COUNSELING

"“The deepest desire of the human heart is to belong … to be welcomed … to know you are seen and worthy of kindness.” -Rachel Macy Stafford

What should you expect from therapy?

Recipe for Change: A-C-A-M-A-P

 

  1. Awareness. The conversation about help and hope.

  2. Curiosity. An exploration of the relationship with/to problems, values, stories and solutions.

  3. Acceptance. Self-responsibility.

  4. Motivation. Readiness to change.

  5. Action. Effort to meet goals.

  6. Persistence. Establishment of new ways of being in and relating to our experiences.

Evidenced-based practices utilized in therapy:

Solution-Focused Therapy (SFT): 

Focuses on the present and the future, reflecting a basic belief that problems are best solved by focusing on how you would like your life to be, and moving toward that, rather than focusing too much on what might have been had you been able to rewrite the past. 

Commonly used strategies:

  • Identifying problems to find solutions

  • Identifying what is working to repeat successes

  • Defining goals to get clear about wants

  • Specifying plan of action to know what to do next

  • Working on negative beliefs and bad habits

  • Evaluating your progress so that you can celebrate it

 

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT):

A transdiagnostic* approach. Uses mindfulness strategies to develop insight and awareness, and focuses on building a meaningful life that is related to one’s values. Accepting instead of eliminating difficult feelings and thoughts.

 

Commonly used strategies:

  • Reducing the strength of faulty beliefs and thoughts, and learning to take them less seriously.

  • Learning to accept when one does not have control over thoughts, feelings, or situations.

  • Being present and recognizing that change and action can only occur now.

  • Clarifying and connecting with one’s values and living accordingly.

 

*Rather than thinking of mental health diagnoses as separate diseases or diagnoses, there is increasing awareness that common ‘processes’ , which underpin or act to maintain client problems, operate across disorders. A ‘transdiagnostic process’ is the label given to a mechanism which is present across disorders, and which is either a risk factor or a maintaining factor for the disorder. Transdiagnostic processes are found in the domains of attention, memory/imagery, thinking, reasoning, and behavior. They can helpfully be thought of as the ‘building blocks’ which underpin disorders. In plain speech, a Transdiagnostic approach is one that can successfully treat any number of experiences or behaviors, regardless of diagnosis.

Narrative Therapy:

Essential to see people as separate from their issues. Non-blaming and non-pathological. Reality is a social construct and our interactions with other people influence what we see as "real."

Commonly Used Strategies:

  • Respect: Working hard to respect yourself and detach from negative perceptions of yourself. Recognizing you as a human being.

  • Externalization: Removing blame for your problems, on yourself or others. Client and problem are separate

  • Client as expert

  • Identifying painful patterns

  • Developing your narrative

  • Deconstructing story into smaller parts allowing you to see that they can impact change in their life.