Therapeutic Approaches
 

Suzannah treats each client as a unique individual, tailoring the therapeutic approach to be the most useful to the client.  Suzannah is strongly influenced by the following approaches:

Existential/Humanistic Therapy

Existential/Humanistic therapy helps clients discover the height of their human potential while remaining realistic through the recognition of human conditions such as limitation, death, isolation, and meaninglessness.  Following in the tradition of the depth psychotherapies, existential/humanistic therapy has much in common with psychodynamic, experiential/gestalt, and relational approaches to in its commitment to developing self-awareness, life-long growth, life meaning, responsibility, and depth in interpersonal relationships.  Rather than focusing solely on the past, however, existential therapy emphasizes the importance of the "here-and-now."  Therapy sessions encourage clients to attend to current feelings, thoughts, and ideas and to create meaning in each choice made.  In addition to exploring transference and countertransference, the therapeutic relationship is treated as a real relationship between two human beings in which both client and therapist can learn, connect, and grow. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)  

Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a research-based treatment developed by Dr. Marsha Linehan that combines standard cognitive-behavioral therapy with Eastern mindfulness practices.  DBT teaches behavioral skills to help clients cope with emotions, survive "crisis," and deal effectively with others.  Mindfulness skills help both patient and therapist to achieve a state of "wise mind" that allows them to find a balance between accepting reality as it is and maintaining a strong commitment to change.  Originally designed to help clients with suicidal and self-harm behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, DBT has now been shown as highly effective in treating other problems such as eating disorders, mood disorders, and addiction. 

For more information on DBT, follow these links to www.behavioraltech.com or www.dbtselfhelp.com.  For information on how mindfulness skills can help with eating disorder recovery, visit The Center for Mindful Eating.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a strength-based approach that assumes people are experts on their own lives and views problems as something people experience rather than something they "are."  The term "narrative" refers to an emphasis on telling, retelling, and listening to stories that clients tell about their problems and lives.  Clients are encouraged to recognize innate abilities, healthy impulses, skills, attitudes, and behaviors to empower them in  re-authoring their life stories into narratives of hope and strength.

For more information about Narrative Therapy, visit www.narrativeapproaches.com.

Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive Arts Therapy incorporates the use of creative arts--drama, dance/movement, visual art, music, poetry, prose, and storytelling--into the therapeutic process.  The arts can be used in many ways, providing a rich form of self-expression as well as providing a space to experiment with problem-solving and new ways of being.  Clients learn to create their lives as if they, too, were a work of art.

For more information about Expressive Arts Therapy, visit The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Body-Oriented (Somatic) Therapy/Yoga

Body-oriented therapy helps people “become deeply aware of their bodily sensations as well as their emotions, images and behavior.  Clients become more conscious of how they breathe, move, speak, and where they experience feelings in their bodies.” (United States Association for Body Psychotherapy).  This increased physical awareness gives clients access to the body's natural wisdom and allows them to tangibly practice breaking out of rigid patterns of living.  Body-oriented therapy can be especially useful for those whose problems (eating disorders, addiction, trauma) have led to a disconnect or even animosity between mind and body.

Yoga is a powerful tool that can be used as part of body-oriented therapy.  In exploration of yogic breathing (pranayama) and poses (asana), clients practice finding balance and flexibility, both physically and mentally.  As in dialectical behavior therapy, a person practicing yoga learns to accept and meet their body as it is while simultaneously challenging themselves to grow, change, and build strength.   Yoga also helps achieve relaxation, enjoyment in body sensations,  and a sense of inner peace.

To learn more about yoga, visit www.yogajournal.com.