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Developed within a coherent theoretical and philosophical framework, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values. Based on Relational Frame Theory, ACT illuminates the ways that language entangles clients into futile attempts to wage war against their own inner lives. Through metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises clients learn how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. Clients gain the skills to recontextualize and accept these private events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change.
Developed by Alfred Adler, this kind of therapy focuses on client strengths and takes a holistic view of the individual. It stresses the importance of personal freedom and responsibility and explores behavior within its social context. Adlerian psychotherapy explores the purpose and meaning of behavior in order to create movement towards goals. An Adlerian-based therapist is one who holds a sense of deep respect for the client, encouraging the client in his/her best interest and emphasizes the importance of contributing to respective communities.
According to the American Art Therapy Association (www.arttherapy.org), “Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.”
According to Innovative Developments for Educational Achievement, “Auditory integration training (AIT) is an intervention developed by Dr. Guy Berard to correct or improve auditory hypersensitivity, distortions, and delays in the signals that interfere with an individual's ability to process auditory information normally. Inconsistencies and distortions in the way sounds are perceived can make it difficult to interpret auditory stimuli. In addition, Dr. Berard states that the ears must work together in a coordinated fashion. If the hearing in one ear is different from the other, the person may have auditory processing problems. This lack of coordination between the ears contributes to difficulties in following directions, comprehending what is said or read, and putting thoughts into words. Dr. Berard also states that some people hear certain frequencies much better than other frequencies. When this occurs, the person perceives sounds in a distorted manner, may be easily distracted, and may have difficulty understanding auditory information. According to Dr. Berard, these auditory problems are factors that contribute to disorders such as learning disabilities, attention deficit, dyslexia, hyperactivity, central auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, autism and pervasive developmental disorder. Individuals with learning and language disorders, sensory processing disorders, attention deficit, dyslexia, pervasive developmental disorder autism, central auditory processing disorders, and hearing sensitivity have been receiving AIT. The minimum age is 3 years, and there is no upper limit.”
Authentic movement is a psychotherapeutic method that encourages an individual to explore different dimensions of their being including the psychological, creative and sacred spiritual domains. These areas are addressed by cultivating an awareness of the sensory world, affirming feelings and clarifying perceptions. Working with Authentic Movement enables the client to connect with vital inner resources that enhances the sense of meaning in daily experiences. Through this process, a primary goal is to be able to listen to the wisdom that is contained within the body. Authentic movement promotes becoming more aware of oneself and one’s experiences. According to its founder Whitehouse, the physical body represents the personality and movement therefore is the manifestation of personality. – Adapted from authenticmovementcommunity.org
According to the British Autogenic Society, “Autogenic therapy was developed in the early twentieth century by psychiatrist and neurologist Dr. Johannes Shultz. Autogenic Therapy is a therapeutic system encompassing both mind and body. AT teaches skills enabling clients to utilize their own capacity for self-healing and self-development. The core of AT is a training course during which clients learn a series of simple exercises in body awareness and relaxation designed to switch off the stress-related 'fight and flight' system of the body and switch on the 'rest, relaxation and recreation' system. During training the client has the opportunity to learn and experience passive concentration, a state of alert but detached awareness that enables the trainee to break through the vicious circle of excessive stress.”
This is a type of psychotherapy that helps resolve emotional issues by engaging the wisdom of the body in a safe and caring relationship with a trained therapist. Bioenergetics recognizes that our experiences leave physical imprints from our earliest days of childhood. Our physiological responses to events in our lives are stored in our cells and muscles as well as our minds. Negative stored “memories” can manifest in a range of problems as we mature, from patterns of failed relationships to illness and chronic pain. Bioenergetics invites the release of unconscious holding patterns in the body through breathing, movement and emotional expression while being supported and protected by a trained therapist – Adapted from the Southern California Institute of Bioenergetics.
According to the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, Inc., the leading professional organizations representing the field have described biofeedback/neurofeedback as follows: “Biofeedback is a process that enables an individual to learn how to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance. Precise instruments measure physiological activity such as brainwaves, heart function, breathing, muscle activity, and skin temperature. These instruments rapidly and accurately "feed back" information to the user. The presentation of this information — often in conjunction with changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior — supports desired physiological changes. Over time, these changes can endure without continued use of an instrument.”
Body Psychotherapy is a distinct branch of the main body of psychotherapy that involves a different and explicit theory of mind-body functioning. Body Psychotherapy takes into account the complexity of the intersections of and interactions between the body and the mind, with the common underlying assumption being that a functional unity exists between mind and body. The body does not merely mean the "soma," which is separate from the mind, the "psyche." Although many other approaches in psychotherapy touch on this issue, Body Psychotherapy considers this principle to be fundamental. Body Psychotherapy involves a developmental model, theory of personality, hypotheses about the origins of psychological disturbances and alterations, as well as a rich variety of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques used within the framework of the therapeutic relationship. Many different and sometimes quite separate approaches are found within Body Psychotherapy, as there are in the other main branches of psychotherapy. Body Psychotherapy is also a science, as well as an art, having developed over the last seventy-five years from the results of research in biology, anthropology, proxemics, ethology, neurophysiology, developmental psychology, neonatology, perinatal studies, and many more disciplines. A wide variety of techniques are used within Body-Psychotherapy, including those involving touch, movement and breathing. There is, therefore, a link with some body oriented therapies, somatic practices, and complementary medical disciplines, but although these may also involve touch and movement, they are very distinct from Body Psychotherapy. Body Psychotherapy recognizes the continuity and the deep connections that all psycho-corporal processes contribute, in equal fashion, to the organization of the whole person. There is no hierarchical relationship between mind and body, between psyche and soma. They are both functioning and interactive aspects of the whole. – Adapted from the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy.
