An approach that focuses on uncovering and altering self-defeating core beliefs and the patterns of thinking and perceiving that are often related to these core beliefs.
Though first developed for couples, Glenda also draws on Emotion-Focused Therapy when working with individuals. Emotion-Focused Therapy is based on the premise that emotion is fundamentally adaptive and provides a model for understanding and working with such emotions as anger, shame, fear and anxiety, sadness and emotional distress.
Through exercises that increase our awareness of our tendencies to judge, we are able to reduce that rush to judgment and develop compassion both for ourselves and others.
Understanding our earliest emotional bonds can be very illuminating, but also distressing. By exploring these bonds, we can start to understand how our early relationships have affected our inner emotional life and our relationships with others today.
Buddhism arose more than 2000 years ago in Asian cultures and holds assumptions that are different in important ways from modern psychology. Mindfulness, which has been defined as the “paying attention in a particular: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally” (Jon KabatZin), is one approach Glenda uses to increase one’s awareness and work with what rises.
By identifying and focusing on the broad, organizing beliefs of clients, Schema Therapy roots out those beliefs (or “schema”) that are causing emotional distress.
Schema Therapy draws on elements from a number of other practices, including cognitive-behavioral and attachment therapies as well as Gestalt, object relations, constructivist and psychoanalytic schools, to help people find adaptive ways to meet their core emotional needs.
What do all these approaches mean for you?
These approaches are just concepts and theories. They are not meant to define your reality or truth, but they can be helpful in clarifying what may be causing your emotional and psychological suffering. Once you know what may be underlying your emotional pain, then you can begin to address it.
When we first meet, you will hear me ask, “what brings you to counseling?” This is an opportunity to tell your story and share how current and/or past experiences are affecting you, and what you would like to be different. Sometimes, we simply want someone to understand how we are feeling and have no specific goal other than just wanting to be heard and understood. Once we have been heard and understood, we then feel better and no longer have the need to see a counselor.
Other times, the emotional pain does not so readily subside and you want more than having your feelings validated. You are now seeking help to finally end long-standing patterns that are unsatisfying. For instance, if you find yourself frequently overwhelmed because you have difficulty saying “no”, you may seek counseling because you want to change this behavior, but do not know how and/or experience significant fear, anxiety, guilt, or shame when you do say “no”. To avoid these feelings, you may find yourself saying “yes” and staying stuck in the same old pattern.
Alternatively, you may now be experiencing significant problems with ways of coping that once worked, but now feel out of your control. These include the use of drugs, alcohol, food, exercise, sex, and gambling. You may be feeling confused, frustrated, scared, alone, and powerless. You want to regain some control of your life, but do not know how.
The aforementioned theories offer ways of understanding your experience and provide approaches or techniques that may be helpful in making the changes you seek. This often involves some trial and error, and requires your feedback for the approach or technique’s usefulness. I will collaborate with you to see what approach or technique you would like to try. The technique or approach may address cognitions (i.e. thinking and perception), emotions, interpersonal relationships and communication, motivation, memories, or behavior.
Feelings are a major focus of my approach as the avoidance, judgment, and fear of our feelings can underlie our emotional suffering. Thoughts, beliefs, memories, and bodily sensations are also a major focus as all of these are strongly connected to our feelings.
A very important aspect of counseling is your relationship with your counselor. Empathy is a key to feeling safe, understood and accepted. If this is not your experience, then therapy is not going to be of much benefit. As a result, I use a feedback tool called the Empathy Checklist. This takes about 5 minutes to complete at the end of a session and provides me with important feedback regarding our relationship and your experience in the session. Your feedback is used to make the necessary adjustments in my approach with you. You do not have to complete this form if you do not want to.
When we first meet, we are required to cover some administration pieces. This includes your Consent for Treatment.
This is a very brief and basic overview of the counseling process. I welcome any questions you may have that would further clarify the process for you. You can contact me by phone (778-990-1825) or e-mail (email@example.com).