My graduate training was rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). However, I've found myself now aligning with an integrated approach. From my years of clinical experience, I've diverted from CBT serving as my sole understanding of emotional distress, and now first seek to understand client concerns through Relational Cultural Therapy (RCT).
Working from RCT, I assess the degree of emotional connection versus disconnection a client experiences, as contributing factors to their verbalized distress (i.e., depression, some form of anxiety, mood disorders, grief, relationship concerns, etc.). Next, I find value in understanding how interpersonal connections (or rather disconnection) contribute to different core belief systems (about the self, others and/or the world; CBT).
As therapy is a process of exploration, using techniques from Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) allows clients to understand their surface emotions, that may serve as a window to below the surface emotional reactions. By allowing space for in depth emotional processing of life events, clients are able to feel validated in their experiences and are able to be appropriately challenged when needed.
Intentionally using these aforementioned theories, I help clients gain A Different Perspective, and reach their respective goals.
(The described terms below are very brief, and only serve as an idea of the theoretical orientations mentioned above.)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)- Theory assessing the interaction of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. For example, the way one perceives a situation will trigger an emotional reaction, that in turn influences a behavior.
Relational Cultural Therapy (RCT)- Focuses on the power of growth fostering relationships, and how such relationships provide meaning and empowerment to a person's life. Therefore, when a person experiences chronic emotional disconnection in their relationships, their emotional health and future interpersonal relationships are at risk of being compromised.
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)- Therapeutic modality mostly used in couples work, but has utility in individual therapy as well. This model focuses on how emotions, emotional experiences, and emotional regulation are key to interpersonal and relationship dynamics.