Modalities are ways I help you achieve the mental health you want. by having multiple modalities, we can tailor your treatment to what you need.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (better known as CBT) has been the gold-standard for therapy for the last 20 years. CBT assists people struggling with depression and/or anxiety by:
- Identify the automatic thoughts that contribute to our mental health
- Gain awareness of our role in changing those automatic thoughts that lead to anxiety and/or depression
- Learn tools that help us change behaviors that increase symptoms of anxiety and/or depression
The CBT model is one that requires active participation to identify what is known as automatic thoughts. Those are the thoughts that first pop up into your head and start the cascade of emotions and actions based on those emotions and thoughts. When it comes to therapy, one of the first things a therapist might assign (if they are a cognitive behavioral therapist) is completing something known as a thought tracker. A thought tracker is a tool use to help the brain (more specifically, the prefrontal cortex) learn to identify any patterns in our thoughts that impact our moods and actions. By taking time each day to record the thoughts you are preparing yourself (and your brain) to create change.
Once there is a good understanding of your thoughts and things that trigger those thoughts, you and your therapist will start discussing and practicing new skills when these old thoughts reappear. You and your therapist will decide which skills will work best for you. During your sessions, your therapist may assign homework to help you practice these new skills.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (or DBT for short). Developed in 1970s by Marsha Linehan (who was a suicide researcher) as a way to help decrease her clients’ urges for suicidal attempts or self-harming behavior. Her work has expanded to assisting people with various mental health diagnosis like anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, borderline personality disorder, self-harming behavior, anger management, and eating disorders.
DBT uses four different pillars of coping skills to assist in identifying and managing mental health symptoms:
- Distress Tolerance Skills: these skills are here to help people work through situations that actively increase the tolerance of those uncomfortable feelings and situations we have to be in.
- Emotional Regulation Skills: this awesome set of skills help us to regulate and monitor our emotions. I must stress, this is totally different than over-feeling our emotions or ignoring and avoiding them all together.
- Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: this set of skills are all about how we attend and maintain the relationships in our lives. There are many parts to keeping our relationships (including work, family, friend, and romantic relationships) working like a well-oiled machine and benefitting us.
- Mindfulness Skills: Mindfulness is more than yoga and meditation. Mindfulness is the practice of being present with what you are experiencing. Mindfulness skills have been clinically shown to improve your memory and problem-solving skills, decrease anxiety and over thinking, and improving your ability to know what healthy coping skills will help best with what you are experiencing.
A.K.A. – The therapy you see on television
Also known as talk therapy, narrative therapy was developed in the 1980s by New Zealand-based therapists Michael White and David Epston. This is the therapy where you get a chance to tell the many stories that make up your life in an empowering way. Narrative therapy is a great treatment modality for processing recent events, events that shape who you are as a person, and help you make sense of things you have experienced.
Helping you understand why your brain does what it does when you’re struggling with anxiety and depression
Neuroscience is the study of the brain and its impact on behavior and cognitive actions. This particular field of study is so important for understanding why our brain does what our brain does in the presence of mental health symptoms. The education provided by neuroscience has been found to be helpful as it explains the “how” and “why” that comes with mental health.