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Theraputic Styles

I regard myself as a thorough going pragmatist – I use whatever works for the client I am working with.

Person-Centered Therapy: I have a positive view of mankind and believe clients want their lives to work well. As a caring, sincere therapist I encourage clients to see areas of their lives clouded in denial or distortion so as to become self-aware and capable of inner-directedness. I encourage clients to own their life and to take responsibility for resolving their problems. Emphasis is placed on the here and now – the present moment, an acceptance of self and the decision to change for the better. Counselling skills include: active listening and hearing, reflection of feelings and clarification.

Family Systems Therapy: We all have our beginnings in a family of some sort or another, so it follows that those who raised us profoundly influence our present and past relationships - often in painful, dysfunctional ways.

The family is a single emotional unit and whatever happens to one of the family members has a knock on effect to all other members, whether we like it or not.

Our behavior throughout our lives more closely resembles our family of origin that we realize or want to accept.

Most aspects of our relationships are guided by emotional forces (albeit unconsciously) so we tend to recreate relationships in the here and now so as to resolve the emotions we experienced in the then and there.

When we understand we are products of our family environment we can identify emotions, behaviors, beliefs and values that prevent us from developing intimate, safe, respectful and functional relationships. This requires awareness, acceptance, healing and change.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Used primarily in the treatment of anxiety by focusing on the here and now. Clients learn new ways to think about and understand their problems.

Homework/client participation: is essential in bringing about behavior change, as it requires repetition and regular practice so that the new skills are incorporated into every day living.

Clients learn how to change their thoughts and behaviors thus changing their emotional response (feelings).

Rational – Emotive Therapy: Individuals are capable of both rational and irrational thinking. The goal of treatment is to eliminate self-defeating beliefs and behaviors by respectfully confronting, challenging, teaching, questioning, role-playing, modeling and assertion training.

Reality Therapy:  Emphasizes Personal Responsibility. The goal is to encourage the client to make their own moral judgments about their present behavior and assist them in deciding on a constructive plan of responsible action to effect a desirable behavior change that is more conducive to their lifestyle.

Gottman Couples Counselling: Over the last several years I have been working towards certification as a Gottman trained couples counsellor. When I have completed my practicum requirements I will be a fully certified Gottman Couples Counsellor.