THERAPEUTIC MODELS & APPROACHES
We believe in using evidence based models and that clients should be informed about how each model can help support them make the changes they are looking for.
DBT - DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOUR THERAPY
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral treatment developed by Marsha Linehan, PhD. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is an effective treatment for people who struggle with regulating intense emotions. DBT helps people learn to understand, change, and cope with their emotions more effectively so they can create the life they want.
DBT is a combination of two approaches to treatment: cognitive-behavioural therapy, which involves changing thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that cause problems, and mindfulness, which involves learning to accept reality and to control attention. In DBT, clients learn to change behaviour patterns that cause problems, while also accepting their experiences and emotions. This is done by teaching and applying the four DBT skills modules: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Comprehensive DBT requires Individual Therapy, Skills Group, Telephone Coaching and a Consultation Team. If you have high risk behaviours and need more intensive support the best service would be a comprehensive DBT program. We can help assess this and provided you with the names of comprehensive programs, both public and private in Ontario. DBT informed service means that we are able to provide you with individual therapy and individual skills teaching from the DBT skills manual and it's founding principles.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR THERAPY FOR INSOMNIA (CBT-I)
Cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia is an empirically supported, first-line treatment in Canadian, American, and British medical guidelines. Over the years a large body of research, including randomized control trials, has indicated strong support for its effectiveness. CBT-I can be used as a stand-alone treatment or incorporated into other therapy for different conditions such as Mood and Anxiety Disorders.
CBT-I is a structured treatment and helps you target specific sleep problems. Essentially, CBT-I aims to help you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep difficulties. The beginning step in treatment involves assessing for insomnia and other sleep disorders. Afterward, your therapist will ask you to complete a sleep diary for one to two weeks to gain a better understanding of your sleep cycle as well as thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing to sleep problems.
Treatment will involve psychoeducation on insomnia such as learning about the sleep cycle and the function of your sleep drive. The behavioural component of CBT-I helps you reset your relationship to the bed (e.g., typically one associated with struggle and unpleasant arousal) and regain a healthy perception of the bedroom as a place for sleep and renewal. Together with these specific conditioning techniques, you will learn strategies to improve the quality of your sleep, which can initially involve restriction in sleep and a gradual increase in quantity. CBT-I also involves identifying and responding to thoughts that contribute to sleep problems such as excessive worry or rumination, unrealistic expectations about sleep, and unhelpful beliefs about sleep effort such as attempting to control your thoughts and emotions.
CBT-I has demonstrated to be 70-80% effective in treating chronic sleep problems. CBT-I may be a helpful treatment choice if you have long-term sleep problems. CBT-I addresses the underlying causes of insomnia and provides you with the tools to address sleep problems if they arise in the future.
EMOTION FOCUSED THERAPY (EFT)
Emotion-focused Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based approach, focused on methods designed to help people accept, express, regulate, make sense of, and transform their emotions. Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) focuses on understanding attachment and relationships and the premise that emotions are key to our identity. This type of therapy assumes that lacking emotional awareness or avoiding unpleasant emotions can cause harm. It may render us unable to use the important information emotions provide. EFT can help people with a range of concerns such as helping people learn to become more aware of their emotions and approaching vs. avoiding emotions. EFT also allows people to become better at using information provided by their emotions to navigate their lives. Recent years have seen a growth of EFT in individual and couples therapy, both because of its status as an evidence-based treatment and also because the EFT approach focuses on the development of emotional intelligence and on the importance of secure relationships.
Mindfulness is about cultivating and maintaining an awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment and our ability to call ourselves into our Wise Mind.
Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
Mindfulness is excellent at increasing our overall ability to be present in our lives. Mindfulness is a foundation for learning all other therapeutic skills, because without being aware of our thoughts, behaviours and emotions, we cannot work to change them.