The reasons for going to therapy are as unique as the people who go to therapy. People come to therapy to find help for anxiety or depression, or to free themselves from a harmful pattern in their lives, like an eating disorder. People also come to therapy when they feel like something from their past keeps impacting their present life and they want to find healing. Some seek therapy to find support during a major life transition (receiving a medical diagnosis, going to college, etc.); and others want to be in therapy to help foster their continued personal growth. Your plan for treatment will be individualized and will integrate the following treatment approaches.
Individual and Family Therapy for adults, young adults, and adolescents age 14 and older of all genders
The goal of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy is to explore the “dynamics” that underlie thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; particularly the dynamics between the conscious and the unconscious. This type of therapy also explores the relationships between different parts of ourselves. For example, someone may have a part of them that wants to end a relationship and a part of them that wants to be married to that person. Psychodynamic psychotherapy can help clients find clarity and integration.
The basic premise of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is trying to control, avoid, or deny our inner experience is not only ineffective, but harmful. ACT is all about paradox: I accept and hold space for my thoughts and feelings, AND, I commit to change; allowing my values rather than my suffering to guide my choices. It requires a great deal of mindfulness of our internal experience and a willingness to, yes, act. For example, with ACT, a person with an eating disorder may fear food, AND, because they have discovered through ACT that self-love is one of their values, they commit to following their recovery plan.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based trauma treatment. When we go through any sort of trauma or distressing experience, dissociation or intense fear can interrupt our physiologically-based information processing system.. This causes thoughts, beliefs, images, emotions, or physical sensations related to the trauma to persist long after the threat has passed and keeps us from taking in new information about what happened. For example, have you ever “known in your head” that something wasn’t your fault but had trouble REALLY believing it? EMDR helps us get the scratched CD “unstuck” so we can finish the song.
Based on the work of Brené Brown, The Daring Way™ is an experiential method consisting of three curricula that help clients practice shame resilience skills to show up with their whole hearts, to have the courage to be seen, and to rise strong from falls.
Allison Marek, LCSW, CDWF is a psychotherapist in Houston, Texas specializing in eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, living with diabetes, and shame. She is certified in Brené Brown’s Daring Way™ method and is trained in EMDR and equine assisted psychotherapy. Allison is also a dynamic speaker and facilitator, providing training to clinicians, schools, and teams.