Frequently Asked Questions
What is a "model" of therapy?
Over the last hundred years, since Freud really, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals have developed ways of conceptualizing therapy/treatment and modes of accomplishing treatment. Research has shown that there can be differences in how effective different therapies are for different diagnosis. However, the most important thing about your therapy is the relationship between you and your therapist.
Most therapists are trained in and utilize different models for different clients. However, we all tend toward a handful of models that we like to use and that we're comfortable using. Think of this like the difference between a manual transmission and an automatic transmission. Both drive the car - some drivers have a preference for one or the other.
What models do you use?
I am trained in IFS, EMDR, CBT, Narrative, Somatic Experiencing, the Gottman Method and others on a smaller scale. Since I tend to work with clients who have traumatic experiences, the models I am drawn toward show high rates of efficacy among that population - mostly IFS, EMDR, SE and Narrative.
Are you going to tell me what to do?
As a therapist, it is not my place to tell you what to do. I think we all know what we want and don't want, we sometimes don't like to listen to our own voice or "internal yes or no", but no human is void of that inner voice. My goal will be to help you hear that voice, make it less threatening or scary and help you build confidence in acting on that internal guide.
I am a more directive therapist than some. I don't let clients flounder. Feedback from lots of therapy clients is that they felt a former therapist never gave feedback and didn't really help, so I try to really mirror and reflect in a clear way that is helpful.
What is IFS (Internal Family Systems)?
If you have seen Inside Out (Pixar), you actually know a lot about IFS or Parts Work. The jist of this model is that we are all made up of many internal parts. We might have an internal critic, or a part that binge eats, or a part that uses alcohol to numb. Maybe we have a part that only shows up around mom. This is not multiple personality, it is just giving structure to the dynamic we all feel.
Example: "I really want to take painting classes. I have wanted to do it for years, but another part of me thinks that's stupid." In IFS, we would become curious about what part thinks it is stupid and where that feeling comes from.
This is helpful, because we gain greater understanding for own inner world and motivations. We can heal childhood wounds in a really powerful way using this model.
For more information follow this link: https://ifs-institute.com/resources/articles/evolution-internal-family-systems-model-dr-richard-schwartz-ph-d
What is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)?
EMDR is the primary and most effective treatment for PTSD and CPTSD. This model uses bilateral stimulation of the brain to help reprocess traumatic events so that they no longer cause disruption.
For more information, follow this link: https://www.emdria.org/about-emdr-therapy/
What is a narrative approach?
So much of what we believe and base our lives on is the story we tell.
Maybe I don't have many female friends because my experience (or my mother's experience) has been that women don't make good friends. I build a story around that, which often gets affirmed by being hurt. A narrative approach helps us gain greater understanding of the stories we tell ourselves and how we might want to rewrite those stories.