Therapeutic Approaches

Susanne firmly believes that there is no cookie cutter therapy approach that fits everyone; every client is an individual and unique. Therapy is not about putting you in a “box”, it is really about getting you out. We will discuss which treatment modalities will be most effective for your particular issue(s) and for you. Susanne uses a variety of modalities to provide the most effective solution and care for her clients. Susanne’s toolbox is comprehensive and includes but are not limited to the modalities listed below.

Rapid Reduction Technique (RRT)

The Rapid Reduction Technique® is a method designed to decrease the symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks and intrusive memories, associated with unresolved grief and loss.  Several factors make RRT a quick and effective therapeutic intervention.

  1. The amygdala part of the brain processes trauma information.
    • During trauma, the amygdala focuses the brain entirely on survival
    • The amygdala required resolution prior to releasing the information to long-term storage
    • When trauma is experienced, the person symbolically leaves a piece of him/herself behind in the trauma.
    • When something triggers the memory, the amygdala reacts as if the trauma were happening in the present.

     

  2. When the memory of the trauma is brought to consciousness, the strong emotional connection to the trauma memory is with the self-figure in the memory.
    • Each time the survivor approaches and backs off from the trauma memory, the related emotional intensity increases.
    • If the self-figure is removed from the trauma memory, the emotional connection to the memory is markedly decreased.
    • If there is no strong emotional connection, the amygdala is satisfied with the resolution, and releases the information to long-term storage.

     

  3. This allows the person to process the information/event without becoming overwhelmed by emotions.

 

Incorporation Therapy

Incorporation Therapy Technique assists an individual to reclaim lost parts of Self, thereby allowing changes in perceptions and reactions to past and current situations. This technique facilitates wholeness by defusing the intensity of pain associated with trauma and achieving forgiveness and acceptance of Self.  The crisis and chaos cycle, which is common in individuals with a history of trauma, abuse and/or dissociation, stops the treatment and recovery process.  Incorporation is a stabilization technique which stops the crisis and chaos cycles.

This technique does not involve hypnosis.  While there is some guidance by me, the client is still in complete control and this is client driven. There is some ground work to be done in therapy before a client is ready for Incorporation Therapy.  Usually when a person has experienced trauma and/or have been through sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and deal with dissociation (including DID) there are thought patterns and behaviors, self sabotage, unhealthy loyalties, shame, blame and guilt issues to name a few that have to be addressed first.

 

Clinical Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state of focused attention that allows people to control and change mental and physiological patterns that can not easily be changed in everyday awareness.  Hypnosis can provide rapid change because it utilizes the powerful connection between mind and body.  During hypnosis, suggestions are made to create beneficial changes in ideas and behavior.

The subconscious mind controls the involuntary functions of the body, including habits and things that we do “automatically”.  Our subconscious mind is fueled by our emotions and imagination and directs the energy from within.  The subconscious mind also contains memory of every single thing that has occurred to us.

In hypnosis the mind is very receptive to new ideas and open to suggestions which encourage more sensible, balanced or helpful attitudes to reality.

With clinical hypnosis, symptoms associated with for example stress, anxiety, depression, tinnitus and misophonia can be helped and better managed.  In such cases hypnosis is not a substitute for medical treatment, but a very useful supplement to it.  mind and body affect each other and the person as a whole is benefitted by this approach.  Some of the other problems that I help clients with through hypnosis are lack of confidence, test anxiety, fears and phobias, habits and compulsions, insecurity, pain control, panic attacks, sleep issues and timidity.

The number of sessions required usually varies from person to person, however most people feel some benefit from hypnotherapy immediately.  With that said, hypnosis is not for everyone.  If a client expresses an interest in hypnosis, he or she is assessed to determine whether this technique is the right approach and solution for their situation.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on exploring relationships among your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. During CBT I will be actively working with you to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and how they may be causing self-destructive behaviors and beliefs.

By addressing these patterns, you and I can work together to develop constructive ways of thinking that will produce healthier behaviors and beliefs. For example, CBT can help someone replace thoughts that lead to low self-esteem (“I can’t do anything right”) with positive expectations (“I can do this most of the time, based on my prior experiences”).

The core principles of CBT are identifying negative or false beliefs and testing or restructuring them. Oftentimes while being treated with CBT you will have homework in between sessions where you practice replacing negative thoughts with more realistic thoughts based on prior experiences or record negative thoughts in a journal.

Studies of CBT have shown it to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders to name a couple. CBT has also shown good result in helping people with Tinnitus. People who undergo CBT show changes in brain activity, suggesting that this therapy actually improves your brain functioning as well.

Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive therapy is a relatively short-term, focused psychotherapy for a wide range of psychological problems including depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness, panic, fears, eating disorders, substance abuse, alcohol abuse and dependence and personality problems. The focus of therapy is on how you are thinking, behaving, and communicating today rather than on your early childhood experiences. I assist you in identifying specific distortions and biases in thinking and provide guidance on how to change this thinking.

Cognitive therapy helps you learn effective self-help skills that are used in homework assignments that help you change the way you think, feel and behave now. Cognitive therapy is action-oriented, practical, rational, and helps you gain independence and effectiveness in dealing with real-life issues.

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Susanne R Mealer
Susanne R. Mealer, LCSW, CHt verified by GoodTherapy.org