Behavioral Activation is a psychotherapy which has been found to be an effective treatment for depression. The goal of Behavioral Activation is to help clients engage in activities that will increase rewarding experiences. Sessions are based on structuring and scheduling activities. As a meta-analysis (a scientific, quantitative review of studies) has shown, techniques that aim to activate clients such as activity scheduling can be considered more attractive than other treatments as it is less time consuming and easier to apply.
The first step in the Behavioral Activation approach is to identify behavioral patterns that are linked to the depressive feelings someone has. From that assessment, I assist clients to engage in activities that can bring them a sense of pleasure and of being productive. Therapist and client work together each session to develop an activation plan that will be put in action until they meet again the week after. While some clients may have difficulties in engaging in activities that are important to them, others can be quite active but are sometimes struggling to feel pleasure in the activities they are involved in.
Sometimes the same behaviors that people used to deal with a specific situation in their lives can end up being maladaptive in the long run. The idea behind Behavioral Activation is that by changing what we do, we can change how we feel. It is not easy though to change behaviors, especially when depressed. The guidance of a therapist using a structured model such as Behavioral Activation can help you get engaged in activities that may help you improve your mood.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach based on the principle that thoughts and behavior play a role in the onset and maintenance of psychological disorders. The goal of CBT interventions is to promote greater emotional regulation by changing the way one thinks and behaves.
The central idea behind CBT is that psychological distress is marked by the presence of maladaptive behaviors and distorted patterns of thinking. To help my clients improve their mood and reduce anxiety and/or depression my goal is to help them achieve more flexibility in the way they behave and think. I may help them for example to plan specific actions that are relevant to improve their mood or reduce anxiety. The actions I help them plan to do are usually actions that they find difficult but they would like to be more engaged in. I also propose some exercises during or between sessions that can help them to deal differently with thoughts that may contribute to keeping maladaptive behaviors. My goal is to help my clients find a new way to think about themselves, others, and aspects of life. Clients may also learn to deal differently with thoughts in a way that helps them engage in situations they want to engage in.
With CBT I can help you recognize how the way you think and behave may be contributing to maintaining your blue moods and feelings of anxiety. I can also help you learn some techniques that can help you break patterns that you find difficult to change. CBT is a short-term therapy in which you end up learning tools that can help you keep your habits after the end of the therapy.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based approach focused on repairing relationships via relatively brief interventions. EFT has been developed based on scientific studies on adult attachment, and continues to be updated via psychological science. There is now a robust body of research supporting the effectiveness of EFT.
Central to EFT is the idea that social connection is a biological need and is based on the idea that without some sort of safe relationship, we suffer. A considerable literature now shows that if we are less socially connected, we die earlier, we are less happy, and we are unhealthier. To be able to make my clients thrive, my goal is to help couples increase their sense of connection by helping them become more accessible, engaged, and responsive to each other’s needs. Experiencing this secure base with your partner allows you to not only to be more satisfied with your relationship but it also allows you to buffer against many of the stressors life presents. For example, a wife having a hard time to adjust to a new work environment after moving to another country may find more emotional balance when her husband is available to listen to her when being tuned to be genuinely interested in her experiences. Both partners will feel the reassurance they need. She feels her husband is there for her when she needs. The husband feels that she is grateful for him being there for her, and feels safe to realize again how much she trusts and relies on him. But sometimes emotions you experience prevent you to be responsive to each other. As life has many challenges, via EFT you will be better able to understand what prevents you from being responsive, you will better be able to bond with one another, and thus better confront difficult challenges in life.
As we explore your emotions that are central to recurrent negative patterns of interactions which you may be caught into, via EFT I can help you transform the emotional signals you send to each other, thereby renewing your experience of closeness and responsiveness.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Individuals
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Individuals (EFIT) is a structured approach based on the same line of scientific studies on adult attachment that gave rise to EFT for couples. The goal of EFIT is to bring new ways of engaging with your personal experiences, with other people, and with life dilemmas you may be confronted with.
Beyond the evidence that social connection is crucial for life and longevity, psychological science has also shown the importance of a secure connection for mental health issues. The lack of secure connection was found to be associated with mental health problems, including, but not limited to, depression and anxiety. The science of attachment has revealed that secure connection help in being more emotionally balanced, being open to new experiences, and to being more flexible to explore, learn, and grow. EFIT relies on evidence-based psychology and I use these insights to help you focus on expanding emotional experiences, to become more emotionally stable, and to become more flexible and open for new experiences.
EFIT is a type of therapy that helps me explore with you situations where you get stuck and can’t move forward. These situations can cause you pain, stress, and even pull people away from you. EFIT will also help me understand how some of your past experiences have shaped you and how they may have shaped the strategies that you use to deal with challenges in your life. Via EFIT, we will focus on recurrent negative patterns. We will go through a deeper exploration of your emotions and try to find ways that can help you cope better with life’s challenges.