BodyTalk is a holistic therapy that allows the body's energy systems to be re-synchronized so they can operate as nature intended. Each system, cell, and atom is in constant communication with each other at all times. Through exposure to the stresses of day-to-day life, however, these lines of communication can become compromised or disconnected, which then leads to a decline in physical, emotional and/or mental well-being. Reconnecting these lines of communication enables the body's internal mechanisms to function at optimal levels, thus repairing and preventing disease while rapidly accelerating the healing process. In this way, BodyTalk stimulates the body's innate ability to balance and heal itself on all levels. Your practitioner uses the BodyTalk Protocol Chart to determine the weakened or broken energy circuits in your bodymind complex that are being highlighted by your innate healing wisdom. Once an energy circuit is identified, any additional details that are relevant are determined. Your BodyTalk Practitioner will link these destination points in the sequence indicated, thereby constructing a "formula" that describes the energetic circuit that will be re-established. Tapping on the body to get it to focus on healing has been used by some indigenous holistic systems, such as yoga, for centuries. For BodyTalk specifically, tapping on the head tells the brain to "fix" the faulty communication circuit and the heart to "store" the fix. This activates the brain and helps to facilitate the body's own ability to restore and maintain its optimum health. - Adapted from the International BodyTalk Association (www.bodytalksystem.com)
Body-Mind Psychotherapy (BMP) is a somatic-cognitive approach to psychotherapy developed by Susan Aposhyan which is uniquely focused on physiology, neuroscience, and early motor development. Mindfullness of body sensation is a primary tool. Embodiment is central to Body-Mind Psychotherapy and is used to antidote dissociative states resulting from the habits of modern life, post-traumatic stress as well as other psychological issues and decisions. BMP utilizes its unique embodiment practice in which sensations are felt and given permission to move, breathe, sound, and rest in their own way. Development is the core principle for change in BMP. Challenges are understood as developmental milestones and opportunities for growth. Early motor development, drawn from Body-Mind Centering, is utilized as a template for adult development and emotional growth. – Adapted from bodymindpsychotherapy.com
Christian therapy integrates Christian teachings with the principles of psychology. Christian therapists strive to help clients integrate the emotional and spiritual aspects of one’s life more effectively.
CBT posits that our thoughts are quite powerful and subsequently cause our feelings and behaviors. CBT also assumes that we all hold illogical, negative thoughts that keep us from feeling good. Often times these thoughts are created in early childhood, and so they’re repeated over time and have become so automatic that we often aren’t aware that we have them. CBT provides clients with an opportunity to objectively examine their cognitions and learn tools to modify thought patterns, so that dysfunctional emotions and behaviors get eliminated. This type of therapy provides a useful system for evaluation and resolving problems that are the result of our mistaken beliefs and patterns of thought. CBT is active, structured, and short-term and expects that clients engage in homework exercises to more readily incorporate these skills learned in therapy into their everyday life. CBT is highly effective for those clients suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship problems, phobias, food issues, feelings of rejection, and fear of failure.
Developed by psychotherapists Bruce Ecker, LMFT and Laurel Hulley, MA., this type of therapy is a system of experiential, empathic psychotherapy that allows therapists to consistently foster deep shifts, dispelling clients’ symptoms at their emotional roots often in a small number of sessions. The work is focused on guiding clients to get in touch with hidden, core areas of meaning and feeling that are generating the presenting symptom or problem. Coherence Therapy makes use of native capacities for swiftly retrieving and then transforming the client's unconscious, symptom-requiring emotional schemas, which were formed adaptively earlier in life. – adapted from theCoherence Psychology Institute.
Developed by Susan Heitler, PH.D, conflict resolution therapy posits that uncomfortable negative feelings arise in response to situations of conflict. This includes conflicts within a person (i.e. reconciling what one wants vs. what one can have), between people, and between people and difficult circumstances such as illness or economic hardships. Conflict resolution-based therapists are trained to guide clients to a healthy win-win resolution of their upsetting conflicts and enable clients to effectively address future upsetting circumstances on their own. A conflict resolution therapist serves three primary functions—to provide mediation guidance, to teach clients the techniques of conflict resolution and to help heal upsetting relationships and feeling states.
According to the American Psychological Association, “Constructivist therapy is more of a theory of knowledge than a system of therapy. Constructivist theory holds that humans are meaning makers, and in a very real sense the meaning we create in turn creates our experience of the world. Thus, constructivists focus on the meaning clients attribute to their world and the ways these shape and constrain clients' sense of themselves, their relationships, and their difficulties.” In a constructivist framework, the client is central, and the therapist's role is to pose questions that will guide the client toward his or her own personal answers, as opposed to the answers the therapist may have. Constructivist therapy is centered on the client and has no fixed structure; instead it focuses on creating awareness of and contact with the client's central issues. Constructivist therapists’ direct clients to explore their areas of growth, and better understand the often subconscious purposes served by the problematic feeling, pattern, or behavior that initially propelled them into therapy. The goal is to help clients understand the significance of symptoms thus guiding them towards a sense of wholeness.
