Traditional Therapy is talking face to face in a counselor's office. There are many different forms of traditional therapy, but most include some basic elements. To simplify, this type of therapy is based on establishing a relationship of trust in which you can feel safe talking about the challenges that brought you here. Our first goal is to understand your story (your path to where you are now) and then to understand your current situation within that story. We will explore with you the goals you would like to work toward, and these can be adjusted as needed.
Once your goals are determined, we will work towards those using the most fitting methods. For example, it may be that you find yourself being isolated and lonely and have no one to talk to in order to help sort things out. The first need of not having someone to talk to, may be met at least for a time by talking with the counselor. Additionally, since that is not a long term solution, it is reasonable to problem solve how the isolation occurred and what can be done to build up your support system. Early on, we will talk about how you see God in your story and how much you would like input and discussion from a faith or Biblical perspective.
From this point on, counseling can look quite different depending on your goals. If you have come in because of marriage struggles and feel that communication is poor, we may start with some tools to improve your ability to communicate, particularly when things are emotional and it is harder to control what you say. Or perhaps your problem is not saying too much, but shutting down and not talking at all. This could be a more angry stonewalling, or it could be because of hurt and an unwillingness to expose to hurt again. Reasons for patterns of behavior individually and as a couple can be explored, and the tools can help to bridge that gap as well, creating more safety so that it is easier to risk.
If you come in with Depression or Anxiety, we will include techniques that are considered "evidence based", in other words, research has shown that these treatments help for the particular issues being addressed. One example is CBT, or cognitive behavior therapy, which involves looking at our thinking (cognition) and determining what thinking is inaccurate and needs to be changed. The reason for this is that our feelings are always caused by our thinking, and if our thinking is off base, it causes more personal distress. These principles are consistent with the truth of scripture that encourages us to stand on the truth and put away falsehood.
The sense in which the traditional therapy we provide is not traditional, is that it focuses more on the Spiritual aspect of life. We will most often pray with you, if that is something that you are comfortable with. Having said that, it is important that this element never feels pushed on you, but feels supportive.