Therapy or psychotherapy is the process through which people establish change and growth. In some cases, individuals may even experience positive changes that were not expected or intended by participating in the therapeutic process. Although engaging in therapy has the potential to make situations and emotions more difficult in the short term by exposing a variety of problematic issues, many individuals are likely to improve by engaging in the therapeutic process.
Within his practice, Mathew utilizes a variety of modalities to address the concerns of clients. These modalities include:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR);
- Prolonged Exposure (PE);
- Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT);
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT);
- Mindfulness, and;
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET).
More information regarding these modalities can be found below.
Despite its many benefits, therapy is challenging work and has the potential for risk (e.g. emotional discomfort). The therapeutic process should be transformative over time. In order to accomplish this, it may require you to discuss and explore memories, emotions, sensations, and events in your life that may be unpleasant. Therapy may bring up increased and uncomfortable emotions such as anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame, anger, and frustration. You may also recall unexpected and unpleasant memories that can be painful to examine. Making changes in your life can be scary and poses the risk of disrupting your status quo. Therapy can change how you live, and it can change how you feel about yourself and your relationships. It is important that you consider carefully all of the risks and benefits when deciding if psychotherapy is right for you.
EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal. EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma. When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound. If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes. The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health. If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering. Once the block is removed, healing resumes. Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.
Adapted from: EMDR Institute, Inc.
PE teaches you to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings and situations that you have been avoiding since experiencing a traumatic event. Over the course of therapy, you will work through your list step-by-step, practicing in vivo exposure. This means that you will gradually confront the trauma you have been exposed to throughout your life. With time, you will feel more comfortable in these situations, and you will not need to avoid them anymore. After a few sessions, you will begin to talk through the details of your trauma. This is called imaginal exposure
Adapted from: Department of Veterans Affairs (US).
DBT is a form of therapy that focuses on problem solving and acceptance based strategies. Although this form of therapy was originally developed to assist individuals with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), it is now recognized to assist individuals with a range of mental health and substance-related concerns.
DBT focuses upon four primary areas of functioning, commonly referred to as skills training: Emotion Regulation; Distress Tolerance; Interpersonal Effectiveness, and; Mindfulness. The purpose of DBT is to assist in the development of appropriate coping mechanisms and enable the application of skills throughout an individuals life (e.g. home, school, work, and within the community). This approach looks to assist individuals with the reduction of problematic behaviour that might be negatively contributing to their daily functioning.
Adapted from: Behaviour Tech.