In the initial sessions, I evaluate clients’ needs and determine which type of therapy would be most beneficial. Therapy is a catalyst for change and I look to find the best way for clients to grow and move forward. The approaches I most commonly use include:
Our thoughts have a huge influence on our feelings and behaviors. Although we tend to focus on other people, situations, and events it is our thoughts that influence our perception and interactions. Often anxiety and depression stem from these irrational thoughts. CBT is used to help clients understand and manage emotions by changing the thoughts associated with the situation. We initially focus on increased awareness of the connection between thoughts and emotions and then work to challenge and restructure the process. CBT tends to be brief, fairly structured therapy focused on presenting complaints. It includes an educational component and clients are often given “homework” as part of the process.
We all have relationships of some kind whether it is with coworkers, friends, family members, partners, or children. To some degree we not only have need for intimacy but also want to protect ourselves in relationships. Sometimes when there are struggles in relationships, people develop anxiety and depression. IPT is also time-limited therapy but the focus is somewhat different from CBT. We focus on the social relationships and stressors that are contributing to clients’ distress. The central idea is that mood and anxiety can be improved by looking at the emotional connection to others in the clients’ lives. We look at past patterns in relationships and challenge clients to make changes in their interpersonal style (i.e., change the pattern of interaction).