Therapeutic Techniques

Roslyn utilises such therapeutic techniques as mindfulness, relaxation and stress management, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Internal Family Systems, and trauma-specific strategies.

 

Roslyn takes a non-judgemental and validating approach to understanding and assessing her clients’ presenting concerns and issues, and will seek to establish a strong therapeutic alliance with them. Initially, the focus is around identifying what the client like to get out of attending therapy, their therapeutic goals, and the particular therapeutic techniques and strategies that will help to achieve the desired outcomes.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is a therapeutic approach that uses mindfulness skills to help clients to change their relationship with distressing thoughts and feelings, to develop a transcendent sense of self, to live in the present moment, and to take action informed by the values most important to them to create a rich and meaningful life.

 

ACT focuses around three areas:

Learning the psychological skills that will enable you to deal more effectively with distressing or unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and to reduce their impact and influence upon you.

Clarifying your personal values and what is most important to you in relation to how you want to treat yourself, other people and the world around you. You can then use these values to inspire and motivate yourself to take action – doing what matters to you, facing your fears, creating a meaningful life and improving your day to day experience.

Learning to focus your attention on what is important, engaging fully with what you are doing in the present moment.

In ACT, mindfulness does not mean meditation. Whilst many people find meditation very helpful, many others do not want to meditate. In ACT, mindfulness involves simply focusing your awareness on the present moment, and observing your thoughts and feelings non-judgmentally and without trying to change them, using your ‘observing mind’ – the part of your mind that can be aware of and observe your thoughts and feelings. Rather than trying to avoid or ‘get rid’ of unpleasant thoughts and feelings, mindfulness skills offer a way of not only coping with them, but having a rich and meaningful life in spite of them.

 

References and Further Information
www.actmindfully.com.au Harris, R. (2007). The Happiness Trap. Exisle Publishing.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, or DBT, is a therapeutic approach that was originally developed to treat Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and has been shown to be highly effective in helping people to manage distressing or overwhelming emotions. Over time, DBT has been adapted to address other emotional and behavioural problems.
Some people experience very intense, overwhelming emotions. When they get angry or sad or scared, the emotion feels like a big powerful wave that sweeps them off their feet.

 

DBT teaches four critically important skills that can both reduce the intensity or size of emotional waves and help you to cope when you do become overwhelmed by emotions. They are:

Distress Tolerance

will help you to cope with distressing events by building up your resilience and giving you new ways of reducing the impact of them.

Mindfulness

will help you to be experience the present moment more fully and be less focused on painful experiences from the past and frightening possibilities in the future. Mindfulness will also give you skills to overcome habitual negative judgements about yourself and others.

Emotion Regulation

will help you to recognise what you are feeling more clearly, and to observe each emotion without being overwhelmed by it. The goal is to modulate your emotions without behaving in a reactive or destructive way.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

will give you tools to express your beliefs and needs, set boundaries and negotiate solutions to problems, while also treating others with respect and protecting your relationships.

References and Further Information
www.dbtinstitute.com.au
McKay, M., Wood, J., Brantley, J.(2007) The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance. New Harbinger Publications.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, is a short-term psychological therapy which is focused on, first, identifying, and then changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviours which can lead to negative emotional states, such as anxiety or depression. A therapist using a CBT approach can help you to see the link between your thoughts, your behaviour and how you feel, and to understand that it’s not so much the events, situations or issues in day to day life that create your feelings, negative or otherwise, but rather your interpretations of the events, situations or issues – what you tell yourself about them. Once an unhelpful thought has been identified, the next step is to explore whether there is any evidence to support the thought, and whether there it can be disputed – is it really true or is there a different perspective that can be taken on the situation or issue.
CBT is regarded as an evidence-based therapy, as studies have shown that it is a treatment that can have a positive effect on a range of commonly-experienced mental health issues, such as stress, anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse.

 

References and More Information
www.aacbt.org.au – Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy
Edelman, S. 2017, Change Your Thinking, HarperCollins

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a process of simply observing your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations as they come and go, without seeking to change them or judge them as good or bad, and doing so with an attitude of acceptance and curiosity. Mindfulness is making a choice to pay attention to the present moment.
Many people find that they have a tendency to think or worry about things that have happened in the past, or about things that may or may not happen in the future, many of which may be things that cannot be controlled. The problem with this can be that being distracted by thoughts and/or feelings about past events or possible future events means that we are not fully participating in the here and now of our own lives.
Mindfulness practise can help us to develop a greater capacity to observe our own experience in the present moment, as it is, without trying to change it, and fully participating in our own lives, whether our experience in the moment is positive or negative. Mindfulness practise can help us to learn to tolerate difficult emotions, such as fear and anger, and to be able to face such feelings rather than avoid them, or situations or people that might trigger them. Additionally, mindfulness practise can also help us to learn how to observe our thoughts objectively, rather than becoming caught up in them and ‘pushed around’ by them, which can be very distressing.

 

References and More Information
www.mindfulmeditationaustralia.org.au
https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/7-mindfulnessineverydaylife-with-gp-notes.pdf
www.meditation.org.au

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an evidence-based structured psychological therapy which involves the client focusing briefly on the presenting issue (eg a traumatic memory) whilst at the same time experiencing bi-lateral stimulation, in many cases eye movements. This is associated with a reduction in the vividness and emotional intensity of the traumatic memory. There has been extensive research on EMDR over the past 30 years, which has shown that it is effective in helping people to recover from trauma and PTSD, and a range of other psychological disorders.
EMDR does not require a client to repeatedly discuss traumatic or distressing memories, issues or experiences. Rather than seeking to change thoughts, feelings and behaviours that may be the result of the traumatic experience, EMDR facilitates the natural healing processes of the brain, whereby traumatic memories can be processed and resolved.
An EMDR therapist will spend the first, and possibly second, session doing a comprehensive assessment in order to understand the presenting issues. The therapist will also discuss what EMDR is, give more information about it and answer any questions. The number of sessions required to resolve an issue depends on the presenting issue, the client’s life circumstances and the amount of previous trauma.

 

References and More Information
www.emdraa.org.au
www.emdria.org

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