At Humantold, we believe that there is more than one way to arrive at a destination. Our therapists utilize a variety of different empirically based approaches and therapeutic modalities in their work with clients. As person-centered clinicians, we strive to meet our clients where they are and work with them to get where they want to go. Below are just a few examples of the different therapy perspectives our clinicians work from.
Life can often feel like navigating through a maze of uncertainties. Existential therapy seeks to shine a light on the deeper questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What truly matters to me? This therapeutic approach delves into life’s inherent anxieties and the quest for meaning. We’re all journeying through the same existential landscape, and sometimes, it’s beneficial to have a guide. By emphasizing values, choices, and individual experiences, existential therapy fosters a profound connection with oneself, leading you towards a life filled with authenticity and purpose. Together, we can explore your existential pathway, understanding that every profound journey begins with introspection and inquiry.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a modality of therapy that focuses on one’s inner experience and was developed by Richard (Dick) Schwartz in the 1980’s. It views the mind as made up of the core Self and a variety of parts or subpersonalities that have their own qualities, characteristics, and roles–an internal family, referred to as “parts”. Each part has a role, function, and title; some parts serve to protect us and our system, while others are wounded or have had to hold burdens in life.
IFS holds a non-pathologizing view of issues, and it aims to help individuals understand their internal system, access Self, and heal those protective and wounded parts. IFS has been used in a variety of contexts to treat numerous issues. Specifically, it is helpful in working with internal criticism, perfectionism, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders, substance use, depression, mood issues, interpersonal relationships, somatic symptoms, trauma, among others.
Feminism can be a loaded topic, depending upon your understanding of the term. Clinically speaking, feminist therapy is the exploration of intersectional identity & internalized messaging from both macro and micro cultural perspectives. When working from a feminist therapy perspective, clients have the opportunity to identify and unpack those ideas we all have often unknowingly consumed about ourselves as they relate to expectations and roles influenced and dictated by cultural norms around gender, race, ethnicity, religious participation, and sexual orientation. Upon examining these concepts, clients can then determine if these are a good personal fit or not, adjusting and releasing them as they determine best for themselves. Ultimately, feminist therapy has a wide range of clinical application as both a primary theoretical orientation, and a complementary theory as it works to empower clients, regardless of race, sex or gender assignment, to live life on the terms they choose and believe best for them.
In psychodynamic therapy, a significant focus lies in exploring how our past interactions and experiences with various significant people in our lives, shape the way we relate to ourselves and others today. Just like a puzzle, our earliest connections with caregivers, society, our culture, and our past have woven together to form different parts of ourselves. Some of these parts may have evolved to become protective mechanisms or adaptations to different relationships and settings; these protective mechanisms are often referred to as “defense mechanisms”.
Psychodynamic therapy helps the individual make sense of their intricate inner landscape, affording them greater understanding and insight as to why they react the way they do, and why certain patterns persist. By exploring their relationship dynamics, both past and present, individuals gain the tools to nurture healthier connections with others and, most importantly, with the various facets of their own self.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a widely recognized and empirically supported psychotherapy approach that combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with mindfulness and acceptance strategies. Developed by Dr. Marsha M. Linehan in the late 1980s, DBT was initially designed to address the unique needs of individuals with borderline
personality disorder (BPD). The term “dialectical” in DBT reflects the therapeutic integration of opposing principles, such as acceptance and change, that are essential for effective emotional regulation and interpersonal skills development.
DBT is characterized by its four primary modules: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Mindfulness techniques are central to DBT, teaching individuals to be fully present in the moment, observe their thoughts and emotions nonjudgmentally, and enhance self-awareness. Interpersonal effectiveness skills focus on
improving communication, asserting one’s needs, and maintaining healthy relationships. Emotion regulation strategies help individuals identify and manage intense emotions, while distress tolerance techniques equip them with coping mechanisms to handle crisis situations effectively.
DBT is widely used to treat various mental health conditions beyond BPD, including depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It is particularly effective for individuals with emotional dysregulation, self-harm tendencies, and difficulties in interpersonal relationships. By providing a structured and compassionate approach to enhancing emotional regulation and life skills, DBT assists clients in achieving a more fulfilling and balanced life while reducing symptoms associated with their respective mental health conditions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on behavioral and thought change for improved well-being. Developed by Aaron Beck as a treatment for depression, CBT has wide-ranging, empirically-vetted application for numerous mental health conditions such as anxiety, anger management, substance abuse disorders, sex addiction, and disordered eating. For short term treatment, CBT is a helpful therapy for addressing challenging circumstances in a person’s life, gaining an understanding of the thoughts, emotions, and feelings linked to those situations, and identifying the unhelpful thinking patterns within them, ultimately coming up with more constructive ways of thinking to correct and reshape inaccurate thought processes.
CBT operates from the core idea that an individual’s perception informs their behaviors and emotional responses. Simply put: human beings interpret reality based upon our thoughts, ideas, and perspectives (what we refer to clinically as “cognitions”), which then inform our reactions (behavior/emotions). The goal of CBT is to address those behaviors, automatic assumptions, and core beliefs that are creating a perspective and way of engaging with the world and others that is unhelpful, problematic, and/or unsustainable for the individual, replacing them with more adaptive, flexible thoughts and behaviors, enhancing the overall functioning and well-being of the individual.