While my training has exposed me to diverse theoretical approaches, I place emphasis on evidence-based therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behvioral Therapy (DBT) and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), and mindfulness based practices.
My priority in the therapeutic process is building and maintaining an empathic, safe and trusting relationship with clients. My approach is collaborative in terms of assessment and intervention, and depends on clients’ unique backgrounds and needs. I utilize a bio-psycho-social framework to gather contextual information and incorporate clients’ resources and competencies. While I am familiar with formalized assessment and diagnostic instruments, I use these when clinically or culturally appropriate. In addition, I acknowledge that clients’ interpretations and meanings of the personal events are highly contextualized. This allows me to collaboratively adapt my approach with diverse/multicultural clients. I also believe that clients are not merely reacting to situations but responding in goal-directed and purposive ways to make sense of their circumstances, thus actively and socially constructing their realities. Thus, I draw upon mindfulness and acceptance based therapies assisting clients to develop compassion for themselves and examine why they have developed particular ways of behaving and thinking.
All CBT approaches place emphasis on the reciprocal relationship between emotions, cognitions and behavior and their link to clients’ presenting concerns. I provide a safe space where clients can openly process their feelings. I integrate principles of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to help clients learn about distress tolerance and gain skills in effective emotional regulation.I have completed an intensive externship in Emotion Focused Therapy with couples that has helped me learn about attachment models and the essential role of emotions in guiding our behaviors. Together with my clients, we identify the precipitating factors that influence clients’ problematic perception of self, others and the world. I also attend to the following: the critical developmental and life events; the socio-cultural and interpersonal contexts; current coping strategies; and the ongoing patterns of behaviors that maintain the clients’ concerns over the long term. I encourage clients to help me understand how their own ways of thinking may limit their choices and sense of agency.
Thus, the treatment is aimed at helping clients to formulate adaptive ways of thinking for themselves, find strategies for positive change and develop skills to effectively manage their lives.