I’m still a bit wrung out from today, but feeling deep and strong, like something new is beginning. Thank you!

ST

Our Psychotherapy treatment is for the following

  • Mood Disorders (depression, bipolar disorder)
  • Anxiety Disorders (including OCD, panic, general and social anxiety)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Cognitive and Attentional Disorders including ADHD.

How our Psychotherapy practice works

We are expert in treating the full range of emotional and psychiatric issues and take a highly individualized approach.  While we can help symptoms with specific targeted therapies and medication, we do so much more.

When you call us we will ask about your particular goals and pair you to the right therapist for an initial evaluation. If medications are needed quickly the psychiatrist will be there at the first meeting.

The initial evaluation has several goals:

  1. To understand exactly what you are looking for: what would be a ‘success’ for you.
  2. To learn what your strengths are – within you, in your life and in your relationships.
  3. To understand the obstacles to your achieving your goals, which include psychological including the patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving that make up your personality; any trauma issues that effect your stress coping and attachment style; relationship issues; impulsivity including addictions, self-harm; attentional including ADHD; medical and medication issues; financial, and wellness and self-care issues, amongst others.
  4. To take care of any risk issues straight away.
  5. Begin to forge an alliance where you feel understood, hopeful and clear on what happens next.
  6. To leave with a clear treatment plan for the short- and long-term, with defined goals, options, and ways to measure success. We will consider different therapies and who should deliver those, medication options, and whether a group, family work, case management or meditation could help.

Types of Psychotherapies we offer

The outcome of a treatment depends largely on the quality of the therapeutic alliance and the skill of the practitioner. The specific therapy offered makes a surprisingly small difference to outcome. But being well trained and experienced means the therapist can formulate the issues, communicate those clearly and deliver a therapy that feels individualized, caring, structured and sensible.

Here is a partial list of therapies therapists at Psych Garden are trained in. We are all dedicated to ongoing learning and so have weekly educational rounds, supervision and external expert trainers.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

We cannot change the past, but we can change our approach and response to triggers of distress and cravings, learn to skip trouble before it strikes and manage reactions when it does. CBT is a bedrock of many therapies.

Relational / Psychodynamic

By learning to reflect on our own and other’s feeling states we gain insight and empathy, reduce impulsivity, and heal issues that have prevented us from feeling connected, trusting and loved. Psychodynamic thinking permits us to consider your developmental history, help your form a narrative of your life, and understand how you learned to cope with feelings. Attachment theory adds to this a very deep appreciation for how people are driven by a fundamental need for security and develop an enduring model of themselves and their relationships with others based on early interactions with caring others.

Transformational

It’s a big word but we watch it happen all the time through many of our approaches which draw on both of the proceeding therapy models. We are trained in Experiential Dynamic Therapies including AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) and IFS (Internal Family Systems), powerful contemporary approaches that aim for a corrective emotional experience that can change our attachment styles and narratives.

A key approach we follow is emotion-focused, or experiential dynamic therapies, primarily AEDP and IFS. Emotions are core organizers of the self, the fundamental mechanism evolved to sense, understand and react to our worlds – both outside and inside our bodies. They are the drivers of thought and behavior.

If in childhood we learned that certain situations are dangerous, overwhelming or hopeless then, as adults, we learn ways to manage those unbearable feelings – by avoidance, denial, anxiety or addictions. But as adults we have power, options, and understanding that we never had in our youth. With the help of a therapist we can re-do experiences that taught us lessons then that are no longer needed now. We want to help people experience their feelings fully and to be able to use these feelings to guide effective behavior and connection to others, instead of living in fear and avoidance.

In the therapy work we identify defenses, or maladaptive coping strategies, that have got in the way of effective functioning; and titrate anxiety to the optimal level to allow change. Our therapies will invite you into uncomfortable areas because that is where deep change happens. In some ways the work is reactivates anachronistic memory engrams together with the hot emotions, and reworks those memories in a secure setting. This is a corrective emotional experience.

Integrated Dual Disorder Therapy

Is a suite of practical, evidence-based practices promoting recovery among people with co-occurring disorders.   Mark wrote an article on this – Making A Great Dual Disorders Program. IDDT emphasizes that individuals achieve big changes like sobriety, symptom management, and an increase in independent living through a series of small, overlapping, incremental changes that occur over time. Therefore, IDDT takes a stages-of-change approach to treatment, which is individualized to address the unique circumstances of each person’s life.

IDDT is built upon the following core treatment components:

  • Multidisciplinary Team
  • Stage-Wise Interventions (stages of change, stages of treatment)
  • Access to Comprehensive Services (e.g., residential, employment, etc.)
  • Time-Unlimited Services
  • Assertive Outreach
  • Motivational Interventions
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Group Treatment
  • Family Psychoeducation
  • Participation in Alcohol & Drug Self-Help Groups
  • Pharmacological Treatment
  • Interventions to Promote Health
  • Secondary Interventions for Treatment of Non- Responders

Mindfulness

Learn to stay calm, improve your focus, change your perspective, and develop self-compassion. We use these in many of our sessions and therapies and also in specific training groups.

DBT

Four core modules address interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. While it was developed for the treatment of borderline personality disorder, it benefits many.

Contingency Management

A profoundly effective treatment, mainly for addiction, that uses positive reinforcement instead of punishment. Punishment is pretty ineffective as people may be neurologically insensitive to it, it can trigger resentment and rebellion, and closes down reflective thinking. Instead, our treatments are focused on attaining rewards, quickly and in response for movement towards improvement and self care. Rewards may be financial, and later pride, work, relationships. Both the client and the family need guidance to shift to this stance.