Contemplative psychotherapy is the merging of Western psychotherapy practices with Buddhist mindfulness practices. From this perspective, one’s ability to be present with whatever arises in the moment is the foundation for meaningful psychotherapy; the experience of what is, is the pathway to self-acceptance and genuine change. From the contemplative point of view, one’s basic nature is intrinsically healthy but our awareness of this health is often obscured. Contemplative psychotherapy is a process of uncovering this fully awake and aware state. The premise is that clients become freed from unnecessary suffering through experiencing themselves in the moment, exactly as they are. While contemplative psychotherapy is derived from Buddhist teachings, it does not require any knowledge of, interest or participation in meditation or Buddhism. Contemplative psychotherapy simply offers secular and logic-based tools to free clients from unnecessary struggles. – Adapted from contemplativepsychotherapy.net
This type of therapy was created by Joseph Weiss, M.D. over 40 years ago. This theory proposes that in attempting to adapt to unhealthy psychological environments people develop invalid, negative beliefs about themselves and others. Therefore, these negative beliefs then make people unhappy and prevent them from living successful and fulfilling lives. The two primary fundamentals in this theory are that (1) people have unconscious control over their defense mechanisms and that (2) people have a desire to master their problems and unconsciously organize their behavior in an attempt to do so. Control Mastery theory assumes that each person has an unconscious plan to clear themselves of these self-defeating thoughts. A CM therapist’s role is to understand the client’s unconscious plan to solve his or her problems and help each client carry out that plan. – Adapted from controlmastery.org
Founded by John Pierrakos, MD, Core Energetics believes the effects of our personal life histories are held in the body as emotional or energetic blocks. The Core Energetics model is a system of intervention, offered primarily through individual or group sessions, designed to support clients in overcoming the effects of the past. Core Energetics works directly with the body and particularly the emotions, to help clients to move more quickly and deeply through the conflicts and struggles that hold them back in life. Core Energetic therapists support clients to move their bodies in specific ways that allow for deeper self-awareness and release of frozen emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, need, sensuality and ultimately love. The Core Energetics experience strives to help clients to learn to inhabit their bodies more fully and to live from their hearts more openly. – Adapted from The Core Energetics Institute.
Founded by Maura and Franklyn Sills, Core Process Psychotherapy is based on a depth understanding of human personality process and human potential. Core Process Psychotherapy facilitates an awareness of the moment-to-moment developmental process we’ve experienced from birth until the present moment by bringing awareness to both our inner and outer experience. Core Process holds the possibility that we can let go of maladaptive self-views that were created in response to our environment and rest in our potential for pure awareness, compassion and joy. In Core Process work both therapist and client are engaged in a joint healing process where an awareness of the body, its feelings and feeling tones, and the content and states of mind that arise, are used to explore the nature of selfhood and suffering. The therapist's essential role is that of reflector and facilitator of awareness. The heart of Core Process work is oriented to the belief that true healing is only possible to the extent that we can be fully present to the immediacy of our inner and outer experience. – adapted from the Karuna Institute.
The American Dance Therapy Association, defines dance-movement therapy as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, mental, social, physical and spiritual integration of an individual or group. The dance/movement therapist focuses on movement behavior as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship. Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviors are used for group and individual treatment.
Body movement as the core component of dance simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for dance/movement therapy.”
According to the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, depth hypnosis is described as, “Drawing from elements of Buddhism, hypnotherapy, shamanism, energy medicine and transpersonal psychology, Depth Hypnosis is a rapid path of transformation that provides an opportunity to achieve profound and long-lasting results on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level. Developed by Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D., this highly effective therapeutic model helps people work through issues quickly, and gain long-lasting results. Recognizing that every person is unique, Depth Hypnosis actively involves the client in the process of discovering what is needed to effect the changes he is seeking in his life. In this way, the client is empowered and directly in touch with his ability to heal. By following current life issues to the source (through dream recall, inner child work, and regressions), the client discovers what is needed to move beyond unconscious motivations. Through this process, the client is able to step into a life affirming relationship with himself and the world around him.”
“Depth psychotherapy refers to a collection of approach to therapy which value self-awareness, life-long growth and development, life meaning, and depth in intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. It includes humanistic, existential, psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, Jungian, Gestalt, and Transpersonal approaches to therapy.” Excerpt from the Depth Psychotherapy Institute.
Developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan, DBT combines typical cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practices. DBT has been shown to be effective especially with populations suffering from personality disorders, suicidal tendencies, self-injury, and spectrum mood disorders. DBT organizes treatment into four stages with targets and they are as follows:
Stage I: Moving from Being Out of Control of One’s Behavior to Being in Control
Stage II: Moving from Being Emotionally Shut Down to Experiencing Emotions Fully
Stage III: Building an Ordinary Life, Solving Ordinary Life Problems
Stage IV: Moving from Incompleteness to Completeness/Connection
The most important of the overall goals in DBT is helping clients create “lives worth living.” – Adapted from behavioraltech.org
According to the National Association for Drama Therapy, “Drama therapy is the intentional use of drama and/or theater processes to achieve therapeutic goals. Drama therapy is active and experiential. This approach can provide the context for participants to tell their stories, set goals and solve problems, express feelings, or achieve catharsis. Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced. Participants can expand their repertoire of dramatic roles to find that their own life roles have been strengthened. Behavior change, skill-building, emotional and physical integration, and personal growth can be achieved through drama therapy in prevention, intervention, and treatment settings.”
