In my counseling practice, I offer a safe, collaborative, compassionate space for clients to process their past, life transitions, struggles and other issues. I draw from different theoretical orientations and tailor interventions with a client’s needs.
In general, as a certified EMDR Therapist, I tend use the adaptive information processing approach in eye movement desensitization processing (EMDR) treatment for trauma and negative life experiences, along with a systems approach, psychodynamic, with a framework seated within a multiculturally competent social justice advocacy and feminist approach lens to guide my work with diverse groups of clients.
EMDR: the adaptive information processing approach is based on the framework that as humans our mind and body desires wellness. When a human develops mental health symptoms it is a way for the mind/body to alert us of something is not well, unbalanced, or needs restoration. Trauma or negative experiences can keep a human unbalanced due to maladaptive information processing and symptoms like PTSD or anxiety can be alerting us that there is a need to adaptively process through memories or experiences using all aspects of the mind, body, and emotions through EMDR (Shapiro, 2017).
I have found that the EMDR is useful for clients that feel stuck in patterns, negative thinking and/or experiencing anxiety, depression, due to a negative and traumatic experiences. EMDR is useful for clients that want an integrative approach to trauma.
While I specialize in providing EMDR for trauma treatment, I also provide systemic and psychodynamic counseling for clients who are going through life transitions and relationship struggles.
Systems approach: Working towards wellness must be taken into consideration from a multiculturally competent social-historical perspective and examined through a systemic and ecological lens to determine best way to proceed towards healing. We do not live in a vacuum. Our mental health is influenced by the systems operating internally and externally (Hayes and Erford, 2018).
Psychodynamic: Just as we discussed our mental health is influenced by systems operating externally and internally – in order to address the internal conflicts, there may be a need to look into how the past and our earliest relationships influences how we operate in the present. This is done through the therapeutic relationship as tool to address needs/issues for a client (Jacobs, 2017).
Social Justice Advocacy/Feminist Approaches: In order for a client to achieve wellness, multiculturally competent social justice advocacy (Hayes and Erford, 2018) and feminist approaches (Brown, 2010) will support client empowerment and advocacy with the tools and a voice they need to continue deepening wellness for themselves and in their communities.
I find a feminist, multicultural and social justice lens to be particularly powerful for clients who experience stressors related to their cultural identities and heritage, such as experiences of racism, misogyny, and transphobia among others.
During our first session, we can discuss the challenges you have and identify which of these approaches might best fit your needs.
Brown, L.S., (2010). Feminist therapy. American Psychological Association.
Hayes, D., Erford, B., (2018). Developing multicultural counseling competence: a systems approach. Pearson.
Jacobs, M. (2017). Psychodynamic counselling in action. Sage publishing.
Shapiro, F., (2017). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (emdr) therapy, third edition: basic principles, protocols, and procedures. Guilford Press.