ACCEPTANCE & COMMITMENT THERAPY ⇒ Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT (which is pronounced as the word "act" not the letters a-c-t) is a behavioral therapy that focuses on valued engagement in life. Through six core processes--acceptance and willingness, cognitive defusion, present-moment awareness, self-as-context, values, and committed action---clients are guided to open up and invite all of these thoughts feelings and experiences.
ACT advocates opening to internal experiences not because there is some glory in feeling pain for pain's sake, but because efforts to avoid painful feelings---for example by drinking alcohol, being passive in relationships, or avoiding public speaking---create suffering insofar as those efforts pull us away from things that are important to us and that contribute meaning and vitality to our lives. ACT centers on identifying the thoughts and feelings that act as obstacles to valued living and aims to change our relationship to those internal experiences, rather than changing the experiences themselves.
MBCT+DBT=CHANGE YOU CAN LIVE WITH ⇒ Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was designed to help people who are prone to chronic anxiety and/or recurring depression. It combines mindfulness techniques like meditation, body scanning, breathing, yoga, and movement exploration with elements from cognitive therapy. It is useful in helping one break the negative thought patterns that are characteristic of chronic anxiety and recurrent depression.
Our therapeutic approach also integrates Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) by incorporating emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness skills training. The term "dialectical" means the integration of opposites such as the psychological tension between acceptance and change. The skills learned through therapeutic interaction are balanced in terms of acceptance-oriented skills (mindfulness and distress tolerance) and change-oriented skills (emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness).
MBCT + DBT teaches people to pay attention to the present moment, rather than worrying about the past or the future, and to let go of the negative thoughts that can tip them over into anxiety and depression. In addition, it provides skills necessary to self-regulate emotions, tolerate life's stressors, and interact effectively within the context of our intimate, familial, occupation and social relationships.
GOTTMAN COUPLES THERAPY ⇒ The research of Drs. John and Julie Gottman shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future. Couples can accomplish this by paying attention to what they call the Sound Relationship House,which includes nine components of healthy relationships. And, like many emotionally-focused therapies (EFT), this approach is a way of expanding and reorganizing important emotional responses, fostering the creation of a secure bond between partners, and initiating new cycles of interaction that are more beneficial for the relationship.
The goals of Gottman Couples Therapy include: 1)increasing respect, affection, and closeness; 2)breaking through and resolving conflict when partners feels stuck; 3)generating greater understanding between partners; and 4)keeping conflict discussions calm and productive.
THERAPLAY® and FAMILY THERAPLAY ⇒ Theraplay builds and enhances attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay for children and adolescents with autistic spectrum disorder, ADHD, anxiety disorders, trauma, and oppositional defiant disorder has as its goals the development of a distinct sense of self, differentiation of self from others, and improved patterns of attachment with caregivers. An additional goal is the reduction of inappropriate behaviors, such as temper tantrums, opposition, perseveration, compulsion and aggression.
Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. In Family Theraplay, the therapist guides the parent and child(ren) through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate behavior and communicate love, joy, and safety, helping the child(ren) feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.