Create Balance is a trauma-focused practice. We sat down with one of our therapists, Dave, to discover more about his process and ways in which clients can get the best out of therapy.
It is well known that Create Balance uses EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help clients recover from trauma. What’s your favourite thing about using EMDR with clients?
EMDR is at the forefront of modern trauma treatments available. It was originally designed for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but has been adapted for many other mental health concerns outside of a strict PTSD treatment protocol.
My favorite thing about EMDR as a therapist is having the ability to be able to shift how a client views a negative belief or the impact of a trauma memory more quickly than traditional talk therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). EMDR is unique in both its application, using bilateral stimulation, whether that be a light bar, eye movements, or other methods, as well as in its integrative approach. EMDR is constantly being evolved and it is a really exciting time for the therapy as a whole.
EMDR uses rapid eye movement (bilateral stimulation)
Why do you use Schema Therapy and how does it help your clients?
For clients who have engaged in other therapies and undergone treatments such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Schema Therapy is often an extremely rewarding experience. In Schema Therapy, there is a great deal placed on the therapy relationship as part of the healing, rather than the main emphasis being on changing irrational beliefs or thoughts. The therapy relationship takes the form of guidance, support, boundaries and building emotional regulation; similar to building a secure attachment with a primary caregiver.
EMDR and Schema is more than "talk therapy", it gets results
This has been extremely helpful to a lot of my clients who have not had a secure attachment, or who had certain needs unmet in childhood; in addition to educating clients on seeing their presenting problems as a form of coping to an underlying schema.
The change phase in Schema Therapy combines behavioral and experiential change, including imagery rescripting, parts work and chair work, that culminates in leading to changes in clients' behaviours outside of sessions.
What is your therapy process?
My process is tailored to each client and their goals. My process involves a period of assessment, including EMDR and Schema questionnaires to help identify any significant memories or themes/beliefs that may need to be processed or addressed. After which, a formulation will be shared with the client and goals defined for therapy. The time this takes depends on the needs of the client.
How can clients get the most out of therapy?
Clients can get the most out of therapy by understanding that therapy is a journey, by having regular or semi-regular sessions if possible, while understanding that things take time. There will be ups and downs. It's a commitment. Clients will also benefit from therapy by being open to work on things, as well as to give feedback to their therapist when they're not happy with something. Clients will also get the most out of therapy by continuing the work outside of the sessions.
What do you enjoy most about being a therapist?
I don't think there is any other job like it. I feel honored to be able to help people and go on the journey with them, and to use therapies like EMDR and Schema with my clients.