Each person is unique and therefore I believe it is important to tailor an individual’s treatment based on a thorough assessment of one’s background and presenting problem. I primarily draw from the three treatment approaches below, although when necessary, I may decide to integrate other approaches as well.
The goal of psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapies is to understand the roots of a problem. Specifically, this involves exploring how our past experiences influence our current behaviour. Many of our current behaviours are unconsciously motivated and thus one of the goals of therapy is to better understand our patterns by exploring the underlying unconscious motivations. While having similar goals, psychodynamic therapy tends to be shorter term and focuses on a specific conflict, whereas psychoanalytic therapy is a longer, more exploratory therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a systematic, short-term therapy with a focus
on understanding the relationship between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
CBT has been shown to be very effective for depression and anxiety disorders, such
as social anxiety (e.g., difficulties giving presentations, speaking to people in positions of authority, and interacting in social situations). CBT is a proactive therapy, which requires the individual to do homework between sessions.
I completed a practicum at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in the Anxiety Disorders Unit in Toronto in 2000. More recently, I completed a 4-month training program in CBT at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal.
Mindfulness meditation stems from Buddhism, but Jon-Kabat Zin introduced mindfulness meditation into the western world in the 1970’s. Specifically, he developed MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), which he originally used with people experiencing acute and chronic illnesses. Since then, mindfulness meditation has been integrated into a variety of psychological interventions including cognitive behavioural therapy (see above). The goal of mindfulness meditation is to observe and accept thoughts and feelings without judgment rather than attempting to push them out of our awareness.
I have used various types of meditation, in addition to completing the 7-day teacher training seminar with Jon Kabit-Zin. I have a keen interest in the intersection between mindfulness meditation and psychoanalysis. In recent years, I have organized seminars on this topic at various conferences, including the Canadian Psychological Association’s annual conference.