MATT'S THERAPY APPROACH
I describe my approach to psychotherapy as eclectic, utilizing methodology from various evidence-based therapies. There is no “one-size fits all approach,” so my goal is to create a therapeutic experience that is tailored to your unique needs as an individual.
The strongest predictor of positive outcomes in therapy is the therapeutic relationship – the relationship between the client and therapist. To that end, it is first and foremost important for me to build strong and healthy relationships with my clients.
From there, I utilize skills and tools from Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness, and Internal Family Systems. For information on these approaches, please see below:
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy helps us to make shifts with our thoughts, and with our behaviours, to in turn help with the way that we feel. I like to describe it as not about seeing the world from “rosey coloured glasses,” and more about recognizing that anxiety and depression impact the way we think and behave. It’s about learning to see ourselves, other people, and the world, from a more clear-coloured, balanced perspective.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a skills-oriented approach, that is broken down into four components:
Distress Tolerance Skills: skills we can practice when experiencing powerful emotions.
Emotion Regulation Skills: skills we can practice to keep our emotions regulated.
Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills: skills to help us improve our relationships.
Mindfulness: skills to work on keeping our mind in the present moment.
Mindfulness is all about keeping the mind in the present moment with acceptance and non-judgment. Mindfulness can take many forms including informal practices (e.g. paying attention to our 5 senses doing everyday activities), and formal practices (e.g. mindful body scans).
Internal Family Systems
Internal Family Systems is a process-oriented therapy, that explores inner experiences by identifying different “parts” to ourselves. We all have different parts that work to protect emotional wounds that may have developed from past experiences. IFS helps to explore parts, and heal inner wounds, to develop a healthy and integrated sense of self.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a non-drug, nonhypnosis psychotherapy procedure. The therapist guides the client in concentrating on a troubling memory or emotion while moving the eyes rapidly back and forth (by following the therapist's fingers). This rapid eye movement, which occurs naturally during dreaming, seems to speed the client's movement through the healing process. Taps to hands, right and left, sounds alternating ear-to-ear, and even alternating movements by the patient can work as well. The key seems to be the alternating stimulation of the two sides of the brain.
What is it used for? EMDR is used to treat troubling symptoms such as anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, and post-traumatic reactions. It can also be used to enhance emotional resources such as confidence and self-esteem.