Stribling Counseling Services uses a number of therapeutic approaches to help you through your crisis. First and foremost, we talk with you to understand where you are before starting the counseling process. Our approach is based on what will be the most effective for you as an individual. To accomplish this, we use different types of therapies.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy - The purpose of this type of therapy is to help clients understand how they perceive, think about, react, and respond to their current situation. Once we understand that, we help teach them new, healthy ways to handle it. This helps them respond more positively to their current situation, as well as to new issues that may surface. It is a process of learning how to think about problems differently, and have more effective control over how these issues effect them. By making specific changes in their thoughts, clients' can make positive changes in their behavior or reactions and responses, which improves their overall menatl well-being. This therapy is more instructional, and requires the client to do "homework" outside the counselor's office.
Client-Centered Therapy - In Client-Centered Therapy, the counselor encourages the client to talk, but does not make suggestions about ways in which the client may change. Instead, the counselor listens and mirrors back to the client what he or she has revealed to help the client explore his or her own thoughts and feelings. This reflection helps clients come to accept and understand their problems, so they may achieve personal growth or come to terms with a specific issue.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - EMDR is an effective way to help individuals with a variety of problems especially ones related to experiencing a history of trauma.
In the late 1980's, Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., noticed that disturbing thoughts and feelings could be alleviated if the individual experiencing the disturbance could reflect on the disturbing event while moving his or her eyes back and forth. This process helped people to recall the event in a calmer and more self-affirming way, relieving much of the anxiety associated with the initial trauma. The process helps clients diminish negativity and enhance feelings of competence. The initial application of EMDR was for PTSD; new applications were discovered to help with many emotional problems and also to help people to enhance performance by imagining successful experiences with future events. Eye movements are one way of receiving bilateral stimulation. The same therapeutic effect can be produced through mild taps to the backs of hands.
What happens when EMDR is used for therapy? To begin EMDR several steps are involved:
- First, the nature of the problem needs to be determined
- Second, we need to determine whether or not the client is a good fit for EMDR
- Third, specific images need to be targeted
During an actual EMDR session, the client thinks about an image as if her or she were watching the event from a moving train or on a video. Then the bilateral stimulation (visual or tactlile eye movements or taps) occurs for a few seconds to a little over a minute. Then the therapist stops the bilateral stimulation and asks the client to take a deep breath and report on any images, thoughts or sensations that he or she notices. This allows the therapist to guide the process toward an increasingly healthy enhanced sense of him/herself.
How does EMDR work? - We don't know exactly how EMDR works. Reviewing events while experiencing bilateral stimulation seems to accelerate the brains's ability to process events. This may be because bilateral stimulation integrates sensations, emotions, and thoughts in a way that allows the client's neural networks to experience the negative events through his or her naturally adaptive and healthy neural processes. EMDR enhances the client's emotional, physical and cognitive perceptions.
Who can EMDR help? EMDR has been found helpful in the treatment of clients with PTSD, panic, anxiety, addiction, grief, and depression. It has also been found to help individuals who have been victims of assaults or natural disasters and other issues that arise from traumatic experiences.