What's your approach to therapy?
Thoughts on the "Root Cause"
We believe that biology, culture, opportunities, and relationships often intersect to create struggles (and strengths). Considering the cause of distress is important for a couple of reasons. First, it can indicate an effective treatment approach. Second, it can help clients increase self-compassion as they work toward change. For example, if a person has a significant family history of depression, then strategies that target the body such as mindfulness, physical activity, and medication may be important components of their treatment. Additionally, recognition of their family history may decrease self-criticism when experiencing common symptoms of depression such as loss of interest, fatigue, and low motivation.
We provide evidence-based therapy that is guided by research while not being constrained by it. On one hand, we know that the scientific study of psychology is important. For example, because of research we now understand that mothers are not to blame for the woes of the world, which was the prevailing belief in the earliest days of psychology. Of course, mothers knew better without this research, but the research didn’t hurt. The science of psychology has also helped us discover that specific types of therapies, when administered in a specific way, are more effective for certain symptoms. On the other side of this discussion, we acknowledge that that context is everything, and individual differences will always exist. As Dean Fixsen once said, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” Instead of resisting the realities of subjectivity, ambiguity, and the inherent messiness of working with something as complex as the human mind, we lean into them. This balanced approach allows us to be both thorough and thoughtful in the practice of psychology.