What is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy?
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be thought of as a combination of psychotherapy and behavioral therapy. Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the personal meaning we place on things and how thinking patterns begin in childhood. Behavioral therapy pays close attention to the relationship between our problems, our behavior and our thoughts. Most psychotherapists who practice CBT personalize and customize the therapy to the specific needs and personality of each patient.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.
Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to your current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future.
What is Emotionally-Focused Therapy?
Individuals who are caught in an emotional dance, experience repetitive unsatisfying patterns of behaviour driven by conflicted emotions. The emotional "dance" eventually creates disconnection and increasing polarization as the individuals push each other away with their reactions to the negative emotion. Typically one partner will become pursuant and the other will become avoidant, although sometimes both become pursuant or both become avoidant. Regardless of the dance steps, the couple’s inability to communicate or resolve hard feelings worsens over time driving increased levels of relational dissatisfaction, as one's reactions fuels the others negative emotions and vice versa.
The principles of Emotionally Focussed Therapy can be used for couples, family members, or for individuals to understand and breakthrough the confusion of a complex relational dynamic in any facet of life. It is based on Attachment Theory, and seeks to repair connection within relationships. The work begins by bringing understanding to the underlying emotional process which creates de-escalation, and then moves on to heal attachment injuries, bringing renewed connection, joy, and emotional freedom. Amongst these signs, we know therapy has been successful when it creates a "hold me tight" embrace.