Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT for Couples)
EFT is a structured approach to couples therapy developed by Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg and is based in attachment theory. Research on its effectiveness, in which couples move out of distress and into recovery, shows a 75% success rate. In my experience couples who are committed to the process and the relationship notice a significant improvement in their relationship and communication patterns within 8-10 sessions.
Attachment theory was developed by John Bowlby over 50 years ago. Further research by many others since then has lead to wonderful ways therapists help clients heal and have healthier relationships. One of these was done by Sue and Les when they developed the EFT model for couples. EFT is currently the leading model of couple therapy. What we now know is that adult attachment relationships have the same survival framework built into them, that we had with our primary caregivers when we were very young. And that we are meant to attach and bond with others. Unfortunately many of us may not have had the most secure attachments growing up and our relationship blueprints (conditioned throughout childhood) may have lead us to feel some insecuries in our adult relationship with our partners. Most of this is going on unbeknownst to us and our partner but fuels our negative interactions, or our "cycle" with our partner.
In couple therapy with Lori you and your partner will learn about your cycle, how to identify the different steps in your "dance" that each of you make, and how it impacts the other person. The focus will be on these patterns and the work is on moving out of the negative cycle and into a more product and positive communications. You will learn to listen with the heart and build a safe haven in your relationship. If there have been any ruptures or serious injuries to the relationship, this process will allow for those to be healed and repaired.
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), was discovered in the late 1980s and used to treat trauma. It is now known to be helpful in treating many other mental and emotional health issues.
Eye movements, or other forms of BLS (bilateral stimulation), seem to activate our problem solving process, which is something that also happens during REM sleep.
By focusing on a specific problem, memory or issue, and both the positive and negative emotions, sensations, and beliefs associated with that, then adding the BLS, the brain is able to begin problem solving. The brain has a natural propensity to move toward healing and more adaptive positive beliefs, but sometimes needs a bump from BLS.
It's a free association process, driven by the client and contained and supported by the therapist. The theory is that the mind takes itself wherever it needs go to be healed. When we experience painful life events sometimes much of that content or memory is unprocessed and so it continues to impact us in our current day to day life. It's stuck. While we are doing the BLS we are doing the processing, digesting that piece of that painful life event that was never processed or could never have been processed at that time. EMDR therapists do this in a systematic and safe way so that the client can process the event or issue and put it in the past or adapt healthier positive views of the self with regard to whatever issue is being targeted.
Another way to describe it is to see it as bringing stuff up from long term memory to the present day so that it can be updated, based on what is true today. For more information take a look at this short video:
Watch this YouTube video, produced by the EMDR International Association, to Learn about how EMDR therapy works, what it is like, and how widely it is recognized.
Attachment Focused Family Therapy
From 2012-2017 I worked with local agencies in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties offering therapy to many families who had experienced various forms of trauma. These included such things as domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse (physical, mental, emotional), child neglect, child removals by the state, reunification and adoption. This lead to getting further training in attachment focused family therapy. This model of therapy is called different things by different people, but essentially it is a model that promotes connection over compliance. Once the connection can be established, healing, positive interactions, mutual respect and closeness can be fostered. This type of therapy can benefit almost any relationship. It is highly effective with parents who feel distant from their children, children with oppositional behaviors, blended families, for children who have experienced a traumatic event or neglectful caregiving earlier, and adoptive families. Depending on the family's needs I may work with just the parents/caregivers or I may include the child/ren.
Mindfulness & Transpersonal Psychology
Mindfulness approaches include such things as breathing exercises, guided imagery, emotional freedom technique (EFT), and grounding activities. I incorporate aspects of mindfulness into many sessions to create a safe, calm and secure space so that clients can have an easier access to their thoughts and feelings. Transpersonal psychology refers to that aspect of ourselves that people may refer to as their spirit, soul or broader consciousness. I provide a space for clients to explore what this meant to them. Common topics explored with this aspect of ourselves are spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, spiritual crises, and spiritual evolution.