped in our body and may cause nervous system dysregulation and induce all kinds of symptoms.
Spiritual Counseling incorporates pastoral counseling elements and techniques and combines them with life experiences to create a focused spiritual perspective in order to assist the client on their spiritual path.
Is a way of systemically evaluating family relationships with the belief that by changing the family system, many of the dysfunctionalities of family members will be resolved. By evoking change in the family structure, the problems that prevent families from meaningfully relating to one another can be healed. According to the principles of SFT, while the structure of a family unit does not determine behavior of family members, it does describe behavioral sequences that are predictable. As these sequences, or patterns, are repeated by the family, they become established and endure through time.
Telehealth - Internet based Counseling - Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Transactional Analysis (TA) - Transactional Analysis is a theory of personality, and a form of psychotherapy which postulates three “ego states” and uses them to facilitate insight and behavioral change. These three ego states are, “Parent”, “Child”, and “Adult”. The “Parent” ego state - manifests as concept that we have perceptions (memories). The “Child” ego state - manifests as concept that we feel (emotions). The “Adult” ego state - manifests as concept that we have learned (experiences). These three states interact or transact when we think and or communicate ( verbal and non-verbal ) with another person, the analysis of these interactions (transactions) is the focus of the process of therapy.
The transpersonal Therapy integrates the spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual, physical and creative being into one complete element and addresses the six components equally for the purpose of treatment. It strives to discover divinity through our own humanity and is a by-product of a person’s growth and development.
Counseling of the traumatic brain injury (TBI) population requires that the counselor be very experienced in cognitive retraining of brain injured persons. Typically, brain functions (thinking skills) are the primary tool used in counseling for learning new techniques, for introspective reflection, and for conceptualization. However, the brain injured person usually demonstrates signature behaviors that interfere with the process of learning. The signature behaviors of TBI are: impulsivity, poor judgement, misperception of the intentions & actions of others, slow information processing, memory disturbances, and irritability. When counseled in the context of the signature behaviors, the TBI client can benefit from counseling as an adjunct to the entire rehabilitation process.
Trauma‐focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF‐CBT) - is an evidence‐based treatment approach shown to help children, adolescents, and their caregivers overcome trauma‐related difficulties. It is designed to reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses following child sexual abuse, domestic violence, traumatic loss, and other traumatic events. The treatment—based on learning and cognitive theories—addresses distorted beliefs and attributions related to the abuse and provides a supportive environment in which children are encouraged to talk about their traumatic experience. TF‐CBT also helps parents who were not abusive to cope effectively with their own emotional distress and develop skills that support their children.
Wilderness therapy is a subset of adventure-based therapy. It is the use of wilderness expeditions for the purpose of therapeutic intervention. There are a range of different types of wilderness therapy programs, with a range of models and approaches. Some grow out of a survival approach and some out of an Outward Bound approach. Their aim is guiding participants toward self-reliance and self-respect. The pioneers in the field of wilderness therapy were Larry D. Olsen and Ezekiel C. Sanchez at Brigham Young University; Nelson Chase, Steven Bacon, and others at the Colorado Outward Bound School; Rocky Kimball at Santa Fe Mountain Center and many others.