Depending on the couples' needs, I approach couples and marital therapy using a blend of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Psycho-Physical Therapy (PPT). Initial sessions include practicing techniques and skills to improve communication and emotional safety, and learning how to work with each person's protective defenses. Early sessions also include individual sessions to support safety and deeper understanding.
Collaborating with your intentions and goals, we build on the strengths of your relationship to turn towards interrupting and resolving conflict cycles. Particular attention is placed on non-verbal communication, self-regulation and affect tolerance, and understanding how our childhood experiences impact our intimate relationships.
More information about EFT, From Dr. Sue Johnson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCg-jC25fo&ab_channel=Dr.SueJohnson
More Information about Psycho-Physical Therapy: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/psycho-physical-therapy
More information about IFS for Couples Therapy: https://ifs-institute.com/resources/articles/couples-marriage-counseling-internal-family-systems-therapy
The principles from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy guide my work:
We exist within a complex organic system of interdependent parts. Unity acknowledges that we are all connected, and that we have individual and group differences. Although unity is ever-present, it is recognized and experienced more fully through communication.
Organicity refers to the internal wisdom of all living systems. Thus, the therapist does not “heal” the client; rather the healing power and intelligence is within and each person has their our own unique, mysterious and emergent growth path.
Our work is not forceful. We believe that people do not need to be “fixed” or changed. We avoid criticizing, judging, or pathologizing, and we encourage curiosity, and follow the natural organicity to promote change.
Mind, body and spirit are intimately related, essential aspects of each of us. We keep the whole person in mind, and consider mind body and spirit in context and relationship, rather than work with these elements in isolation.
We encourage awareness of present moment internal experience–both ours and our clients’–as well as the impact we have on others, and others on us, We strive to be in deep resonance with our clients, cultivating a state of presence that is conducive to intuition and inspiration."
Taken directly from https://sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org/about/#what-is-sp
For more information about the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, check out: https://sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org/about/#what-is-sp
I received my initial EMDR training in 2018 with a EMDRIA two-module course and supervision and have practiced for 5 years. The method accelerates integration and recovery from the impacts of many forms of trauma.
From the EMDR website: "EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes." (http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/)
Sometimes our challenges are intense enough they require more than meeting once a week. Having years of experience training and practicing in Intensive Outpatient Programs, I find meeting twice or sometimes three times per week excellerates relief from acute distress and hastens progress. The additional session(s) allow to stabilize and contain current emergent symptoms and issues while also attending to the underlying causes at their root. Including marriage, family, and/or group therapy sessions may augment the therapy process.
In November 2018 I offered a live webinar sponsored and produced by Harmony Place Monterey, a mental health clinic offering PHP and IOP treatment in Monterey, California. This is an overview of somatic psychotherapy treatments for PTSD and trauma. If you’re a health professional and interested in earning 2 CEUs from this webinar, access Harmony’s webinar page to register ( https://harmonyplacemonterey.com/webinars/ )