In my 8 years of clinical practice, I've been lucky enough to be formally trained in third wave therapy approaches. When I first started as a therapist, I was practicing traditional CBT, Trauma Focused, Psychodynamic, etc. After switching to the approaches below, I noticed how incredibly more effective they are than traditional therapy.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a third wave therapy approach. ACT emphasizes mindfulness, acceptance, and values in helping clients to stop avoiding, denying and struggling with their inner emotions and moves people toward accepting these emotions in order to move forward in their lives. Through this, people begin to accept (not to be confused with approval or forgiveness) their issues and live instead moving toward their commitments and values. Research has shown that ACT is an effective treatment for many psychological issues.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) - Contextually Focused*
Dialectics, at its core, is two opposing truths existing together and creating a new combined truth. An example is, "I am feel depressed and I can still do things I enjoy." DBT emphasizes the dialectic of acceptance and change in improving the quality of people’s lives. There are four modules of DBT: Mindfulness, Distress Management, Emotional Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness. There is a huge misconception that DBT does not process /address trauma - it does, it just goes about it in a different way than traditional trauma therapy.
Contextually focused DBT combines ACT and DBT for a beautiful blend of highly effective treatment. Mindfulness/raising present moment awareness are core components of both modalities. With a Contextually focused DBT therapist, clients will receive the benefit of learning skills, while also defusing from aversive thoughts, examining behaviors/reactions in context and challenging current "solutions" to the problem/issue.
*Contextually focused DBT was created by Dr. Paul Holmes
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