This approach is rooted in the belief that people are capable of a great range of experiences and inherently seek growth and meaning. At the same time, it acknowledges the limitations and struggles we all face as human beings (life/death, being alone/being connected, making choices/facing responsibility). This model seeks to help people accept and engage in both the joys and difficulties of life and to feel more "alive" in the moment. For me, the practical application of this theory involves attuning to the "here-and-now" experiences in session, staying curious and open to feelings, sensations and thoughts that arise in the moment, and encouraging self-awareness, authenticity and choice.
Key figures in this approach: Rollo May, Irv Yalom, Jim Bugenthal, Myrtle Heery, Kirk Schneider
This approach is aimed at helping individuals notice and accept difficult thoughts and feelings while moving toward "valued action" or goals that are meaningful to them. It points out that our tendency to avoid things we fear or don't like (difficult emotions, experiences, thoughts) causes us more pain than relief, burns up a lot of energy and limits our options. This model also seeks to help people treat their thoughts as "just thoughts" rather than react to them like facts or concrete experiences. Gaining mental flexibility and being curious and open to our moment-to-moment experiences are at the core of this approach.
Key figures in this approach: Steven Hayes
This theory is based on the belief that our thoughts influence our feelings and behaviors. As a result, unrealistic or unhealthy thought patterns can cause significant distress and lead to destructive beliefs and behaviors. Learning to challenge and change distorted thoughts can provide new perspective and more adaptive responses. This model also incorporates behavioral change and experiments to help people overcome difficulties and function more effectively. CBT strategies are often one important part of the therapy puzzle especially for individuals experiencing depression, anxiety or eating disorders (among others).
Key figures in this approach: Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, B. F. Skinner
- Trauma and EMDR therapy and practice by Francine Shapiro, Robin Shapiro, Laurel Parnell and Jim Knipe.
I am an EMDRIA certified therapist.
- Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach by Pat Ogden
- The power of vulnerability and "ordinary courage" by Brene Brown
- Research on couples communication and commitment by the University of Denver Center for Martial and Family Studies (Howard Markman, Scott Stanley)