This type of therapy integrates nature and/or the outdoors into treatment. For more detailed information on Ecotherapy, click here: ecotherapy.org.uk or colour-therapy.org
“Energy Psychology provides simple methods for shifting brain patterns that lead to unwanted thoughts, feelings, and actions. Drawing from ancient healing traditions, it has been called "psychological acupuncture without the needles." The approach combines psychological techniques with tapping on acupuncture points that send signals to the brain that change dysfunctional responses. Variations include EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), TFT (Thought Field Therapy), and TAT (Tapas Acupuncture Technique), among numerous other formats.” – innersource.net
These therapies use horses and other animals as therapeutic tools in treatment. According to The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (www.eagala.org), “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. EAP is considered a short-term, or "brief" approach. EAP is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns.”
This approach to therapy focuses on concerns that are rooted in an individual’s existence. Developed by Victor Frankl and Rollo May, existential therapy is based on a number of basic dimensions of the human condition; the capacity for self-awareness, the tension between freedom and responsibility, identity formation and the creation of meaningful relationships, the search for meaning, the acceptance of anxiety as a condition of living and the awareness of death and non-being. A central task of this therapy is to invite the client to recognize how they have allowed others to decide for them, and to encourage clients to take steps towards independence. The aim of existential therapy is to encourage clients to reflect on their life, recognize their range of possibilities and to empower them to consciously shape a meaningful existence.
Developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., EMDR is an approach to psychotherapy that supports the premise that most people have both an innate tendency to move toward health and wholeness, and the inner capacity to achieve it. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that includes a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. The core of EMDR treatment involves activating components of a traumatic memory or disturbing life event and pairing those components with alternating bilateral or dual attention stimulation; this appears to facilitate the resumption of normal information processing and integration. EMDR utilizes an 8-phase approach to treatment that ensures sufficient client stabilization before, during, and after the processing of distressing and traumatic memories and associated stimuli. The intent inherent in EMDR therapy is to facilitate the client’s innate ability to heal. – Adapted from the EMDR International Association.
Eclectic psychotherapy is one in which therapists combine a variety of modalities in order to provide comprehensive care for their clients. Eclectic psychotherapy does not follow any one method or theory as the basis for treatment but rather utilizes what is considered the best elements of various psychotherapies.
According to the Association of Educational Therapists (www.aetonline.org), “Educational Therapy offers children and adults with learning disabilities and other learning challenges a wide range of intensive, individualized interventions designed to remediate learning problems. Educational therapy demystifies learning problems and stimulates clients’ awareness of their strengths so they can use those strengths to best advantage to overcome or compensate for areas of weakness. Educational therapists create and implement a treatment plan that utilizes information from a variety of sources including the client’s social, emotional, psychoeducational, and neuropsychological context.”
Expressive arts therapy is the intentional use of the creative arts as a form of therapy. The expressive arts include art, dance, music, drama, and poetry. Unlike traditional art expression, the process of creation is emphasized rather than the final aesthetic product. Expressive therapy works under the assumption that through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression, people can heal. According to the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (http://www.ieata.org), “The expressive arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development.”
According to The Feldenkrais Education Foundation, “Feldenkrais Method is named after its originator, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc. (1904-1984) [about], a Russian born physicist, judo expert, mechanical engineer and educator. The Feldenkrais Method is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, [clients] can increase ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination, and rediscover the innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. The Feldenkrais Method is based on principles of physics, biomechanics and an empirical understanding of learning and human development. By expanding the self-image through movement sequences that bring attention to the parts of the self that are out of awareness, the Method enables [clients] to include more of [themselves] in functioning movements. Students become more aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities and expand options for new ways of moving. The improvement of physical functioning is not necessarily an end in itself. Such improvement is based on developing a broader functional awareness which is often a gateway to more generalized enhancement of physical functioning in the context of one’s environment and life.”
Developed by Dr. Murray Bowen, family systems theory views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. This emotional interdependence presumably evolved to promote the cohesiveness and cooperation families require to protect, shelter, and feed their members. Family systems theory has eight interlocking concepts: Triangles, Differentiation of Self, Nuclear Family Emotional System, Family Projection Process, Multigenerational Transmission Process, Emotional Cutoff, Sibling Position, and Societal Emotional Process. In family systems, a core assumption is that an emotional system that evolved over several billion years governs human relationship systems. Family systems theory affirms that the individual can change behavior if aware of the impact current and historical family behavior has on the definition of his or her choices – Adapted frombowencenter.org
According to the International Association for Focusing Oriented Therapists (http://www.focusingtherapy.org), “Focusing Oriented Therapists encourage clients to explore feelings that can initially appear vague and not easily described in words through a 3-step process:
1. Clients learn the value of gently setting aside pre-existing assumptions, opinions, and beliefs. Suspending preconceived ideas or expectations creates a clear, unobstructed space for new richness, nuance, and complexity of feelings and experience to emerge. By spending time with this unclear "growing edge" or felt sense, unexpected and creative possibilities for change begin to unfold.
2. Through the process of Focusing Oriented Therapy, clients learn to recognize and be guided by their own authentic "voice," thus differentiating it from voices that are self-destructive and growth-blocking. Through this process of discernment, clients are empowered to move toward a more hopeful future.
3. A Focusing Oriented Therapist typically uses a process called Experiential Listening. The client's words are reflected back by the therapist in a manner that allows the client to check with his/her inner sense of felt-meaning and accuracy: "Is this really what I meant?" If there is not an inner fit between words and meaning, time is taken to explore exactly: "What do I mean?" As new feelings and fresh insights emerge into awareness, stuck places become unstuck. Possibilities, solutions, and action steps unfold - and change happens.”
