Counseling & Therapy Methods

There are many different types of counseling and therapy. Which one is right for you?

Most of the therapists at our Center use an integrative approach. Integrative therapy combines the most effective types of counseling and psychotherapy. We tailor our approach to meet your unique needs and personal style.

Our Center provides the most effective, state-of-the-art therapies available today. These methods include:

o Cognitive Therapy (and CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)

o Psychodynamic

o Client Centered, Humanistic, Experiential, Gestalt

o Mindfulness based (mind-body)

o Solution focused and brief therapies

o EFT (Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy) and the Gottman Method

Cognitive and CBT

The primary focus of cognitive therapy is on thoughts and beliefs (also known as “schemas”). CBT addresses thoughts, beliefs, and behavior change. The theory behind this approach is that our emotional reactions and life difficulties result from irrational or inappropriate ways of thinking (or rigid, ineffective patterns of behavior). Changing the way we think about things – and our ineffective behavior patterns – improves our emotional state, relationships and other aspects of life. Cognitive therapy has been shown to be effective with many life problems, especially depression and anxiety disorders.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Also known as analytically oriented psychotherapy. This widely practiced and highly effective therapy tends to focus mostly on exploration and insight. There are many types of psychodynamic therapy, including Freudian, Jungian, and other versions of depth psychology. This therapy examines unconscious or subconscious content, conflicts, defenses, and motivations. The deeper level of personal insight is effective in helping people to understand and appreciate their “true self,” to alleviate distressing emotional and psychological symptoms, and to identify more effective coping mechanisms. There is an emphasis on understanding developmental influences – that is, how childhood experience shapes each individual.

Client Centered, Humanistic, Experiential

This might be considered the second generation of psychotherapy, gaining popularity in the mid-20th century. Client Centered Therapy, developed by Carl Rogers, is based on unconditional positive regard, empathy and authenticity by the counselor or therapist. The Humanistic therapies emphasize our basic ability to make rational choices in life, and to realize our true potential. Experiential and Gestalt therapies (including psychodrama, existential therapy and others) focus on the here and now, acceptance, free-will, and the meaning of life and experience.

Mindfulness Based Therapy

Mindfulness and mind-body therapies stem from Eastern or Buddhist Psychology. Mindfulness is present moment awareness without judgment – a state of focused open attention to one’s self, other people, and one’s surroundings. Mind-body practice is useful in finding peace and serenity in a stressful life. Mindfulness practice is an important tool in most of the mind-body, holistic approaches to emotional and psychological healing. Principles and methods such as non-reactivity, breathing exercises and meditation and emotional detachment are central to this approach.

Solution Focused & Brief Therapies

These short term therapies – usually 6-12 sessions – are goal-oriented, and focused on specific problems, conflicts, and decisions. The focus is mostly on the present and the future – with little attention paid to past events such as childhood experiences. Competencies, abilities, and the belief that change is possible are central to this approach. One specialized type of brief therapy is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for trauma recovery.

EFT & Gottman Method

EFT (Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy) is used primarily in marriage counseling and couple therapy, along with the Gottman Method. Studies have shown EFT to be the most effective type of relationship therapy. EFT helps couples to identify and understand their relationship dance (cycles and patterns of emotional reactivity). Couples then work on a deeper understanding of underlying feelings and unmet relationship needs that drive the dance. The EFT therapist guides couples toward de-escalation (reduced fighting and conflict), reconnection, healing and compassion. The Gottman Method teaches and guides couples using years of research that reveals the secrets of successful relationships.

The counselors and therapists at the Relationship Center of South Florida have many years of advanced training and experience in these and other therapeutic approaches. For additional information, or to set up an appointment, contact us today.