Therapeutic Orientation

Theoretical Orientation and Interventions

I will keep the following explanations brief and if you would like to read more, please click on the links provided on this page or the “Mental Health Links” under the menu title “Resources”.

General Theoretical Orientation

 My theoretical orientation is, at its foundation, based on Attachment Theory which basically states that we need secure attachments to realize our best life.  With that lens, I utilize Solution-Focused and Psychodynamic therapy.  Solution-Focused is a collaborative, strength-based approach that focuses on solutions rather than just the problem.  Psychodynamic Therapy explores childhood and past experiences that may be consciously or unconsciously impacting current satisfaction with self and relationships.  The development of a trusting relationship between therapist and client is seen as an integral part of the healing and growth.

Therapeutic Approaches/Interventions for Emotional Wounds and Trauma

I believe emotional wounds/trauma can negatively impact self and relationships.  I utilize EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and DNMS (Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy).  EMDR incorporates bilateral stimulation while processing past pain and emotional injury to integrate the experience from the primitive brain stem and amygdala (fight or flight) to adaptive processing of the higher thinking of the right/left brain cortex.  The result is integration of the experience/emotions so that triggers are not so charged or threatening.  Clients feel more centered and capable of making decisions for their best future and relationships.

Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (DNMS) is an approach utilizing past experiences and imagery to replace old, inaccurate messages of self which were given by past caregivers or important others.  These messages are replaced by the true messages that the client believes of themselves at their very core.  EMDR, bilateral stimulation, is utilized to reinforce these positive beliefs. This technique relieves distress from damaging messages from the past and increases a sense of empowerment and efficacy.


Therapeutic Approaches/Interventions for Couples/Premarital Therapy

 Depending on the couple and their needs I may use any of the above approaches and interventions but the following are my approaches that are specifically designed for relationships.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an approach that helps couples realize and understand each other’s core needs, develops trust to emotionally connect and empathize thus renewing a sense of intimacy, vulnerability, and willingness to be there for each other.  This model correlates the relationship to a dance metaphor and much of the focus and work is identifying how to change the dance so the relationship is no longer stuck in its repetitive, damaging cycle.  As connectedness and understanding are rekindled, the dance changes and the couple starts working together, much like the responsiveness required to Waltz or Tango!  This is a very brief description so please feel free to read more Here or further reading under the menu title “Resources”.

In addition to EFT, we may utilize a couples assessment and intervention program, Prepare and Enrich.  This is particularly helpful with premarital therapy or when the couple would like a very detailed analysis of their overall strengths and areas of growth.  This is a great starting point and useful tool for a couple at any stage!

For more skill building, I will pull from the different activities and psychoeducation pieces in the PAIRS program.  This is a very comprehensive approach that helps couples improve their knowledge of what makes a relationship work, communication skills, love language styles, conflict resolution process and more.  Click Here to learn more.


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