Most experienced therapists would probably call themselves eclectic, meaning they draw from many different theories, and I am no different. With anxiety and depression issues, I utilize cognitive behavioral techniques and teach ways to manage one's emotions. I also like to add important personality insights by utilizing information related to the “enneagram”. I often encourage clients to go to www.enneagraminstitute.com by Riso and Hudson to take the personality test and to bring in the results so that we can discuss it. And I offer additional handouts related to the individual’s particular personality type. The appeal of using that particular personality test is that I believe it is more “strength based” than just negative psychological labeling. It does point out there is a continuum of unhealthy to healthy range and most people are seeking therapy when they are operating in the unhealthy range.
My marriage and family approach is also eclectic. I am particularly drawn to John Gottman, PhD research studies that highlight a predictor of divorce called: “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. I will often start with mapping out the couple’s particular “Fear Dance” (utilized by the Smalley Institute marriage intensives) to show how the poor communication interaction has contributed to the demise of their relationship and teach new communication skills. Another theorist, Sue Johnson, PhD who has written a book titled, Hold Me Tight, makes reference to Gottman’s theories and presents the information in a lay-friendly way in which she emphasizes attachment theory and calls her therapeutic style; emotion-focused. I also draw from her theories. The final theorist that I like to refer to is Harville Hendricks, PhD who has written a book titled, Getting the Love You Want, draws from the psychoanalytic background of transference issues and calls it the “unconscious marriage” is also very helpful and many times I utilize a parent/child dialogue to uncover those issues. Other writers, i.e. Gary Chapman, PhD who as written the book, The Five Love Languages, has insights that I believe can benefit couples. That is a brief overview of what summarizes my approach.