Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. ACT has a values driven approach, meaning that the goal of the therapy is to help clients live more meaningful and valued lives. ACT is an experiential type of therapy, meaning that client’s “experience” ACT through the use of metaphors, in session exercises, and present-moment awareness.

Clinical applications: stress, worry, anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, relationship problems, addiction, anger management, life transitions

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy  (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that involves both talking about thoughts and also changing behaviors. The “cognitive” piece involves challenging negative and unhelpful thought patterns/beliefs in order to change a client’s mood or unwanted behaviors. The “behavioral” component involves making behavioral changes (i.e.: increasing positive pleasurable activities, setting and working toward goals, adjusting routines) to influence both a client’s mood and problematic behaviors. It has been widely studied and CBT has been proven to be an effective therapy for most psychological disorders and problems.

Clinical application: depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD, addiction, insomina, bipolar, anger management, relationship problems

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing is a client-centered therapy designed to help illicit intrinsic motivation within the client to help them achieve specific goals or behavioral changes. It is supportive and non-confrontational. Traditionally MI has been used with clients who have substance use problems but has also had widespread use related to weight loss, medication compliance, and other health behavior changes. Ultimately, MI can be useful for any problem in which a client may feel stuck or unsure of what decision they want to make. MI is not a treatment in itself, but more or less a style of therapy. Once a client develops motivation to change, other types of therapy (such as CBT) are often used in conjunction with MI to help the client achieve their goals.

Clinical applications: addiction, health behavior change, decision-making, resolving ambivalence

Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion involves the practice of caring for and loving yourself the same way you would do so for a friend, child, or loved one. Compassion for others often comes easily, however we are often our own worst critiques and hardest on ourselves. We would never say to a friend what we say to ourselves. Self-compassion is an important element of therapy as it facilitates a safe place within yourself to return to as you engage difficult emotions and thoughts and work to make meaningful change in your life. Self-compassion involves self-kindness, an understanding that suffering and personal inadequacy are a shared human experience, and non-judgmental mindfulness of our internal experience (thoughts, emotions, sensations).

Clinical applications: A wonderful addition to all therapies and problems

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) was designed specifically for individuals who have PTSD or symptoms PTSD and related conditions resulting from exposure to a traumatic experience. It involves a combination talking and writing about the trauma and processing (discussing) thoughts, feelings, and beliefs related to the trauma. The goal of CPT is help individuals confront and cope with difficult memories and emotions well also assisting them in changing certain beliefs related to the trauma to alleviate chronic negative emotions (such as shame, guilt, or anger).

Clinical applications: trauma, PTSD

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)

Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is an effective treatment for OCD. Exposure refers to exposing yourself to the thoughts, images, objects, and situations that make you anxious and/or start your obsessions. The Response Prevention refers to making a choice to abstain from engaging in the compulsive behavior that usually alleviates the anxiety. This is done under the guidance of your therapist and is a process of practice and learning so that you may eventually be able to do this on your own.

Clinical applications: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)