According to the American Board of Forensic Psychology, “Forensic Psychology is the application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system. The word "forensic" comes from the Latin word "forensis," meaning "of the forum," where the law courts of ancient Rome were held. Today forensic refers to the application of scientific principles and practices to the adversary process where especially knowledgeable scientists play a role.”
Founded by Fritz and Laura Perls in the 1940s, Gestalt therapy is a psychotherapeutic modality that teaches therapists and clients the method of awareness, in which sensing, feeling, and behaving are differentiated from interpreting and reorganizing pre-existing attitudes. In Gestalt therapy, the primary goal is awareness of the here-and-now experience. The secondary goal is for clients to truly know themselves as they exist in relation to other things. Gestalt therapists guide clients to become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they can change themselves, and at the same time, to learn to accept and value themselves. The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be. – Adapted from gestalt.org & aagt.org
According to Healing Touch International, Inc., “Healing Touch is a relaxing, nurturing energy therapy. Gentle touch assists in balancing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Healing Touch works with your energy field to support your natural ability to heal. It is safe for all ages and works in harmony with standard medical care.”
Holistic Psychotherapy seeks to bring balance between the physical, energetic and psychological body systems with a primary focus on the treatment of psychological and emotional pain. Holistic Psychotherapy fosters growth and healing by noting the synergistic relationship between all the ways we experience ourselves and the world. Holistic practitioners then channel this knowledge through methods that support the healthy interaction between the processes of the thinking mind, the feeling body, and the emotionally infused spirit to bring growth and healing. Holistic Psychotherapy engages methods that encourage us to talk, feel, act and sense in ways that make our experiences manageable, safe, and empowering. Holistic Psychotherapy is similar to preventive medicine. A holistic practitioner will assess what area or areas of self are causing distress--the mind, the body, or the emotions--and how each area is impacting the other. Holistic Psychotherapy is a conscious, skillful, organic blending of eastern methods of healing with western healing psychotherapies that safely support you to engage all your ways of experiencing—thinking, feeling, sensing, doing—so that you relate to yourself with understanding, respect, appreciation, and joy. Holistic Psychotherapists recognize that you have all the answers and his/her function is to help you access those answers with competence, responsible action, and a felt sense of healthy control. – Adapted from holisticwebworks.com
Founded by Abraham H. Maslow, Ph.D., humanistic therapy emphasizes the uniqueness and inherent ability of each of us to achieve greatness. It focuses on current behaviors and encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. The goals of humanistic therapies are to increase personal awareness, to increase sense of personal responsibility for one’s actions and destiny, and to help clients live in the moment and become more present in their daily life.
According to the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists, “Hypnosis is a state of inward attention and focused concentration. It is often referred to as trance or as an altered state of consciousness. When the mind is concentrated and focused, people are better able to tap into and utilize their inner resources, to make personal changes, and learn how to better govern their own lives. A basic hypnotic approach that is often used by Hypnotherapists, is to offer hypnotic and post-hypnotic suggestions to the client. Suggestions given while in hypnosis are more likely to be accepted by the client’s unconscious. When hypnotic suggestions are given that encourage beneficial changes, they can dynamically influence the client’s life into the future. Clinical hypnosis can also be used to better understand underlying motivations for emotional or behavioral difficulties. Hypnosis provides a safe and secure state of mind in which to both examine the roots of problems and explore promising alternatives. The Hypnotherapist can then help the client select from the alternatives and make healthier choices.”
Imago was founded by Harville Hendrix, PhD and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD. Imago integrates proven clinical methodologies into a powerful and effective system of interventions, based on principles from Freud to Neuroscience. The foundation of Imago sessions are in the Imago dialogues - a simple, respectful and effective way to talk with one another about the things that really matter. In Imago, there’s no blame, shame or criticism. Instead, a stronger connection comes through attentive hearing and being deeply heard in an emotionally safe environment. Through Imago, clients are able to access the core of their relationship issues and acquire tools to heal emotional wounds and deepen the connection between. Imago is appropriate for those in committed partnerships and for parents and their children. – Adapted from Imago Relationships International.
According to the International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy, “Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a brief and highly structured manual based psychotherapy that addresses interpersonal issues in depression…and has also expanded to treat a variety of illnesses. IPT has no specific theoretical origin although its theoretical basis can be seen as coming from the work of Sullivan, Meyer and Bowlby. In IPT, problems occur within an interpersonal context that is often interdependent with the illness process. IPT utilizes several techniques within the therapeutic process. Many of these are modified interventions borrowed from other therapies such as cognitive-behavior therapy and brief crisis intervention. Patient's social functioning problems are conceptualized as one or more of these four areas: Interpersonal Disputes, Role Transitions, Grief, and Interpersonal Deficits. An IPT-based therapist aims to help clients identify sources of misunderstanding in relationships via faulty communication and invalid or unreasonable expectations. Secondly, therapists aim to intervene by offering communication training, problem solving or other techniques. Thirdly, IPT therapists aim to facilitate change in the situation, for role transitions to reappraise the old and new roles, to identify sources of difficulty in the new role and fashion solutions for these, reconstruct the patient's relationship with the deceased and by encouraging affect as well as clarification and empathic listening help facilitate the mourning process. Lastly, therapists aim to help clients to establish new relationships, to identify problematic issues such as excess dependency or hostility and strive to modify these within the therapeutic frame. In IPT, the therapeutic relationship can serve as a template for further relationships which the therapist will aim to help the patient create.”
