Boca Raton Therapists – Our Approach

Boca Raton TherapistsAt Morgan Center for Counseling, our Boca Raton Therapists will provide a nurturing environment and work with you to determine the best approach to help you reach your treatment goals.  There are many approaches that Boca Raton therapists use to achieve lasting results.  A few of these approaches are outlined below.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically supported “evidenced based” psychotherapeutic approach. Simply put, cognitive theory holds that your thoughts and attitudes create your moods and not external events. Your thoughts have a tremendous impact on your emotions, but you can change the way you feel! The idea is to break free of these troublesome moods and develop a more realistic and positive attitude.

The specific techniques used in therapy vary depending on the issue or problem to be addressed. The techniques are practical and easy to learn which means you can take them with you and use them daily. Some of the work may include: keeping a journal of events/occurrences and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that go along with these events; testing and challenging thought processes, assumptions, perceptions and beliefs that may be unrealistic or irrational; gradually facing and coming to grips with activities or situations which may have previously been avoided; and trying out new ways of coping, behaving and responding.

As an evidenced-based intervention, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has substantial scientific research proving its effectiveness in helping people make lasting emotional and behavioral changes. When you change how you think about or perceive things, you can change how you feel about them and that in turn will affect how you behave.

Boca Raton therapists recognize that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the treatment of choice for most anxiety disorders, panic disorders, PTSD, OCD, and clinical depression.  To see the research, click CBT Research.

Client Centered Therapy

Client Centered Therapy, developed by Carl Rogers is a non-directive approach to conducting therapy in that the therapist is not “in charge” of the session, the client is.  The client decides what to bring up and how they would like to work on issues.

A client-centered therapist is less interested in performing treatments, or diagnosing, and more interested in helping you find your own answers. This approach is based on Rogers’ belief that a fundamental part of human nature is to move toward healing and growth and to find their own answers. He believed that the client-therapist relationship creates an environment that allows people to remove obstacles to their self-actualization. The key is a therapist who is understanding, accepting, and non-judgmental.

Client Centered Therapy focuses on current emotions and attitudes rather than past events. People tend to delve into their own stuff when they are ready. In an accepting and nurturing environment, they will discover new insights about themselves and take steps toward positive change. The therapist’s job is to understand and accept the client where they are. As the relationship develops over time, the client also works toward understanding and accepting themselves.

Hallmarks of this approach include:

  • The therapist treats the client with the utmost respect and highest regard.
  • The therapist listens and tries to understand things from the client’s point of view.
  • The therapist will check his/her understanding with the client when unsure.
  • The therapist must be “transparent” – meaning self-aware, in acceptance, and having no false persona or agenda.
  • The therapist knows who he/she is and is open to being known.

The effectiveness of Client Centered Therapy has been proven through years of research. More recent research has suggested that the most important factor in the effectiveness of therapy and counseling is the alliance between client and therapist, not the techniques they employ or any particular discipline they practice.  The Boca Raton therapists at Morgan Counseling will determine if this modality is right for you.

EMDR

EMDR is a powerful and effective tool to assist people process emotionally painful and traumatic experiences. It is successful in helping people with trauma, anxiety, panic disorder, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress, and many other issues.

EMDR is a psychotherapy technique that was developed in the late 1980’s by Francine Shapiro that uses eye movement and other protocols that have been proven to reduce the intensity of emotions and reduce the distress caused by them. Dr. Shapiro conducted scientific research and in 1989 reported on the success of EMDR methods. Since that time, EMDR has continued to evolve through the work of therapists around the world and has developed into a standardized protocol that incorporates many treatment techniques.

Research and therapist experience show that EMDR helps to quickly reduce emotional distress and move the person to a more peaceful resolution of issues or events. In essence, the memory remains but the negative responses and emotional impact are diminished or neutralized.

EMDR seems to directly impact the way the brain processes information. When someone is extremely upset the brain has a difficult time processing and often a moment, usually traumatic, becomes “frozen in time”. When remembering a traumatic event it may feel the same as experiencing it the first time. Such memories and the emotional distress negatively affect the way a person views themselves, sees the world, and relates to others. EMDR helps a person see the event in a more adaptive and less distressing way by targeting the negative memories and emotions stored in the nervous system and helping them to be processed successfully by the brain.

There are approximately 20 controlled studies that have investigated the effectiveness of EMDR. These studies are consistent in their findings that EMDR effectively decreases/eliminates symptoms of post traumatic stress for the majority of clients. Clients often report improvement in other symptoms such as anxiety.

EMDR may help the client gain understanding and self-knowledge that empowers the client to choose actions and not feel powerless over re-actions. Long-term benefits include restoration of each client’s natural state of emotional functioning bringing a sense of personal power, more rewarding relationships, and a more peaceful life.

EMDR treatment may invoke emotions and physical sensations during session. This a normal part of the process and desirable since the technique works on negative feelings and beliefs as they are brought into the client’s awareness.   The experience of these emotions is often brief and soon leaves as the process is completed.

Jody Morgan, LCSW, is trained in providing EMDR therapy.  Relief may occur quickly and the results for some are permanent. EMDR may or may not be right for you. Contact Morgan Counseling for a consultation.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a highly researched and effective intervention that works quickly. It can help you to accept what is out of your control while committing to actions that empower and enrich your life. ACT provides skills that you can incorporate into your daily life to help you maximize the fullness of your potential. It allows you to deal with painful feelings and thoughts as well as overcome destructive attitudes while helping you to clarify your values; those things that are truly important to you and that inspire and motivate you to make changes.

Mindfulness is one of the primary skills used. It is a state of active and open awareness that helps you to be in touch with the present moment and fully engaged in whatever you are doing without judgment. When you are mindful and present, difficult thoughts and emotions have less influence on you. Mindfulness helps you to distance yourself from negative thoughts, give them space to come and go without struggle, and continue engaging in life with an attitude of openness.

With this attitude, you commit to taking action that is based on your values and and connect with what truly matters to you increasing your quality of life and sense of fulfillment.

ACT uses six main skills:

  1. Connecting with whatever is happening here and now.
  2. Taking a step back from unhelpful thoughts, feelings, worries, or memories. This gives you room to respond effectively to your situation without getting caught up in your mind.
  3. Acceptance of painful thoughts and sensations to provide them space to come and go without struggle. It is the struggle that strengthens them while draining and holding you back.
  4. Learning to use your “Observing Self” which is the part of your mind that allows you to be aware of whatever your mind is thinking, feeling, or doing. This strengthens your awareness and attention.
  5. Recognizing your values which are the things your truly care about and which motivate, inspire, and encourage you.
  6. Committing to act on these values, even if uncomfortable or difficult, so that you can maximize your potential and quality of life.

Contact the Boca Raton therapists at Morgan Center for Counseling and Wellbeing to schedule an appointment.