Probably one of the most important aspects of the therapy that I provide is the relationship I develop with each client. To me, this relationship is more important than any specific approach I use. Don't get me wrong, I do use specific approaches and techniques, but they may change depending on the situation. What I aim for with every client, however, is the development of a safe, trusting relationship that provides the conditions necessary to do healing and to bring about the change desired. In other words, the type of therapy I do or the approach I use does not fit a specific approach. I am best described as "eclectic", drawing upon the best approach for a given situation. For example, I have taken advanced training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and this approach is particularly effective for issues related to depression and anxiety and I will draw upon its principles and tools for such concerns. However, when treating the effects of a specific trauma (e.g., a car accident, childhood abuse, an assault) I may recommend using Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) or a variety of expressive therapies (e.g., letter writing, drawing). However, regardless of the approach I use for a given situation, the common factor in all the approaches is the importance of a strong therapeutic relationship.
I have some expertise, information, ideas and experience in working in a wide variety of areas. However, each client is the expert on his or her own life. Ultimately, I will provide some suggestions and guidance while each client finds the healing path that is right for him or her. Each person that enters my office is unique and life is complicated. I do not believe there is "one approach" that will help everyone. However, I do believe that together we can find the one that will help you. And, if for some reason I cannot help you find resolution to your concerns, I will connect you with other resources so that you may heal the issues that need to be attended to.
I should warn you, though....I am not a "sit quietly and listen" type of therapist. Don't get me wrong, I do listen...but, my clients often tell me that some therapists they have been to just "sit and nod" and say "what do you think?" but don't really offer solutions or opinions. The more people I meet, the more books I read, the more experience I gain, the more I have come to realize that I have a lot of opinions and ideas and I like to share them with others. I like to make suggestions, share my impressions, teach skills, and assign homework. However, I know that not everything I suggest will "work" or be "right". So, I encourage my clients to share their opinions with me too. In this way, through this safe and open relationship, we will gain a deeper understanding and a clearer sense of what is needed for change to occur. We will try things and approach things from a variety of angles until we figure out the solution that is right for you.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing(EMDR)
EMDR is a powerful method of psychotherapy that deals directly with the effects of trauma (e.g., assaults, war veterans, motor vehicle accidents, childhood abuse). EMDR helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing manner. It can also be used for chronic pain and to enhance performance of complex tasks. More information about EMDR can be found at www.emdria.org or www.emdr.com. I am certified as a Level 2 EMDR therapist and I have additional training in the area of treating early trauma with EMDR.