I use an integrated approach to therapy. I like to draw from several different models so as to customize treatment plans specifically for the individual needs of each client.
A brief description of a few of my favorites:
SFT is an upbeat, empowering approach to therapy. Oftentimes described as “brief”, this model capitalizes on a client’s desired personal and emotional outcome and is fueled by directive questioning by the therapist (sometimes called Motivational Interviewing.) I like to think of SFT as starting with the ending, or working backward in that we use desirable, hopeful outcomes to navigate the ship instead of allowing our traumatic past and/or present experiences to have control. Let me be clear, SFT does NOT glaze over our stories and the inception of our struggle; in fact, it very much explores this. An understanding and witnessing of our journey is vital to healing and growth. However, SFT takes into account our past in order to clearly identify our desired outcome and goals.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is awesome and helpful for many. The basic premise behind CBT is that our predominant thoughts and beliefs affect our behaviors; therefore, negative patterns of thought and focus result in negative actions and behaviors. When using CBT, I like to take it a step further and explore not only our negative thoughts but also our relationship to those negative thoughts. I ask this question quite a bit: “How does this belief serve you?” I like CBT because it does not isolate our cognitions (thoughts) from our behaviors, but instead joins them together in an intricate dance. CBT shows up a lot in treatment for clients who struggle in areas of anxiety, depression, low self worth, and unhealthy relationships with people, substances, and food.
As you probably guessed, Experiential therapy revolves mainly around experiencing. This form of practice involves a host of different techniques such as psychodrama, art therapy, songwriting therapy, role-playing, creative writing, and more. While traumatic experiences in our lives can leave us emotionally and cognitively stuck, oftentimes the only real memories of our pain are housed in our bodies. Experiential therapy is so powerful as it addresses the trauma in a non -threatening and seemingly secondary way, encouraging us to drop out of our minds and into our bodies where those painful patterns reside. In other words, it goes deeper than just addressing our trauma in the traditional “talk therapy” way. It draws on a different part of the brain all together, stimulating the subconscious levels of our being, therefore unlocking deeper pathways to healing. I find this model of therapy to be so successful because it starts a re-wiring process by building on new experiences in a safe and supported therapeutic environment.
Emotionally Focused Therapy
EFT is a beautiful tapestry of influential elements like Gestalt therapy, person-centered therapy, systematic therapy and attachment theory. I’ve found using EFT in various settings, especially with couples, adolescents and young adults. Sometimes we have this very unhelpful belief that our emotions are bad, well, except for the good ones (i.e. glad, excited, etc.). EFT skillfully debunks that myth as it presents the spectrum of human emotions as tools and signals directing us to greater wholeness and integration. In essence, if we are aware of the emotions we feel and can positively move through and learn from them, we can diffuse problematic self-experience and stuck patterns. The goal here is to take the presenting problem and it’s resulting negative emotion (i.e. fear or anger), explore and give voice to that emotion, and access a new positive emotional state within the context of a safe and compassionate connection in therapy.
Katie Gustafson offers a wide array of treatments that are customized to fit your individual needs.
Specializations in Treatment include:
- Eating Disorders
- Grief and Loss
- Creative Blocks
- Relational Issues
- Sexual Abuse/Trauma
- Family of Origin Issues
- Marital Conflict
- Divorce and Divorce Adjustment
- Life Transitions