THEORY OF PRACTICE
Not everyone needs or wants to know about the theory that I use in my practice, but I know there are some of you out there. This one is for you.
Here is the thing - prior to my graduate work I was only taught Cognitive Behavioral Theory through a Psychology lens - heavy on behavior. That still impacts me and my practice. However, I have come to believe it is not enough to know the tools to change. The truth is you probably already have plenty of tools or coping skills inside of you, but when things get hard you may lose the motivation to use them.
I still incorporate homework and provide tools when necessary to maximize the work we do in session. I incorporate a variety of techniques in my therapy practice, but I do that through the lens of Developmental counseling and therapy (DCT) developed by Allen Ivey. Long story short I'm going to try to meet you where you are. For example, with kids I use play therapy techniques because using talk therapy doesn't meet them at their developmental stage. For my teens, we might talk, use expressive arts, or even games to process.
DCT is ultimately a wellness approach. A wellness model focuses on facilitating personal growth in social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, or physical ways that move us from one degree of wellness to the next.
As humans, we are always growing and developing. We are constantly trying to integrate our personal challenges, joys, and achievements into a life story. This involves intentionally exploring our blind spots and addressing any developmental challenges we have had such as trauma. While I know this is not a comfortable experience I believe through the power of connection and vulnerability we have the ability to experience relief and freedom by addressing these challenges directly.
DCT is influenced by family and environmental systems theories and human development. For me, this also incorporates an understanding of brain development. In counseling, we may explore thinking, feeling, behavior, and the patterns you see in your own life. I may challenge you at times or bring in what is going on in the moment.
In order to meet you at your current level of processing or challenge your level of processing, I may incorporate EMDR, expressive arts, play therapy techniques, activity therapy techniques, or sand tray techniques.