So what is "Therapy with a beginning, middle, and end"? Why do I use it as my tagline? I believe therapy can be a tool to help you experience freedom from your past and gain new ground in your life. And I believe you can do it in a brief format where you do not find yourself in long-term therapy. You hold the solutions to your problems. Therapy can be a mechanism (among many) to help you discover the answers, find the solutions, and tap into the resilience you were created with. Create your goals. Do the work. Meet your goals. Conclude therapy. This is the "circle of life" with this type of therapy. In this blog I will provide a brief overview of the approach I take with my clients.
Whether you're experiencing new or old problems on large or small scale this therapy can help you. Maybe you're fed up with your problems because you've put up with them for so long, you're noticing new symptoms that appear out of the blue, or, perhaps, you're observing behavioral problems that are creating barriers to your success in your relationships, or you feel just plain stuck and you want to get unstuck. Whatever the case may be this therapy can help you. If you come in for therapy with me, I'll let you know if I can help you with your problem. If I know that I can't, I'll provide you with referral sources that will help you get to where you want to be. If I think this therapy can be beneficial for you and you are ready to invest in it and commit to it, then we'll proceed as follows.
Typically, within the first two sessions I'll gather information that will help me conceptualize why you're having the problems that you are. This involves a lot of questions asked by me and answers given by you, followed by a lot of "hunches" offered by me that are either confirmed, denied or adjusted by you. It is an engaging conversation about you. This turns into insight about the problem and helps us (you and me) identify the core source(s) of the problem.
From there we identify when it began, what memories and experiences kicked it off in your life, and the subsequent experiences that continued to reinforce it. We'll discuss present triggers that you want relief from and future scenarios you want to feel more empowered and prepared to face. This sets up our treatment plan. I'll provide a estimate of how many sessions I think it will take to resolve the problem. Then we'll collaborate and decide frequency of visits based on your availability and desired time to conclude therapy. This is the beginning.
The crux of the treatment begins the following session. Sessions are structured based upon EMDR's clinically proven eight-phased protocol. We spend a good portion of our sessions in the reprocessing phases of EMDR. You'll start to notice changes almost right away. With your commitment to the treatment plan and regular attendance to therapy you will engage new territory in your life. This is the middle.
Finally, once the problem is resolved we conclude therapy and send you on your way. And what do I mean, exactly, by "the problem is resolved"? Well, that simply means you are consistently noticing that you feel better, your urges are gone, you're behaving differently, and you feel more empowered in the area that you felt held back in. You're feeling better in your present experience. That sounds like a pretty good reason to "end" therapy to me.
So there you have it. That's "Therapy with a beginning, middle, and end."