• Psychotherapy

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    Therapy/Nonpharmacological Treatment

    We believe that medications alone do not treat a person’s environmental or interpersonal stressors. An integrated approach is the most beneficial treatment for mental illness. We offer individual, family, and group therapy.

    Individual Therapy:

    Psychoanalytic Therapy is behavior determined by unconscious motivations and instinctual drives

    • Promotes change by the development of grater insight and awareness of maladaptive defenses
    • Attends to past developmental and psychodynamic factors, which shape present behaviors

    Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is demonstrated to be effective for depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use problems, marital issues, eating disorders, and other brain-based illnesses.

    • Purports that external events do not cause anxiety or maladaptive responses
    • States that a person’s expectations, perceptions, and interpretations of events cause anxiety
    • Allows clients to view reality more clearly through and examination of their central distorted cognitions
    • Goal is to change clients’ irrational beliefs, faulty conceptions, and negative cognitive distortions.

    Behavioral Therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors.

    • Functions on the idea that all behaviors are learned and that unhealthy behaviors can be changed
    • Focuses on changing maladaptive behaviors by participating in active behavioral techniques such as exposure, relaxation, problem-solving, and role-playing

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy is commonly used with people who have borderline personality disorder.

    • Focuses on emotional regulation, tolerance for distress, self-management skills, interpersonal effectiveness, and mindfulness, with an emphasis on treating therapy-interfering behaviors (things that get in the way of therapy)
    • Goals include:
    • Decrease suicidal behaviors
    • Decrease therapy-interfering behaviors
    • Decrease emotional reactivity
    • Decrease self-invalidation
    • Decrease crisis generating behaviors
    • Decrease passivity
    • Increase realistic decision-making
    • Increase accurate communication of emotions and competencies

    Existential Therapy is a philosophical approach in which reflection on life and self-confrontation is encouraged.

    • Emphasizes accepting freedom and making responsible choices
    • Finding meaning and purpose in life (Why am I here? What is my purpose?)
    • Goals are to live authentically and to focus on the present and on personal responsibility

    Humanistic Therapy is also known as person-centered therapy

    • Concepts include self-directed growth and self-actualization
    • People are born with the capacity to direct themselves toward self-actualization
    • Each person has the potential to actualize and find meaning

    Interpersonal Therapy focuses on interpersonal issues that create distress (Brief therapy -10 sessions)

    • Time-limited, active, focused on the present and on interpersonal distress
    • Developed to treat aspects of depression and is effective for adults and adolescence
    • Applied to treat interpersonal distress related to other disorders including bipolar, substance use, and eating disorders

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of behavioral an exposure therapy

    • Involves the use of bilateral stimulation-moving the eyes back and forth, alternating tapping on hand or knee, or sounds in ears
    • Most used in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Goal is to achieve adaptive resolution

    EMDR Phases include:

    • Desensitization phase: Visualize the trauma, verbalize the negative thoughts or maladaptive beliefs, and remain attentive to physical sensations. Then, block out negative thoughts; breathe deeply; and then verbalize what you are thinking, feeling, or imagining
    • Installation phase: Increase the strength of the positive thought that he or she has declared as a replacement of the original negative thought
    • Body scan: Visualize the trauma along with the positive thought and then scan the body mentally to identify any tension within

    Group Therapy

    Group therapy is offered monthly and has many benefits including:

    • Increases insight about oneself
    • Increases social skills
    • Cost-effective
    • Develops sense of community

    We follow Yalom theoretical perspectives for group therapy. There are 10 therapeutic factors that differentiate group therapy from individual therapy:

    1. Installation of hope: Participants develop hope for creating a different life.
    2. Universality: Participants discover that others have similar problem, thoughts, or feelings and they are not alone.
    3. Altruism: This results from sharing oneself with another and helping another.
    4. Increased development of socialization skills: New social skills are learned, and maladaptive social behaviors are corrected. The group can provide a “natural laboratory”.
    5. Imitative behaviors: Participants can increase their skills by imitating behaviors of others.
    6. Interpersonal learning: Interacting with others increases adaptive interpersonal relationships.
    7. Group cohesiveness: Participants develop an attraction to the group and other members as well as a sense of belonging.
    8. Catharsis: Participants experience catharsis as they openly express their feelings, which were previously suppressed.
    9. Existential factors: Groups enable participants to deal with the meaning of their own existence.
    10. Corrective refocusing: Participants reexperience family conflicts in the group which allows them to recognize and change behaviors that may be problematic.

    Reminiscence Therapy – is characterized by a progressive return of memories of past experiences used in older adults. This enables participants to search for meaning in their lives and strive for some resolution of past interpersonal and intrapsychic conflicts.

    Family Therapies

    Family system concepts are used to define boundaries, assessing interactions within an entire family, and maintaining family homeostasis. Family therapy is based on Family Systems Therapy, Structural Family Therapy, Experiential Therapy, Strategic Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy.

    Structural Family Therapy – Focus is on the mental health of the whole family and is maintained by structural problems in the system. Emphasis is on how, when, and to whom family members relate in order to understand and hen change the family’s structure. The main goal is to produce a structural change in the family organization to more effectively manage problems -changing transactional patterns and family structure. Includes creating a genogram to map relationships using symbols to represent overinvolvement, conflict, and coalitions.

    Experiential Therapy – Behavior is determined by personal experience. Focus is on being authentic, freedom of choice, human validation, and on experiencing the moment. Treatment goals are to develop authentic, nurturing communication and increased self-work of each family member. Overall goal is growth rather than symptom reduction alone.

    Strategic Therapy – Symptom focused which reflects problems in the hierarchal structure. Symptoms are a way to communicate metaphorically within the family.  Treatment goal is to help family members behave in ways that will not perpetrate the problem behavior. Interventions are problem-focused and use of techniques that change the sequence of interactions that are mainly problems.  Techniques include reframing or relabeling to have a more positive meaning, straightforward and paradoxical directives.

    Solution Therapy – Focus is to rework for the present situation solutions that have worked in the past. Treatment goal is effective resolution of problems through cognitive problem-solving and use of personal resources and strengths. Techniques include the use of miracle questions, exception-finding questions, and scaling questions.

    Complementary and Alternative Therapies

    Connection between the mind and the body are viewed as holistic health care. Complementary therapies are used in addition to traditional medical practices. Alternative therapies are used in place of traditional medical practices.

    Mind-Body interventions include guided imagery, meditation yoga, and biofeedback.

    Biological based therapies include herbal products, vitamins, supplements, and aromatherapy.

    Manipulative and body-based therapies include acupressure, acupuncture, massage, and reflexology.

    Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids, Sam-e Tryptophan, Vitamin E, Melatonin, and Fish oil.

    *Herbals: Black cohosh, belladonna, catnip, chamomile, ginkgo, ginseng, and valerian.

    * Most herbals are contraindicated during pregnancy and if breast feeding.