Approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy
When it comes to counselling and psychotherapy there is no sure-shot, one-way-is-the-right-way approach that can be taken. Counselling for any client revolves around specific attributes related to that client, for example the issue at hand, the readiness for change, how receptive a client is, their rate of growth, the degree to which they feel safe as well as their personality traits, specific life experiences and general outlook to life. Alongside these variables it is helpful if one views counselling and psychotherapy as an adventure and journey where one is continually achieving little and long term goals, ever growing and steadily moving forward.
As a counsellor or psychotherapist it’s interesting to figure out the best approach that will work for each and every client. Some clients do really well with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and make huge leaps, others get caught in the web of their thoughts and thrive better when they use Art Therapy. Some clients relate with imagery exercises or Gestalt techniques like the Empty Chair, while others prefer more tangible methods to grapple with what they are trying to understand. Each client is different, responding to different techniques in different ways. At Yellow Brick Counseling we try our best to approach each client with understanding, expertise and tailor counselling and psychotherapy to what suits them best.
Alongside other therapy techniques Art Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) are specialized Trauma-Informed psychotherapy approaches that are used with many clients.
Many people inquire about Art Therapy. They want to know how it works, how it would benefit them and how art can be used to further their counselling and psychotherapy goals.
Art therapy is a trauma-informed psychotherapy approach in which clients – facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behaviour and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, increase self-esteem. It is a great way to process difficult events/situations or traumatic events that are challenging to articulate.
It is a brilliant way to make abstract feelings and sensations in the body more tangible so they can be unpacked in a way that is non-threatening and gentle whilst still deepening the process of counselling and psychotherapy keeping in mind a clients’ psychological vulnerabilities.
EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a trauma-informed psychological/counselling and psychotherapy approach that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing and traumatic life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR 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 training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment. Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session. After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth across the client’s field of vision. As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level. For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, “I survived it and I am strong.” Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes. The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them. Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.
For more information about EMDR visit: http://www.emdria.org/