According to the New York Association for Analytical Psychology (www.nyaap.org), “Jungian analysis is a specialized form of psychotherapy in which the Jungian analyst and patient work together to increase the patient’s consciousness in order to move toward psychological balance and wholeness, and to bring relief and meaning to psychological suffering. The process can treat a broad range of emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety, and it can also assist anyone who wishes to pursue psychological growth. At the heart of Jungian analysis is a realignment of conscious and unconscious aspects of the personality with an ensuing creation of new values and purpose. The fundamental goal of Jungian analysis is to build a vital relationship between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind so that psychic development can be ongoing.”
“Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them. MBCT was developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn'sMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.”
Motivational Enhancement Therapy“Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) seeks to evoke from clients their own motivation for change and to consolidate a personal decision and plan for change. The approach is largely client centered, although planned and directed. MET is based on principles of cognitive and social psychology. The counselor seeks to develop a discrepancy in the client's perceptions between current behavior and significant personal goals. Consistent with Bem's self-perception theory, emphasis is placed on eliciting from clients self-motivational statements of desire for and commitment to change. The working assumption is that intrinsic motivation is a necessary and often sufficient factor in instigating change. The counselor's primary role is to elicit and consolidate the client's intrinsic motivations for change.” – National Institute on Drug Abuse
According to the American Music Therapy Association (www.musictherapy.org), “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program “Music therapists assess emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, communication abilities, and cognitive skills through musical responses; design music sessions for individuals and groups based on client needs using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance, and learning through music; participate in interdisciplinary treatment planning, ongoing evaluation, and follow up.”
Narrative therapy seeks to be a respectful, non-blaming approach to counseling and community work, which centers people as the experts in their own lives. It views problems as separate from people and assumes people have many skills, competencies, beliefs, values, commitments and abilities that will assist them to change their relationship with problems in their lives. Two important principles of Narrative therapy are curiosity and a willingness to ask questions to which we genuinely don’t know the answers. There are many possible directions that any conversation can take and the client plays a significant part in determining the directions that are taken. Narrative therapy is sometimes known as involving ‘re-authoring’ or ‘re-storying’ conversations. Narrative therapists think in terms of stories – dominant stories and alternative stories; dominant plots and alternative plots; events being linked together over time that have implications for past, present and future actions; stories that are powerfully shaping of lives. Narrative therapists are interested in joining with people to explore the stories they have about their lives and relationships, their effects, their meanings and the context in which they have been formed and authored. – Adapted from dulwichcentre.com.au.
According to the Association of Neuro Linguistic Programming (www.anlp.org), “NLP stands for 'Neuro Lingusitic Programming' and NLP is frequently known as the "instruction manual for your mind". NLP looks at the way in which we think and process our thoughts (Neuro), the language patterns we use (Linguistic) and our behaviours (Programming) and how these interact to have a positive (or negative) effect on us as individuals. NLP shows clients how to understand and model their own successes, so that they can reproduce them. It is a way of discovering and unfolding one’s personal genius, a way of bringing out the best in oneself and others. NLP is the study of excellence. It is the study of both the conscious and unconscious processes that combine to enable people to do what they do. The key to success is often unknown at a conscious level. NLP helps to elicit these unknown pieces.
Neurofeedback is a self-regulation method and another form of biofeedback, that uses monitoring devices to provide moment-to-moment information to an individual on the state of their physiological functioning. NFT focuses on the central nervous system and the brain and has its foundations in basic and applied neuroscience as well as data-based clinical practice. It takes into account behavioral, cognitive, and subjective aspects as well as brain activity. During a neurofeedback session, sensors are placed on the scalp and then connected to sensitive electronics and computer software that detect, amplify, and record specific brain activity. Resulting information is fed back to the client virtually instantaneously with the conceptual understanding that changes in the feedback signal indicate whether or not the client's brain activity is within the designated range. Based on this feedback, various principles of learning, and practitioner guidance, changes in brain patterns occur and are associated with positive changes in physical, emotional, and cognitive states. - Adapted from The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research.
Developed by Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence--the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs. NVC emphasizes deep listening—to ourselves as well as others and helps one discover the depth of one’s own compassion. An NVC therapist guides clients to learn to clarify observations, emotions, personal values, and what one wants to ask of oneself and others. Through NVC, there is no longer a need to use the language of blame, judgment or domination. NVC creates a path for healing and reconciliation in its many applications, ranging from intimate relationships, work settings, health care, social services, police, prison staff and inmates, to governments, schools and social change organizations. – Adapted from The Center for Non-Violent Communication.
According to the American Occupational Therapy Associations (www.aota.org), “Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.” For adolescents, occupational therapy is often helpful for issues including ADHD, autism, sound emotional health and cognitive development.
Developed by psychologist Dr. Carl Rogers, this type of therapy was originally described as non-directive. In person-centered therapy, clinicians move away from the idea that they are the expert. They ascribe to a theory that trusts the innate tendency of human beings to find fulfillment of their personal potentials. In this type of therapy, clinicians focus on building non-judgmental and empathetic relationships with their clients. Rogerian therapy emphasizes the importance of sociability--the need to be with other human beings and a desire to know and be known by other people. It also includes being open to experience, being trusting and trustworthy, being curious about the world, being creative and compassionate. – Adapted from The British Association for the Person-Centered Approach.
Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat individuals who have medical problems or other health-related conditions, illnesses, or injuries that limits their abilities to move and perform functional activities. Physical therapists observe each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to encourage the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists provide care to people of all ages who have functional problems resulting from issues such as back and neck injuries, sprains/strains and fractures, arthritis, burns, amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, conditions such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida, and injuries related to work and sports. Interventions may include therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy techniques, assistive and adaptive devices and equipment, and physical agents and electrotherapeutic modalities. Physical therapists often consult and practice with a variety of other professionals, such as physicians, dentists, nurses, educators, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and audiologists. – Adapted from The United States Department of Labor.
