Treatment Modalities: The Essential Components of This Work
Modality One: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
The first essential component of this therapeutic work is the cultivation of awareness in the present moment. Healing requires us to pay attention to what is occurring which is essentially what Mindfulness is. Mindfulness is the simple but challenging practice of being aware of our experience as it is occurring versus being caught in our thoughts, interpretations, beliefs and the stories we tell about these experiences.
Modality Two: Compassion Focused Therapy
The second foundational component of this transformative work is to grow our capacity to practice compassion. We need to cultivate compassion because it helps prepare us for healing by creating a sense of safety, acceptance and readiness. In addition, there is a synergistic effect when we support Mindfulness with Compassion. Fortunately, Mindfulness becomes easier when it is held in a field of compassion (first component) because we are less likely to get caught in self-criticism, shame and other negative thinking patterns that pull more and more of our attention away from the present moment.
Modality Three: Somatic Processing
The third component of this therapeutic approach is to ground awareness in somatic body centered experiences. Bringing a mindful and compassionate presence to our bodily sensations supports our capacity to stay present as we process memories, emotions and information with the support of bilateral stimulation (EMDR). The body stores stress
As we become more aware of our somatic experience we discover that Mindfulness is strengthened and supported by awareness of bodily sensations because they are always occurring the present moment. Focusing on sensations helps us stay with our present experience. In addition, the focus on the felt sense experience calms and quiets excessive thinking. As a result, the somatic (body) experiences, when woven into the psychotherapy process, act like yeast to bread, lightening and lifting the weight of heavy thought and worried mind while allowing us to experience and release the stress, tension and emotions that have been stored in the body.
Modality Four: EMDR
The fourth component is bilateral stimulation and it is available when indicated to enhance the other three foundations of this healing practice. The utilization of bilateral stimulation via Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) supports our capacity to be with and process difficult memories as well as emotions such as fearfulness, anxiety and dread. Many find it easier to process things they would rather avoid with the support of EMDR. Bilateral stimulation better enables the mind’s capacity to process and integration traumatic experiences that are either held out of conscious awareness or are avoided due to the emotional distress that they cause. Many patients find it remarkable and report they have never experienced anything like this before.