Over the course of my career, I have learned a few techniques and use specific tools again and again to help my clients:
I have been using this personality theory for over 17 years and it absolutely speaks to me. In short, it is a proven psychological system that describes 9 inherently valid worldviews of reality. The Enneagram personality model exposes the unconscious assumptions- closely held opinions, inclinations, and expectations that we barely know we have. These unconscious assumptions drive the way we see ourselves, do our work, relate to colleagues, and make decisions. Enneagram is an international personality typology that provides a clear and comprehensive understanding of human behavior and the psyche. Instead of ‘boxing’ people into fixed categories, the Enneagram profiles 9 styles of being, which are truly dynamic, representing individuals as they change and transform in life.
The Enneagram is a powerful tool for self-discovery and personal development. Whether in individual or couples therapy, this tool will help you interact better. You will have additional benefits of more effective negotiations and conflict resolution. By understanding personality types, we learn to be more flexible to see the viewpoints and needs of others. With this new awareness, we help ourselves and others become more effective – and as a result, harmony, productivity, and satisfaction increase.
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is a therapeutic tool designed for patients who suffer from traumatic events, such as sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. The goal of EMDR as a trauma therapy is to forge new connections between the unprocessed memory (trauma/disturbance) and the more adaptive information that are contained in other memory networks. EMDR focuses directly on all the perceptual components of disturbing memories (imagery, cognition, affect, body sensations) and maintains these in a dynamic state while the patient simultaneously engages in a dual attention task (eye movements). Research has shown the eye movements decrease the vividness and emotionality of these disturbing memories. I have found regardless of the situation, if one of my patients expresses feelings of trauma from something in their lives, EMDR can be utilized with great success.
Internal Family Systems
The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy. It combines systems thinking with the view that the mind is made up of relatively discrete subpersonalities each with its own viewpoint and qualities. IFS uses family systems theory to understand how these collections of subpersonalities are organized. IFS also sees people as being whole, underneath this collection of parts. The therapist’s job is helping the client to disentangle themselves from their parts and access the Self, which can then connect with each part and heal it, so that the parts can let go of their destructive roles and enter into a harmonious collaboration, led by the Self. IFS recognizes the spiritual nature of the Self, allowing the model to be helpful in spiritual development as well as psychological healing.
Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practice of meditation and through other training. Whether it’s individual or marital mindfulness, I use this process frequently to help my patients.