“Therapy” is a very broad term used to describe various styles, theoretical orientations and modes of treatment. In addition there is a wide range of techniques, theories, and approaches that can be used differently. It is best to develop a plan together to determine which one or combination might be best for your unique situation to produce the most benefit. The therapeutic process involves formulating and working with specific mutual goals as well as incorporating homework assignments to continue the work between sessions.
Individual therapy is often a good starting point to begin developing self-understanding, clarifying goals and determining what kinds of therapy will be most helpful. Sometimes an individual’s problems are not addressed adequately in one type of therapy. For example, while group therapy is great for practicing interpersonal skills, it may not provide enough individual attention.
Most approaches offer something of value; in developing an approach tailored to individual needs we may discuss the following:
The development of a one-to-one therapeutic relationship with the therapist helps create a safe accepting environment. This atmosphere facilitates exploration for the purpose of symptom reduction and/or personal development. The individual is guided through a self-reflective process on his or her emotions and behaviors.
This process usually involves an intense focus on improving communication and couples bring their habits and routines directly into the session. The therapist is able to observe and analyze their interactions, providing feedback and suggestions for improvement. It may be more intensive and dynamic than individual therapy because both partners are invited to co-create the process of change. Couples may be in crisis and/or looking to improve their relationship, this modality works best when both are committed to exploring issues together. Depending on the situation, couples therapy may also involve family therapy.
Family therapy helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. It may include all family members or just those able and willing to participate. It is based on the belief that the family is a unique social system with its own structure and patterns of communication. Familial patterns are determined by many things-parents' beliefs and values and personalities of all family members including extended family (grandparents, aunts, and uncles). As a result of these variables, each family develops its own unique personality, which is powerful and affects all of its members. This modality is especially helpful to anyone who has a condition that interferes with his or her life and the lives of family members. Often, the better the family functions, the lower the stress level for the person with the health problem. The aim is to strengthen all family members so they can work on their problems together, cope with change, identify conflicts/anxieties and develop strategies to resolve them.
These are offered at rates considerably lower than individual sessions. Traditional/classical group therapy offers unique learning advantages, resources and viewpoints through the dynamic interaction of the members in the group. Under the guidance of the therapist, participants gain a feeling of commonality and belonging, the opportunity for vicarious learning and to practice new behaviors. A leader may form a group to discuss or decide something, to explore personal problems, to complete a specific task/goal or all of the above. Some examples would be counseling and therapy, psycho-education, discussion, task, growth and experiential, support and self-help. A group may be open (allowing new members) or closed (only a selected number of participants are invited to attend). The number of participants varies based on the objective of the specific group.
Groups are now forming to address challenges such as general anxiety, social anxiety, and stress management. Please contact me regarding participation and we will determine the best group for you.