Individual counselling focuses on helping the client resolve personal or interpersonal issues. Clients are primarily troubled by their world-view or ingrained beliefs. This troublesome mindset may keep the individual stuck in a state of tension manifested by negative emotions, poor self-esteem and/or angry reactions.
For partners whose relationship is struggling and who want the support of a marriage counselor to reclaim the intimacy as well as enhance their skills around solving issues. I use a number of interventions including Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work and Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Also available is counselling for couples who have decided to part ways but wish to work toward a healthy friendship or co-parenting partnership.
For families whose relationships and/or communication with each other have become strained, distant, or violent. This is for people and families who want to bring the family closer together or simply learn how to function more effectively in one that is struggling. ‘Family’ can really take on many forms. In addition to the ‘traditional family’, a family can also be led by a single parent, a grandparent or even an older sibling.
Depression anxiety and relationship problems can arise as a result of abuse and other specific traumatic events. These conditions can also develop through learned responses and conditioning growing up in one’s family or a combination of these.
For single event or uncomplicated traumas (i.e. car accidents or minor assaults) there can be relatively quick resolution using techniques including EMDR, OEI or Lifespan Integration (see below). When there is prolonged abuse or multiple traumas the work generally requires a longer-term commitment and a range of techniques including those mentioned above may be utilized.
Trauma repair and family-of-origin work requires careful, deliberate work. It is essential to build safety in the therapeutic relationship in order to start unpacking and reorganizing world views that have lead to unproductive approaches to life. This therapy can be a process of self-discovery allowing greater access to new ways of looking after yourself and and relating to others. A form of body oriented psychotherapy is drawn on to enhance recovery.
Lifespan Integration, LI
Lifespan Integration therapy heals deeply and completely without re-traumatizing. LI is a very gentle method which works on a deep neural level to change patterned responses and outmoded defensive strategies. LI therapy helps people connect unpleasant feelings and dysfunctional patterns with the memories of the past events from which these feelings and strategies originated. Making these connections at a deep level of the body-mind “re-sets” the neural system so that it is more in line with the current life situation. This “re-setting” happens very rapidly for most people. After LI therapy, people find themselves spontaneously reacting to current stressors in more age appropriate ways. After several sessions of LI, clients have reported that they feel better about life, are more self-accepting, and are better able to enjoy their intimate relationships.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a leading edge structured approach to resolving trauma either from our past or a recent event. Sometimes disturbing events become frozen within us and we are unable to process and move beyond the pain of the experience. EMDR enables us to process information more effectively, move past these blocks, freeing up our energy and our ability to live more fully.
“EMDR is a integrated model that incorporates aspects of psychodynamic, experiential, behavioural, cognitive, body based and systems therapies. EMDR helps trauma survivors reprocess disturbing thoughts and memories, providing safe and stable treatment effects in a short period of time.” – Francine Shapiro creator of EMDR
One Eye Integration, OEI
One Eye Integration is a neurologically based series of trauma integration techniques to reduce and resolve the impacts of trauma. It can also be used to integrate andy disparity of perception between the two eyes, which can occur in traumatic head injury, learning disabilities, strokes and other phenomena.
OEI can be used on its own or in conjunction with other procedures such as EMDRT and energy work (acupressure release points). It has been successfully used in couples work, therapy with children, and treatment of trauma survivors. it has also been used with adults who are unable to make difficult decisions, or who wish to discontinue destructive habits.
Corrina Arnold MA MC RCC
A designation of BC Association of Clinical Counsellors