You will find approaches customized to your particular needs. Therapy is not a one size fits all proposal. What dovetails best with your needs, personality and goals will be the path that we follow. You will be coached, encouraged, informed, counseled and assisted in creating solutions that best fit your desires and address your pressing issues. I utilize numerous philosophies and concepts and tools to achieve your objectives. The primary ones are described in the next section.
- Assertiveness Training
- Coaching and Goal Setting
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Family Team Meetings
- Motivational Interviewing
- Person Centered Approach
- Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
I utilize specific aspects of Assertiveness Training. There are basically four different ways that individuals communicate with one another. They can be: 1) aggressive, 2) passive 4) passive-aggressive or 4) assertive. Many people already have a basic understanding of aggression, passivity and a combination of the two; the state of being passive-aggressive. They have a less clear idea of assertiveness.
Aggression is about dominance. A person is aggressive when they impose their will onto you; for example when someone yells into your face, gets in your space or uses physical violence.
Passivity, on the other hand is about compliance. Passivity occurs when you submit to another person’s aggressive actions, putting your own wishes and desires aside to fulfill the wishes and desires of the one who is perceived to be in charge such as your partner or supervisor. You may not like being dominated, but it seems like the smart thing to do at the time in order to sidestep the threat of violence to yourself (or another) or intimidation.
Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of expressing your negative feelings in an indirect way — instead of openly addressing them.
People who are passive-aggressive seem to agree with the requests of others. They may even appear openly excited about them; however, they don’t perform a requested action in a timely or useful manner and may even be counterproductive towards a stated goal. In other words, they use nonverbal behavior to express anger or resentment that they can’t express verbally. An example is your showing up very late to a meeting that you didn’t really want to attend and then making up excuses for your lateness that deflect attention from the real reason. Another example is agreeing with a spouse that you want to go to a certain movie or restaurant but creating a scene or delaying everyone because you really did not want to attend in the first place. Another common illustration is the action that occurs when many passive-aggressive people get drunk, rather than becoming assertive.
In comparison to these three essentially disrespectful positions, assertiveness is about finding a middle ground between aggression, passivity and being passive-aggressive. When you become assertive you will be able to repel those that try to dominate you without transgressing their boundaries. In other words, you will be able to tell your partner or supervisor when they are making you uncomfortable or that certain behavior will no longer be tolerated all without you becoming the aggressor. Additionally, you will be able to understand when someone is passive-aggressive and call them on it.
Therapy is a multi-layered process but it is definitely not a one size fits all proposition. Coaching is an approach where we will examine your strengths and successes as well as exploring the areas where you may want to make changes. Your imagination is the only limit. Together we will design a plan for you to achieve goals that may have previously seemed out of reach. Goal setting will focus on results which may improve your health, welfare, relationships and career plans as well as improve your chances of a happier and more fulfilling life. My role is to provide tools, support, examination and permission-giving. You will embark on a new avenue in the journey of your life, but you will not do so alone.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) enables a joint relationship between the client and therapist. Together, we form a working relationship and discuss the presenting problems to be explored in therapy. In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the most pressing issue typically becomes the initial focus of treatment. As a result, there is immediate relief and encouragement that the primary problem that propelled you into therapy is being acknowledged and addressed. In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, problems are tackled head-on in a very practical manner. You will be coached in the basics of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The connection between thoughts and beliefs and their impact on behavior will be explained to you. Additionally, you will come to understand that how you think about problems determines the way you respond to various issues. You will find that making subtle adjustments on how you think will have an immediate impact on your problems and improve the quality of your life.
During Family Team Meetings the focus is not blame or a counseling intervention per se. Your family which may have been torn apart by significant losses, addictions or developmental stages may have serious issues with communication. My job is to teach you to examine your concerns, look at your strengths and pool your ideas. When you have achieved this, then we can develop a plan where every family member plays a role in improving the circumstances of the family. Then you can replicate this at home.
Motivational interviewing is best defined as a client-focused, directive counseling approach for fostering a change in behavior patterns by assisting clients to examine and resolve mixed feelings about their particular situation. This counseling method was first applied to alcohol treatment but it has a myriad of other purposes. In comparison with the person-centered approach described above, motivational interviewing is dedicated to a client’s particular goals in a more directive manner. Exploring and resolving inconsistencies are both the counselors and the clients’ primary goal.
The Person Centered Approach is described as non-directive. This approach moves away from the idea that the therapist is the expert and towards the more holistic idea that you have the ability to find your solutions with the proper non-judgmental support.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a type of talk therapy that focuses on what you want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problems that made you seek help. We won’t spend much time looking at the past, but instead, focus on what’s going on in the present and how you might imagine your future. Together we will explore various possible options and make many steps (some tiny, some monumental) to achieve your desired changes. Instead of spending time belaboring what’s not going well, we will focus on what you have achieved and how you can generalize these achievements to other parts of your life. We will focus on your strengths not weaknesses.