What is Theoretical Orientation?

During our training to become therapists, we are introduced to different psychology and counselling theories that offer different ways of conceptualizing how a person’s problems develop and how they can be approached. These unique understandings of human experiences and treatment planning are called a therapist’s theoretical orientation. It serves as the basic guiding principle in developing treatment and as well as informing the style of interaction with you. It is a great idea to inquire a therapist about our training, life experience, and the theoretical orientations we employ at work. Consider your own preferences while learning about my orientations to see if my approaches resonate with your objectives and vision of therapy.

Daisy’s therapeutic approach integrates eclectic frameworks of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, CBT, Emotionally-Focused, Attachment, Feminist, and Adlerian Therapy.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

  • MBCT is designed to help people who suffer chronic unhappiness and depression. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy or CBT with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The core of this modality lies in becoming familiar with the state of mind that often characterize mood disorders while learning to develop a new relationship to them.
  • It helps in the following ways:
    • You will understand what depression or other persistent negative moods are.
    • You will discover what makes you vulnerable to downward mood spirals and why you get stuck at the bottom.
    • You will see the connection between downward spirals and
    • Societal pressures that oppress you to feel not good enough
    • Self-imposed expectations that make you feel miserable
    • Ways you lose touch with what makes life worth living
  • Mindfulness practice helps you see more clearly the patterns of the mind, and to learn to recognize when your mood is beginning to go down. It teaches you a way in which you can get back in touch with the experience of being alive by focusing on the present moment, rather than reliving the past or pre-living the future. It helps develop your willingness to experience emotions, and your capacity to be open to even painful emotions without having to fight against them. We discover that unwanted thoughts and feelings can be helpful in a simple nonjudgemental awareness, and seen from a new perspective; one that brings with it a sense of gratitude and compassion to the suffering you are experiencing.
  • Learn more at http://mbct.com/about/

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT posits that deep-seated dysfunctional beliefs are responsible for client’s presenting problem. In a structured manner, therapist helps client to identify, challenge, and adjust maladaptive beliefs and behaviours by using a wide range of tools in forms of probing questions, worksheets, charting, journaling, behavioural activities, relaxation techniques, and homework to practice at home.

Emotionally-Focused Therapy

Emotion is the music of the relationship dance. It communicates to others and ourselves, what our motivations and needs are. Since human beings have an innate need to stay connected with significant others, the development of a secure attachment with loved ones is sought after in therapy. EFT therefore focuses on developing secure attachment bonds as a means to alleviate distress in couples or families. It aims to help each partner or family member see their behaviors in the context of the relationship system, teach them to identify the emotions underlying their behaviors, and then develop new positive interactions replacing the perpetual disruptive cycles.

The three stages of EFT:

  • Stage 1. Assesses the relationship conflict and the negative cycle, and de-escalates the couple in distress.
  • Stage 2. Restructures the attachment bonds between the couple through reframing the problems in terms of primary emotions and attachment needs.
  • Stage 3. Focuses on integration and consolidating the work that has been done thus far, reinforcing newly established positive attachment behaviours

Adlerian Therapy

Adler believed that the motivator of human behavior derives from the innate tendency to strive for perfection (or in other words, overcoming sense of inferiority) and to achieve a sense of belongingness in the community. His most influential concept, social interest (in German, “Gemeinschaftsgefuhl”), is regarded as an individual’s attitude or outlook in furthering the welfare of others. Collaborative participation in three areas of life (love, work, communal life) engages individuals in useful style of life, which is healthy and fulfilling to personal wellbeing whilst progressing to benefit society.

According to Adler, individuals develop a plan for their life during early childhood known as the lifestyle, allowing them to adapt to changing life circumstances across lifespan. The lifestyle goals influenced by family constellation, involve using private logic, which is a form of reasoning based on children’s unique interpretations. The paramount goal of Adlerian therapy is to remove destructive beliefs and behaviours directed to self, others, and the world, and to replace them with tools that will allow clients to become confident and socially empowered.

Feminist Therapy

Less focused on particular techniques and puts more emphasis upon connections between sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, age, class, health status, and other social categories, which may influence a person’s childhood upbringings and as well as their current experiences in the world. Therapist aims to create an egalitarian relationship with client and explore their presenting concerns in the context of multicultural social oppressions and privileges.

Attachment Theory

Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another across time and space. Upon birth and corresponding to the caregiving style, the infant may form one of four attachment styles with the caregiver known as Secure, Anxious, Avoidant, or Disorganized. Attachment theorists allege that the root cause of human misbehaviour can be traced back to the failure of establishing a secure attachment to the primary caregiver in early childhood years. This infant-caregiver relationship may repeat itself in adult relationship by how we interact in and what we expect from our interpersonal relationships, especially our romantic partner. Therapist addresses your core attachment styles, how it reveals itself in various relationships, and suggests methods for transforming attachment wounds into healing. The goal is to help you establish a secure attachment with important persons in your life.