It focuses on what clients want to achieve through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that made them seek help. It does not focus on the past, but instead, focuses on the present and future. Clients are assisted with identifying the things that they wish to have changed in their life using respectful curiosity. To support this, questions are asked about the client’s story, strengths and resources, and about exceptions to the problem.
Solution focused work focuses predominantly on two things:
1) Supporting people to explore their goals and preferred futures.
2) Exploring when, where, with whom, and how parts of that preferred future are already happening.
Trauma impacts people. Often the part(s) of a person that have experienced trauma hold onto the negative energy, emotions, hurtful messages, and memories of the event, and don’t know how to release it or be free from it. IFS can help with this unburdening process.
The IFS model believes in the multiplicity of the mind, or that we are made up of many different parts of us that feel, think, believe, and act differently from our other parts. This model helps people to work with their inner family of “parts” or the conflicted sub-personalities that reside within them in their inner lives, and believes that parts take on common roles and common inner relationships. The roles and relationships these parts have are not static and could be worked with if one intervened carefully and respectfully. This model is very versatile in its application to a variety of challenges, particularly trauma, and works well with individuals, couples, and families, across the age spectrum.
Family systems therapy is based on the idea that individuals are best understood through assessing the entire family. It suggests that families are systems of interconnected and interdependent individuals, with each having his/her own role to play. Individuals cannot be fully understood in isolation from one another or from the family system, because the family is an emotional unit. It would be like trying to figure out a single puzzle piece without seeing the whole puzzle, or the role that piece has in the whole picture.
Individuals may carry a symptom for the entire family, because symptoms in individuals are often seen as expressions of dysfunctions in the family unit. As a result, a change in one member affects all members. However, individuals can have symptoms existing independently from the family members, but these symptoms always have ramifications for family members. Therefore, family therapists will change the system in order to change the individuals. They do so by changing dysfunctional patterns of relating, and help to create functional ways of interacting.
EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that resolves the trauma-related disorders caused by exposure to distressing events such as rape, military combat, or other such experiences.
The usual cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms get overwhelmed when someone experiences a traumatic or distressing event. The associated stimuli and memory of the event are inadequately processed, and are dysfunctionally stored in an isolated memory network. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process these distressing memories, reduce their lingering effects, and to allow clients to develop more adaptive coping mechanisms. EMDR is different from other therapies because of its unique element of bilateral stimulation of the brain through the use of eye movements, tones, or tapping during sessions. EMDR also utilizes dual attention awareness to allow the individual to go back and forth between the traumatic material and the safety of the present moment. This can help prevent retraumatization from exposure to the disturbing memory. The theory underlying EMDR treatment is that it works by helping the sufferer process distressing memories more fully which reduces the distress. EMDR has been heavily researched, and has been found to be very effective.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. It focuses on the "here and now", and on alleviating symptoms. The aim is to help people solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure in the present. There is empirical evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. CBT is structured and directive, and tends to be brief.