In Art Therapy the focus is on the process, not the product. Art Therapy is not about how well you can draw or depict something, it is about self-expression and achieving greater insight. Using various art materials and therapeutic metaphors, such as exploring “your internal landscape,” the goal is often to communicate experiences words cannot. Art therapy is a type of therapy in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self- awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. Although Art Therapy is appropriate for all ages, it is often used when children are reserved, withdrawn, introverted or inhibited.
CBT is a form of treatment that focuses on examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. By exploring patterns of thinking that lead to unproductive actions and the beliefs that direct these thoughts, people can modify their patterns of thinking to improve themselves. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is different from traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy in that the therapist and the patient will actively work together to solve the problem. People who seek CBT can expect their therapist to be problem-focused, goal-directed and work collaboratively with the individual to reach a common goal. CBT is an active intervention, therefore, one can also expect to do homework or practice strategies outside of sessions.
TF-CBT is designed to help youth who have experienced a significantly traumatic event return to a healthy state of functioning. This therapy is used for the parents or caregivers, children, and adolescents in a way that decreases the negative behavior patterns and emotional responses that occur as a result of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or other trauma.
DBT is a modified form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It differs from CBT in its emphasis on validation—a powerful tool whereby the therapist and the patient work on “accepting” uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors rather than struggling with them. Once an identified thought, emotion or behavior has been validated, the process of change no longer appears impossible, and the goals of gradual transformation become reality. The term dialectic refers to the therapist’s goal of establishing a balance between acceptance and change and effectively integrating these two fundamental principles of successful therapy. DBT also focuses on the development of coping skills—specific behavioral techniques used to combat the disabling symptoms one may be experiencing. Many times the intention is to improve distress tolerance and learn to regulate one’s emotions. As part of the skills-based element of DBT, emphasis is often placed on the development of mindfulness practice and relaxation techniques.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using detailed protocols and procedures clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Central to the premise of systems theory is that systems organize themselves in formats that carry out the needs of the system. Looking at a family as a system means that it is organized to meet the daily challenges of the family as a whole. This system must meet the general tasks of life and address the needs of the individuals. Sometimes Family Systems Theory addresses problems by looking at the whole system for the location of the problem rather than assuming that the problem exists within one or more individuals. The therapist may focus on a subsystem or a small system within the larger system. Typical subsystems include marital (couple’s interactions), parental, and sibling. Work can be done within the subsystem to restructure its functioning or sometimes work is done between subsystems examining boundaries. Alternatively, the therapist can view the problem as existing between or among a larger system such as the family as it relates to the school, the community or the culture. This theory is respectful and allows for flexibility and solutions not examined in other theories.
Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and their behavior, personality and capabilities. Psychological assessment is also referred to as psychological testing, or performing a psychological battery on a person. Valuable information is gained through interviewing.
A formal clinical interview is often conducted with the individual before the start of any psychological assessment or testing. This interview can last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and includes questions about the individual’s personal and childhood history, recent life experiences, work and school history, and family background.
These are the most common forms of therapy used by our clinicians. This is not an exhaustive list. We also strive to stay up to date with cutting edge research based therapies so we can best serve our clients.