Cognitive therapy involves learning to change how you feel by being aware of and changing your automatic reactions, thoughts, and assumptions about yourself, others, and your world. As you change the conversation you have with yourself and the story you tell of your life, you are open to new feelings and expanded horizons. When you put these into action, you create a new set of experiences that change your assumptions about yourself and your capabilities fundamentally.
Hakomi Mindfulness / Body centered therapy
Hakomi: Using mindful, present awareness to help you be aware (in real time) of your feelings, needs, impulses, where you hurt, what you really want, and which parts of you are holding you back. I find that paying close attention to the body this way takes us in to the deeper parts of ourselves, out of our head and theories.
Emotion Focused Couples Therapy
EFT: Helping couples to get past the cycles of negative interaction, and address the core emotions that can prevent – and build – true intimacy.
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – Rapidly clearing effects of large and small traumatic events and stresses, reducing present anxieties and limitations. Enhancing personal power and potential.
Relaxation can be learned and is more than just zoning out with TV. Practice a deep mental and physical letting to rebuild your energy, finding the calm centre to carry with you through your daily events. Biofeedback teaches you how to “run” your body’s stress or relaxation responses using computer feedback from sensors that show you clearly and immediately how you are responding.
“Je ne sais quoi”
There is something else that takes place when therapy is happening, when two people meet and join forces to discover the keys of life together. Science calls this “non-specific factors”. I call it flow.
Recently I was asked how I’d work with a problem, say anger. This would apply to lots of other emotional problems just as well. Here’s what I replied:
– “Generically, I want to find out what the origins of the anger are historically, what practically in the person’s external life is maintaining it (relationships, stresses), how they are dealing with the related “anger invitations” both practically and internally, and what beliefs about self/other are fuelling the reaction. Then address and improve anything in this that’s amenable to change. Might be some new skills are needed, or some need is not being met. Maybe there’s some limiting beliefs that need updating.
– “If it’s based on memories and old hurts bring these up, remember them, understand them, find out how this affected current assumptions and behaviours, and work on changing these in the present. I use EMDR with this sometimes.
– “I generally rely on mindful and non-judgmental self-awareness in doing the emotional part of the work. Catharsis may happen, but it’s not something I push for. Others do, it’s not my style. Repression/suppression is not doing the work. Noticing, staying with reactions, helping at stuck points – that’s more the Hakomi approach that I like.
– This is the generic part, where I start. How exactly we’d end up working with your anger is something we’d discover. I don’t know your issues or resources yet, and exactly what I do with people varies from person to person. But this should give you some idea.”