Psychotherapy Approaches

Psychotherapy Approaches

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is a broad-based cognitive-behavioral treatment designed to help people who are struggling with intense and unstable emotions and behaviours. Difficulty managing painful emotions frequently underlie problems with impulsive behaviours and can contribute to conflict in interpersonal relationships. DBT uses acceptance-based and cognitive behavioral strategies to help facilitate the regulation of emotional experiences and behaviours. Originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT has been shown to be a highly effective treatment for a variety of other mental health issues such as complex trauma, chronic depression, anger problems, substance abuse and eating disorders. DBT focuses upon four key capacities to bring about change: Mindfulness; Interpersonal Effectiveness; Emotion Regulation; and Distress Tolerance.

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) is an approach that helps you transform difficult emotions and develop secure healthy relationships. EFT regards emotions as information centers, not to be controlled but to be listened to and to be worked with. Emotions are a guide to what is going on inside of you and what you need. When understood and worked with effectively, emotions lead to a fulfilled life and meaningful relationships. EFT helps you become aware of and express your emotions effectively. It also helps people learn to tolerate, regulate and reflect upon, and make sense of emotional experiences. The development of a strong and safe therapeutic relationship, combined with experiential exercises are at the core of an EFT approach. EFT is used in both individual and couples therapy.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence your behavior. An important emphasis in CBT is that the focus is finding solutions to current symptoms rather than focusing on gaining insight only. CBT involves learning to pay attention to ways of thinking that may contribute to problems and teaches you to find new ways to think and behave. In CBT a variety of techniques are used between sessions to integrate learning achieved within the treatment.

Mindfulness-based approaches are designed to increase a person’s ability to focus attention on the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. The cultivation of mindfulness increases people’s abilities to control attention and shift attention away from states of mind that cause distress such as fear or worrisome thoughts. Mindfulness practice encourages non-judgment, observation and acceptance of the present situation. It invites ease and calm. Mindfulness-based therapies have been shown to relieve the symptoms of psychological stress, negative mental and emotional states and physical pain.

Compassion-based approaches are the foundation of emotional healing. Compassion allows us to approach difficult experiences with kindness and a sense of connection with others. It provides tools and resources to approach and work through difficult feelings such as fear, shame, anger, sadness, and anxiety. Through self-compassion, we can respond to ourselves and others with kindness, compassion, and understanding.

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