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Emotion Focused Therapy is an Evidence Based, collaborative and empathically responsive approach in which emotional experiences are used as signals in need to be accessed, understood, used and processed in a healthy way in order to derive new meaning and growth opportunities, reduce emotional distress, overcome difficulties, and increase interpersonal connections. It can often be very helpful when dealing with cycles of unwanted negative and maladaptive emotional challenges, such as depression, traumatic response, anxiety, shame, couple conflict, interpersonal problems, unresolved emotions towards significant others in our past or current lives, grief and helplessness. An Emotion Focused Therapist seeks to understand with the client how their learned early and current experiences with situations of abuse, trauma, neglect, or invalidation results in intense emotional experiences and guides them through the process of healthy emotional processing and response to achieve an emotional understanding of their needs and goals and increase their resilience to future adversities.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy is an Evidence Based approach used at the clinic with individuals who struggle with trauma-related symptoms. When trauma is present, DBT skills can assist in allowing for trauma to be approached, processed, and addressed by reducing avoidance (e.g., emotional) that maintains trauma symptoms. DBT offers the following techniques and skills:

  1. Mindfulness: Learning to increase awareness of emotions and thoughts in the present moment by observing cues and triggers without judgment.

  2. Distress Tolerance: Learning to use mindfulness skills to identify and name emotions in stressful situations (e.g., actual, and perceived). More importantly, learning skills to tolerate stress and distress to prevent making stressful situations worse in response to continued heightened emotions.

  3. Emotional regulation: Learning how not to be overcome by emotions (which leads to avoidance). Instead, learning strategies to effectively manage emotions and to have self-compassion for emotions.

  4. Interpersonal effectiveness: Learning skills building on those above to approach conflict differently.

  5. Exposure and response prevention: Learning to approach demanding situations without being overcome. Instead, learning how to remain in difficult situations in an adaptive way.

  6. Opposite action: Learning to recognize the emotionally based “action urges” experiences (e.g., to withdraw, avoid) and learning to intentionally plan to react differently.

  7. Validation: Benefiting from validation and normalization of emotions in response to stressful situations and triggers. Learning to approach instead of dismissing trauma experiences. Validation can play an important role in the healing process.

  8. Chain Analysis: Learning the skill of problem-solving interventions when dysregulated using chain analysis.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an Evidence Based approach that includes the following components:

  1. Acceptance: In ACT, acceptance involves acknowledging and embracing your thoughts, emotions, sensations, and urges without judgment.  Rather that struggling against them or resigning yourself to them, you learn to coexist with them. In building this skill, you learn to sit with your discomfort like a compassionate observer who allows the experiences to occur without trying to change them. 

  2. Commitment: In ACT, we clarify and clearly identify our values and commit to aligning our behaviors and choices with them. Gradually, we increasingly and intentionally take steps towards a meaningful life, even when difficult emotions, thoughts, and sensations arise. 

  3. Psychological flexibility: At the heart ACT lies psychological flexibility that is developed through the use of acceptance and commitment as well as with cognitive defusion, mindfulness, presence, being rooted in our values, by using the self-as-context, and by committing to action. With flexibility, you learn to navigate difficult experiences skillfully without having to eliminate discomfort. 

Treatment Approaches: Services


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an Evidence Based approach that involves looking at emotional experiences and responses within a five factor model, which includes a situation, your feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and physical responses. Intervention points focus on the later three components to effect change (e.g., looking at the way you are thinking, altering behaviors or using techniques to reduce the physical symptoms). Unlike other therapies which can take years, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is briefer and time-limited and focuses on the collaborative and Socratic approach between the therapist and client to address the difficulties at hand. Learned patterns of behaviors, thoughts and physical reactions are addressed during sessions and practiced between sessions to achieve the goals outlined.

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