This is a brief description of the therapeutic modalities used in this practice. For a more thorough description of each technique, please see Therapeutic Approaches.
Heartmath Interventions are stress-reduction strategies that can be used for emotional regulation and healing, leading to increased physical, mental and emotional well-being. They can be valuable in the treatment of stress, fear, disturbed moods, trauma and everyday well-being. Clients learn to restructure thoughts and feelings creating healthier neuropathways that help prevent relapses into negative and anxious emotional patterns. Clients also learn how to utilize the Coherent Breath pattern to attain high levels of coherence between heart and brain rhythms. High coherence has been shown in numerous studies to increase performance, improve immunity and enhance problem-solving and emotional stability. HeartMath training utilizes computer and app-assisted technology to allow for rapid learning. Once HeartMath skills are acquired, benefits are maintained in only minutes of daily practice.
Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy
In this approach, the techniques of Mindfulness Meditation are offered as both self-help tools and therapeutic strategies. The client is taught how to release stress, negativity, fear, anger, sadness and/or addictive cravings through learning a new way of working with thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Mindfulness Meditation is an easy-to-learn, highly portable skill that has powerful healing effects on both body and mind. Although Mindfulness Meditation is an activity that is often employed in various spiritual disciplines (i.e. Buddhist Psychology), it is used here as a purely clinical tool, without any association to a philosophical or religious doctrine. (For more information see Mindfulness)
Emotionally Focused Therapy
This is a client-centred, process oriented therapy based on the work of Dr. Leslie Greenberg. EFT focuses on the moment-to-moment emotional experience in therapy. It’s goal is to help clients access their deepest emotional reality and transform it as required for optimal health. The therapist uses specific interventions to help access emotion and work with it. Empathic resonating is an essential element of this approach. This treatment format is called “experiential psychotherapy” because clients do not just talk about their problems; rather, they bring the problematic issue to life so that it can be re-entered and re-organized from the inside. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is the marital-therapy version of EFT. It addresses the emotional experience of people within relationships, helping to access and heal painful interactional cycles. In successful treatment, couples come to experience deeper levels of intimacy and understanding. EFT has been shown in psychological research to be a highly effective way to heal old emotional wounds, transform emotional experience and change accompanying dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behaving.
Focusing psychotherapy is based on the work of Dr. Eugene Gendlin. Like Emotionally Focused Therapy, Focusing is a client-centred treatment. The therapist follows the moment-by-moment emotional process of the client, as the client tracks his or her own process in his or her body. By noticing where a feeling “sits” physically in the body, what it feels like emotionally, what images it generates and what meaning it holds, clients are able to meet their own innermost growth needs. The therapist functions as a guide to this process. Focusing is gentle and safe, since it relies on the body’s wisdom to reveal and work with only what is right at a given moment. Focusing work is done on its own, or as one of the tasks of Emotionally Focused Therapy or along with Energy Psychology or EMDR (see below). (See also Focusing)
EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization and Reprocessing)
EMDR uses bi-lateral stimulation of the brain to rapidly access subconscious material and link it with conscious knowing. Again, the client has an opportunity to transform material from the inner world, rather than just talk about problems. EMDR is conducted using one of several possible bi-lateral strategies: eye movements (guided by the therapist’s hand motions), tactile stimulation (delivered via an electronic device that delivers slight pulsing vibrations to the client’s hands), or auditory stimulation (delivered through a headset that provides soft beeping sounds to each ear in an alternating pattern). The client is guided to notice thoughts, feelings and images that arise during the bi-lateral stimulation. This process facilitates a transformation of disturbed or disturbing thoughts and feelings, allowing the client to heal from old traumas and ingrained self-defeating beliefs. (For more information see EMDR)
Ego-State Therapy; Inner Family work
Ego-State Therapy is another therapeutic tool. There are many ways to practice Ego-State Therapy. A popular form of this treatment is called Internal Family Systems (IFS). Other therapeutic approaches utilize the ego-state concept as well, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Voice Dialogue Therapy, Transactional Analysis, and many others. In all of these approaches, the client is viewed as a complex entity, having many different “parts.” For example, one “part” may want to lose weight, while another “part” may want to eat the whole day long. In addition, there may be a critical “part” that attacks the one who wants to eat, and a guilty “part” that feels shame and remorse for having been “bad.” Some people are actually quite aware of all of their parts and the conflicts they create, while others are only aware of mystical forces that seem to come out of nowhere, causing them to panic or to binge or to yell at their children. In other words, we are all driven by inner parts, but we have differing degrees of familiarity with them. The goal of any Ego-State therapy is to re-acquaint the client with his or her entire self, so that there are no more mysterious dysfunctional behaviours or disturbed feelings. Ego-State techniques address each part in order to heal the whole person.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Energy Psychology
Energy Psychology consists of meridian based techniques such as: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), TFT- Callahan Technique, Be Set Free Fast (BSFF), Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT), and others. The most popular of these tools is EFT. The client is instructed to tap lightly on his or body at designated acupressure points (primarily on the face and upper body) while focusing attention on disturbing thoughts and feelings. For a demonstration of how this technique can rapidly heal negative emotions (such as fear, anger, sadness and more), click here. For a detailed description of EFT and other Energy Psychology techniques, see the section EFT and Energy Psychology.
This therapeutic intervention is used primarily in the treatment of children’s behavioural issues, and occasionally as part of individual or marital therapy. It consists of the teaching of techniques to be used in anger management, stress management, discipline, relationship building, communication techniques, emotional coaching and other effective listening strategies.
WHEE stands for “Wholistic Hybrid of EMDR and EFT.” EMDR and EFT are described above and also in separate sections on this site (see sidebar at left). WHEE also stands for “Wholistic Healing – Easily and Effectively.” It is a truly simple-to-use self-help tool for resolving stress, upset, trauma, fear, worry, anger, physical pain or any other kind of physical, emotional, mental or spiritual distress. Developed by psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Benor, WHEE can be easily employed by children, teens, adults and couples. In counselling, WHEE is used to quickly and deeply heal emotional pain. The unique structure of WHEE allows for rapid processing of disturbing emotions without excessive upset or “abreaction” (intense emotional flooding). WHEE employs bi-lateral stimulation (similar to EMDR) in the context of an “EFT style” affirmation. It is discreet enough to be performed in public situations yet powerful enough to< create permanent shifts of thinking and feeling.