According to the Association for Play Therapy (www.a4pt.org), play therapy is "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development." Play therapy refers to various treatment methods that utilize the therapeutic benefits of play. The play in play therapy is intentional as the therapist guides children to address and resolve their own problems. Play therapy expands on the natural way that children learn about themselves and their relationships in the world around them. Through play therapy, children express themselves, learn to communicate with others, adjust behavior, cultivate problem-solving skills, and learn a variety of ways of relating to others. – Adapted from TheAssociation for Play Therapy.
Founded by Dr. Martin Seligman, positive psychology, is a new branch of psychology which centers on things such as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. A therapist working within a positive psychology framework will encourage clients’ awareness of what is going right in their lives. Deeper examination into particular issues such as what makes one happy, what encourages good decision-making, and how one can use self-talk to succeed, is at the core of positive psychology. - Adapted from Positive Psychology News Daily.
Psychological evaluation and testing is usually administered by a licensed psychologist when a problem, whereby no physical origin is identified, is apparent and causing distress. The problem or mental health issue that the psychological testing may identify can manifest as many different things, including, but not limited to, inappropriate behavior, volatile mood states, and failure to fulfill and/or meet appropriate expectations. The goals of psychological testing and evaluation are to identify the presence of any psychological disturbance, such as clinical depression, that would merit additional psychological and/or medical care.
According to the American Psychoanalytic Association, “Child and adolescent psychoanalysis, offshoots of adult psychoanalysis, share with it a common theoretical framework for understanding psychological life, while also using additional techniques and measures to deal with the special capacities and vulnerabilities of children. For instance, the young patient is helped to reveal his or her inner feelings and worries not only through words, but also through drawings and fantasy play. In the treatment of all but late adolescents, parents are usually consulted to round out the picture of the child's life. The goal of child and adolescent analysis is the removal of symptoms and of the psychological roadblocks that interfere with normal development.”
Psychodynamic therapy aims to heighten one’s level of self-awareness for improved emotional health. It uses the basic assumption that everyone stores in his or her subconscious mind thoughts and feelings that are often too painful to be faced. Thus we come up with defenses, such as denial, to protect us from knowing about these painful feelings. Psychodynamic therapy helps people to acknowledge and process the difficult feelings that often cause them to engage in unhealthy and detrimental patterns of relating to themselves and others. The goal of this therapy is to provide clients with a level of acceptance as well as a clearing for the future to ensure healthier and more fulfilling life choices. Psychodynamic therapy is generally longer-term than other types of therapy as family dynamics and interpersonal relationships are explored in more detail.
Psycho-educational testing is a set of assessment procedures that gain information about an adolescent’s development, learning, memory, academics, behavior and mental health. Various assessment procedures are utilized, depending upon the presenting problems. Psycho-educational testing can be administered by school psychologists and independent practitioners.
According to the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy (www.tirp.ca), “Relational psychotherapy is a powerful, effective model for working with individuals who suffer from chronic emotional, psychological, and/or relational distress. Relational psychotherapy is based on the following principles:
Relational therapists help clients understand, on the one hand, their own patterns of thoughts and feelings about themselves, and on the other hand, the power of significant relationships, past and present, to shape this self-experience. Through the interpersonal process of therapeutic interaction, relational therapy strengthens and transforms a client's sense of self, which in turn enhances his or her confidence and well-being in the world. Empowerment and growth through interpersonal connection are both the process and the goal of relational psychotherapy. With this perspective on therapy and relationship, a relational therapist takes seriously the interpersonal impact of power differentials and social issues such as race, class, culture, gender, and sexual difference, and works with these issues as they are present in the client's life and in the therapy relationship.”
According to the International Association of Rubenfeld Synergists, “The Rubenfeld Synergy Method (RSM) is an alternative healing method which combines touch and talk together to help people deal with the stresses in their lives. It uses the body as the starting point, because the body is home to our thoughts, our feelings, and our spirit. By exploring these relationships, we can claim a greater role in our own physical and emotional wellness. Through the Rubenfeld Synergy Method clients learn to be in touch with their bodymind. Through gentle touch and reflective listening, RSM offers pathways to deep emotion, connection, creativity, and self-awareness. The listening touch of RSM becomes the gateway to emotional awareness and taps the inner resources necessary for inner healing and personal well-being.”
According to the SandTray Therapy Institute, “Sandtray therapy is a dynamic and expressive form of psychotherapy that allows clients to express their inner worlds through symbol and metaphor. Humanistic sandtray therapy emphasizes a deep and accepting therapeutic relationship and an approach to sandtray processing that focuses on here-and-now experiencing. Humanistic sandtray therapy provides an experience of reconnecting to one’s true self, of rediscovering dreams, hopes and visions. Like play therapy with young children, sandtray therapy provides an experience that is active, nonverbal, indirect, and symbolic. However, with clients who are 15 and older and do not have the developmental limitations of preoperational and concrete operational children, humanistic sandtray therapy capitalizes on the verbal and abstract thinking abilities of this age and extends the impact of the scene creation phase of sandtray to the processing phase of sandtray. The scene creation phase, in which clients arrange their miniatures in the tray, is very important and is central to the sandtray therapy experience. In humanistic sandtray therapy, the processing phase provides an additional experience that builds upon the scene creation phase and revolves around it. Throughout the processing phase of sandtray, clients look at their scene and experience the impact of it."
