What is The Therapeutic Alliance?
When people come to therapy to take on, what I believe is, the most important part of their journey in life, to truly get to know and understand themselves, I am humbled by their vulnerability, pain and trust. It is imperative that I hone in on my intuitive knowing, about the human experience, in order to establish what research has shown essential to the success of a Client’s experience in therapy…. The “person-centered facilitative conditions (empathy, warmth, congruence) and the therapeutic alliance.”
Some of the causes of immediate discomfort when meeting a Therapist for the first few times, may be an assumed natural imbalance of power in the relationship, which causes a person to feel vulnerable. He/she may question the sincerity of the Therapist, as well as the the issue of confidentiality, and whether or not they are being judged or critiqued. Remember, for all of us, our fears of what others think of us is often a projection of our own inner critic onto others. In other words, it is really one’s own negative beliefs about them self that they are imagining what the Therapist might be thinking about them. However, in my relationship with my Clients, there is a spoken and unspoken understanding and agreement that the relationship we are nurturing is one of equality, honesty & balance; all of which is sacred in our alliance. The means to the end is trust, mutual respect, confidentiality, unconditional regard for each other, as well as equality and healing.
What About Confidentiality?
Client confidentiality is the requirement that therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and most other mental health professionals protect their client’s privacy by not revealing the contents of therapy.
Confidentiality includes not just the contents of therapy, but often the fact that a client is in therapy. It is common that therapists, for example, will not acknowledge their clients if they run into them outside of therapy in an effort to protect client confidentiality. Other ways confidentiality is protected include:
- Not leaving revealing information on voicemail, and seeking client permission before leaving any information at all on voicemail
- Not acknowledging to outside parties that a client has an appointment
- Not discussing the contents of therapy with a third party without the explicit permission of the client
Therapists who break confidentiality can get in trouble with state licensing boards.
What Do You Specialize In?
- Mental Health Disorders:
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Postpartum Depression (PPD)
- Dual Diagnosis
- Substance Abuse & Dependence
- Relapse Prevention
- Chronic Relapse
- Coping Skills
- Recovery Specialist
- Couples Therapy
- Relational Problems
- Marital Problems
- Family Conflict
- Communication Skills
- Anger Management
- Loss, Grief & Bereavement
- Women’s Issues
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Cogitative Behavior Therapy (CBT)
- Distress Intolerance
- Core Values & Beliefs
- Self-esteem Building
- Life Transitions & Challenges
What is EMDR?
Francine Shapiro, PhD, an American psychologist, developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy as a breakthrough therapy with special capacity to overcome the often-devastating effects of psychological trauma in the late 1980s. An ever-growing community of therapists soon saw directly its power to transform and heal lives. At the same time, controlled research studies consistently demonstrated its efficacy and effectiveness. For many of us therapists who took up this therapy, EMDR is like a “gift” to ourselves and our clients.
Symptoms of trauma, PTSD and other disorders (unless physically or chemically based) result from past disturbing experiences that continue to cause distress because the memory was not adequately processed in the brain. These unprocessed memories are understood to contain the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and physical sensations that occurred at the time of the event and have not subsided due to being stored in the neurons of the brain in an unhealthy manner. When the memories are triggered, these stored disturbing elements are experienced and cause the symptoms of PTSD and/or other disorders.
Unlike other treatments that focus on directly altering the emotions, thoughts and responses resulting from traumatic experiences, EMDR, a type of psychotherapy, focuses directly on the memory, and is intended to change the way that memory is stored in the brain, thus reducing and eliminating the problematic symptoms in the body of the person who experienced trauma.
“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
“Life Is Not Measured by the Number of Breaths We Take, but by the Moments That Take Our Breath Away.”
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”
“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt. And live like it’s heaven on Earth.”
When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all.
“Denial is the kryptonite of recovery.”