MORE ABOUT THE THERAPEUTIC METHODS I UTILIZE
This approach addresses the theory that past experiences with early childhood caregivers create a template for future relationships and our comfort level with getting close to others.
Also known as insight-oriented psychotherapy, this approach often works in conjunction with Attachment Theory to help individuals unravel, experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a “problem-focused“ approach in that it is undertaken to resolve current problems. It is also “action-oriented“ — the therapist is often directive and assists the client in selecting specific strategies to help address each problem. This method is designed to change unhelpful behavior and flawed thinking that people may be unaware of. It is useful for developing an awareness of how our thoughts guide our feelings and behavior.
The methods as described above are combined with an additional approach called Systems Theory. The systems approach views the couple as kind of hanging mobile which balances nicely until one piece of the whole experiences a stressor. This piece, or member, may become ill, lose a job, succumb to an addiction, become an adolescent or a senior needing more care, or face any number of other life events that demand more attention than usual. The goal of systems psychotherapy is to help the couple reorganize around the stressor and once again find balance and calm.
This work emphasizes the personal worth and uniqueness of each individual. People are viewed as basically good, having an inherent need to make themselves and the world better. It’s an optimistic approach that focuses on the human capacity to overcome hardship, pain and despair.
Mindfulness is a scientifically supported approach that can be taught as a technique to increase insight and alter people’s relationship with their thoughts. By focusing on sensations in the body in any number of ways, people can experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings safely as they become aware of what they’re avoiding. Mindfulness teaches the distinction between us and our thoughts to develop self-acceptance and self-compassion. Ultimately, this approach undermines destructive thoughts, emotional volatility and negative behavioral patterns. People engaged in mindfulness practices report becoming more connected to themselves, to others and to the world around them.
Energy work techniques originate from ancient traditions coupled with more recent scientific discoveries used to manipulate the bioenergy that flows through and around our bodies. Trauma and pain block the energy flow and are easily removed through the use of this approach. Energy work can be beneficially applied to the assessment and treatment of trauma, anxiety, depression, physical pain, stress, psycho-physiological issues and self-sabotaging behaviors. It helps to regulate affect and promote emotional and physical health, achieving enduring results relatively rapidly.
I use these psychotherapy methods in my practice for individual psychotherapy, adolescent counseling, couples therapy and family counseling. Read more about Jeri Ryan’s background and psychotherapy philosophy and psychotherapy methods.