SFBT is future-focused, goal-directed, and focuses on solutions, rather than on the problems that brought clients to seek therapy. A hallmark of SFBT is its emphasis on clear, concise, and realistic goal negotiations. The SFBT approach assumes that all clients have some knowledge of what would make their life better, even though they may need some (at times, considerable) help describing the details of their better life and that everyone who seeks help already possesses at least the minimal skills necessary to create solutions. Using various techniques, the conversation between therapist and client is directed toward developing and achieving the client’s vision of solutions and the means of achieving them. – Adapted from the Institute for Solution Focused Therapy.
SE is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine and is supported by research. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in "immunity" to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly "charged" life-threatening experiences. SE employs awareness of body sensation to help people "renegotiate" and heal rather than re-live or re-enact trauma. SE's guidance of the bodily "felt sense," allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely experienced and gradually discharged. SE may employ touch in support of the renegotiation process. SE "titrates" experience (breaks down into small, incremental steps), rather than evoking catharsis - which can overwhelm the regulatory mechanisms of the organism. – Adapted from the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.
According to the United States Department of Labor (www.bls.gov), “Speech-language pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency. Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties. Speech, language, and swallowing difficulties can result from a variety of causes including stroke, brain injury or deterioration, developmental delays or disorders, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, voice pathology, mental retardation, hearing loss, or emotional problems. Problems can be congenital, developmental, or acquired. Speech-language pathologists use special instruments and qualitative and quantitative assessment methods, including standardized tests, to analyze and diagnose the nature and extent of impairments.”
A primary goal of clinicians in applied sport and exercise psychology is to facilitate optimal involvement, performance, and enjoyment in sport and exercise. The practice of applied sport and exercise psychology usually involves a combination of individual and group consulting or counseling depending on the style of the professional conducting the intervention and the needs of the client. The general goal when seeking out sport/exercise counseling is to learn mental skills necessary to perform consistently in training and competition, increase adherence to exercise programs, and to help individuals realize their potential. Seeking out this type of counseling is also appropriate when parents are concerned with their child’s experience in organized youth sport programs. – Adapted from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
According to the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (www.itp.edu), “Traditional psychology is interested in a continuum of human experience and behavior ranging from severe dysfunction, mental and emotional illness at one end, to what is generally considered "normal", healthy behavior at the other end and various degrees of normal and maladjustment in between. Transpersonal Psychology is a full spectrum psychology that encompasses all of this and then goes beyond it by adding a serious scholarly interest in the immanent and transcendent dimensions of human experience: exceptional human functioning, experiences, performances and achievements, true genius, the nature and meaning of deep religious and mystical experiences, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and how we might foster the fulfillment of our highest potentials as human beings. Transpersonal psychologists work across disciplines and draw on insights from not only the various areas of psychology, but also the sciences of cognition, consciousness, and the paranormal; philosophy; social and cultural theory; integral health theories and practices; poetry, literature, and the arts; and, the world's spiritual and wisdom traditions.”
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (http://www.nctsnet.org), “Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a components-based psychosocial treatment model that incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral, attachment, humanistic, empowerment, and family therapy models. It includes several core treatment components designed to be provided in a flexible manner to address the unique needs of each child and family. There is strong scientific evidence that this therapy works in treating trauma symptoms in children, adolescents, and their parents. This model was initially developed to address trauma associated with child sexual abuse and has more recently been adapted for use with children who have experienced a wide array of traumatic experiences, including multiple traumas.”
According to www.Wildernesstherapy.org, “Wilderness therapy is an experiential program that takes place in a wilderness or remote outdoor setting. Programs provide counseling, therapy, education, leadership training and primitive living challenges that foster community and group interdependence as well as individual honesty, awareness, openness, responsibility and accountability. The terms wilderness therapy, wilderness program and outdoor behavioral health program are commonly used to mean the same thing. Wilderness therapy programs for youth describe and market their services as wilderness therapy. The terms wilderness therapy and wilderness program can be confusing to people investigating these intervention options. Wilderness therapy is actually a broader field than a wilderness program for youth at risk. The term wilderness therapy has two meanings; (1) introducing people to the wilderness "as the therapist" and (2) professional therapy that takes place "in the wilderness." Wilderness therapy programs consist of structured activities in which a wilderness setting and wilderness therapy are important components that distinguish these programs from adventure programs, residential treatment centers and boarding schools. Wilderness therapy, in the purest form, is a positive growth experience where teens face natural challenges and adversities that are designed to be therapeutic in nature. Children are not merely thrown into the wilderness and made to suffer hardships. They are removed from their environment, encouraged, challenged and given every opportunity to succeed.”
According to the International Association for Yoga Therapists (www.iayt.org), "Yoga therapy is that facet of the ancient science of Yoga that focuses on health and wellness at all levels of the person: physical, psychological, and spiritual. Yoga therapy focuses on the path of Yoga as a healing journey that brings balance to the body and mind through an experiential understanding of the primary intention of Yoga: awakening of Spirit, our essential nature."--Joseph Le Page, M.A.
“Yoga therapy strives to heal dis-ease by cleansing and optimizing the physiological systems, opening up energy blockages, transforming constricting thoughts and eliminating the “inner-judge.” This deepens our intuition thereby eliminating stress and ultimately recognizing our true nature. Yoga therapy brings balance to all our levels of being, thus providing lasting healing.” – Excerpt from yogatherapysandiego.com.