Case Management

Sometimes some support and structured guidance is needed to get people on track, teach skills and maintain safety; later people can sustain their recovery, removing the scaffolding. We meet at or out of the office to help you follow through successfully with goals.

The work may involve coaching on sleep habits, exercising, meditation, light box use, study skills, relaxation, budgeting and more.

Family and couples work

It’s sometimes needed to improve connection, provide education and decrease stressors. We use EFT and CRA-FT. See more on our page.

Holistic Approaches

As effective treatments, these can outperform medications.

  • Sleep – hygiene, phase shifting, melatonin
  • Light administration for seasonal depression, bipolar depression.
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Nutritional guidance
  • Supplements including vitamins, probiotics, etc.

Group Therapy

Making Changes – For newcomers and those kick-starting change. (Currently closed)

It’s always hard to make changes; there are always downsides. In this group, we’ll examine the thoughts and feelings behind our choices, and learn to tolerate the anxiety of choosing. We’ll clarify our valued goals and then learn practical ways to navigate through the distractions, cravings, triggers and pain so we can be successful and empowered. We’ll use motivational interviewing, CBT, values clarification, urge surfing, relapse prevention; and work on getting a healthy balance on life, discussing harm reduction, diet, exercise, medications, family, relationships, work – everything that comes up in these early phases of change.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy *** CURRENTLY ENROLLING *

This group is for people whose emotions get the better of them, disrupting plans, relationships, thinking and contributing to impulsivity including drug or alcohol use. In each session we will cover a set of skills aimed at managing urges and cravings, avoiding opportunities and cues to use, reducing behaviors conducive to drug use, increasing healthy social networks, and coping ahead for stressful events. We’ll work on identifying personal red flags, describing emotional experiences, and helping each other recognize when we are in predictable mind states that lend themselves to use. The dialect of abstinence vs harm reduction, and the feelings thoughts and actions that dwell within each stance, anchors the treatment.

Fee: $100 per person. 12-week course; rolling admission.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER

Applied Mindfulness *** CURRENTLY ENROLLING*

Do you spend your days operating on “auto-pilot”? Could you live more in the moment instead of worrying about the future and dwelling in the past? What’s happening inside you before you crave or use? Can you sit with emotions and thoughts without action?
This group will teach you ways to press pause on your thoughts, increase your awareness of thoughts and emotions, develop greater self-compassion, access your inner wisdom, and incorporate a mindfulness practice into every day life.
Each group will begin with a guided experiential mindfulness activity, followed by practical mindfulness skills training derived from evidence-based therapies such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER

Family and Friends *** CURRENTLY ENROLLING *

This 8-week group will teach you how to work effectively with the person who’s addicted. You can start at any point in the cycle, or take it more than once. We also offer this in individual coaching format.
Utilizing evidence-based approaches including CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach – Family Therapy) and Family Education & Support, concerned others will learn specific researched skills and be better able to engage, motivate and survive over the long-haul. This gentle but directed approach is very different than the typical confrontational intervention (which does not work well) and is also different from Al-Anon because it’s more than support and believes that we CAN change things.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER

Women’s Group: Stop Surviving, Start Flourishing

It can be exhausting and impossible to have ambitions and drive yet also be expected to manage family and look good too. This group will allow women to share the experience of swirling in the chaos of multiple demands and, at times, turning to drugs or alcohol to cope. Often, behind the stress are intense feelings – of aloneness, shame, anger and desire. We’ll support each other as we examine where we’re at, and where we intend to go, which may mean moderating or stopping drugs or alcohol. We’ll learn to cope with emotions, be those from old traumas or current stressors. We’ll examine the thoughts and feelings behind our actions, and learn to tolerate the anxiety of choosing, or letting go. We’ll learn practical ways to navigate through the distractions, cravings, triggers and pain so we can be successful and empowered. We’ll support each other as we work towards a healthier balance in our lives: work, family, self-care including sleep and exercise, friends, sex and healthy boundaries. Not everyone in this group will have addiction issues, though all these themes come up in early phases of change and are critical in ongoing recovery.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER

What is Good Therapy?

Good therapy = a strong therapeutic alliance + specific targeted skills.

Too often therapy can feel like venting to someone who is understanding. That’s all well and good, but people don’t need to pay for that. They can get that from anyone.

We believe that it is essential to focus on valued goals, decrease avoidance behaviors, increase sense of control and attain secure attachments.

At Psych Garden we are trained to maximize the therapeutic alliance and provide specific evidence-based therapies expertly. We measure outcomes so we know if we’re on the right track.

Our approaches are less specific to disorders and address issues common to many diagnoses. This is a trend evident in many centers of excellence (see for example the work of P Fonagy, A Caspi, D Barlow, A Abbass and D Fosha).

A key approach we follow is emotion focused, or experiential dynamic therapies, primarily AEDP and IFS. Emotions are core organizers of the self, the fundamental mechanism evolved to sense, understand and react to our worlds – both outside and inside our bodies. They are the drivers of thought and behavior.

If in childhood we learned that certain situations are dangerous, overwhelming or hopeless then, as adults, we learn ways to manage those unbearable feelings – by avoidance, denial, anxiety or addictions. But as adults we have power, options, and understanding that we never had in our youth. With the help of a therapist we can re-do experiences that taught us lessons then that are no longer needed now. We want to help people experience their feelings fully and to be able to use these feelings to guide effective behavior and connection to others, instead of living in fear and avoidance.

In the therapy work we identify defenses, or maladaptive coping strategies, that have got in the way of effective functioning; and titrate anxiety to the optimal level to allow change. Our therapies will invite you into uncomfortable areas because that is where deep change happens. In some ways the work is reactivates anachronistic memory engrams together with the hot emotions, and reworks those memories in a secure setting. This is a corrective emotional experience.