At Metta Emergence our integrative approach to counselling draws on therapeutic modalities from various schools of therapy. Our framework is grounded in the Humanistic or Person-Centered perspective as well as Family Systems Theory and Transpersonal Psychology and informed by Gestalt Therapy, Neuroscience, Mindfulness/Buddhist Psychology, Attachment Theory, Emotionally-Focused Therapy, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and Hypnotherapy.
Integrative therapy is a progressive form of psychotherapy that combines different therapeutic tools and approaches to fit the needs of the individual client. With an understanding of normal human development, an integrative therapist modifies standard treatments to fill in development gaps that affect each client in different ways. By combining elements drawn from different schools of psychological theory and research, integrative therapy becomes a more flexible and inclusive approach to treatment than more traditional, singular forms of psychotherapy.
Person-centered therapy uses a non-authoritative approach that allows clients to take more of a lead in discussions so that, in the process, they will discover their own solutions. The therapist acts as a compassionate facilitator, listening without judgment and acknowledging the client’s experience without moving the conversation in another direction. The therapist is there to encourage and support the client and to guide the therapeutic process without interrupting or interfering with the client’s process of self-discovery.
Family systems therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals resolve their problems in the context of their family units, where many issues are likely to begin. Each family member works together with the others to better understand their group dynamic and how their individual actions affect each other and the family unit as a whole. One of the most important premises of family systems therapy is that what happens to one member of a family happens to everyone in the family.
Unlike most forms of psychotherapy that concentrate on improving mental health, transpersonal therapy takes a more holistic approach, addressing mental, physical, social, emotional, creative, and intellectual needs, with an emphasis on the role of a healthy spirit in healing. To facilitate healing and growth, transpersonal therapy places great emphasis on honesty, open-mindedness, and self-awareness on the part of the therapist as well as the client.
Gestalt therapy is a client-centered approach to psychotherapy that helps clients focus on the present and understand what is really happening in their lives right now, rather than what they may perceive to be happening based on past experience. Instead of simply talking about past situations, clients are encouraged to experience them, perhaps through re-enactment. Through the gestalt process, clients learn to become more aware of how their own negative thought patterns and behaviors are blocking true self-awareness and making them unhappy.
Unlike traditional psychology that focuses more on the causes and symptoms of mental illnesses and emotional disturbances, Positive Psychology emphasizes traits, thinking patterns, behaviors, and experiences that are forward-thinking and can help improve the quality of a person’s day-to-day life. These may include optimism, spirituality, hopefulness, happiness, creativity, perseverance, justice, and the practice of free will. It is an exploration of one’s strengths, rather than one’s weaknesses. The goal of positive psychology is not to replace those traditional forms of therapy that center on negative experiences, but instead to expand and give more balance to the therapeutic process.
Also known as humanism, humanistic therapy is a positive approach to psychotherapy that focuses on a person’s individual nature, rather than categorizing groups of people with similar characteristics as having the same problems. Humanistic therapy looks at the whole person, not only from the therapist’s view but from the viewpoint of individuals observing their own behavior. The emphasis is on a person’s positive traits and behaviors, and the ability to use their personal instincts to find wisdom, growth, healing, and fulfillment within themselves.
The complicated, multidisciplinary, and quickly developing field of neuroscience looks at the structure and function of the human brain and nervous system. Neuroscience research draws on cellular and molecular biology, anatomy and physiology, human behavior and cognition, and other disciplines, to tool out information about how the brain works at levels previously unrecognized. We have a hundred billion neurons, or brain cells, with close to a quadrillion connections between them, and we have yet to fully understand a single cell.
Neuroscience is the place where psychology meets biology to further our understanding of physical, psychological, and neurological health conditions, such as the brain’s role in how we perceive different types of pain and the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease. Computer simulations, imaging, and other tools give researchers and medical experts new insight into the physical anatomy of the brain and its relationship to the rest of the mind and body.
Buddhism includes an analysis of human psychology, emotion, cognition, behavior and motivation along with therapeutic practices
Buddhism and the modern discipline of Psychology have multiple parallels and points of overlap. This includes a descriptive phenomenology of mental states, emotions and behaviors as well as theories of perception and unconscious mental factors. Psychotherapists such as Erich Fromm have found in Buddhist enlightenment experiences (e.g. kensho) the potential for transformation, healing and finding existential meaning. Some contemporary mental-health practitioners such as Jon Kabat-Zinn increasingly find ancient Buddhist practices (such as the development of mindfulness) of empirically proven therapeutic value, while Buddhist teachers such as Jack Kornfield see Western psychology as providing complementary practices for Buddhists.
Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination, and the search for meaning—often centering on you rather than on the symptom. The approach emphasizes your capacity to make rational choices and to develop to your maximum potential.
The existential approach stresses that:
- All people have the capacity for self-awareness.
- Each person has a unique identity that can be known only through relationships with others.
- People must continually re-create themselves because life’s meaning constantly changes.
- Anxiety is part of the human condition.
Hypnotherapy focuses on hypnosis, the Greek term for sleep. The practice uses exercises that relax people, bringing them to an altered state of consciousness. This process focuses on mastering self-awareness. Through trance-like analysis, hypnosis decreases blood pressure and heart rate, putting one’s physical body at ease. Working with memories, hypnotherapy helps a person to reframe, relax, absorb, dissociate, respond, and reflect. The process reconstructs healthier associations with a person’s past events. Dealing with a wide range of conditions, such as anxiety and depression, people become responsive to new solutions that can lead to personal development through hypnotherapy.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) therapy incorporates NLP, a set of language- and sensory-based interventions and behavior-modification techniques designed to help improve the client’s self-awareness, confidence, communication skills, and social actions. The goals of NLP are to help the client understand that the way one views the world affects how one operates in the world, and that it is necessary to change the thoughts and behavior patterns that have not proven beneficial in the past and that only serve to block one’s healing and success.
Attachment-based therapy is a brief, process-oriented form of psychological counseling. The client-therapist relationship is based on developing or rebuilding trust and centers on expressing emotions. An attachment-based approach to therapy looks at the connection between an infant’s early attachment experiences with primary caregivers, usually with parents, and the infant’s ability to develop normally and ultimately form healthy emotional and physical relationships as an adult. Attachment-based therapy aims to build or rebuild a trusting, supportive relationship that will help prevent or treat anxiety or depression.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a short-term form of therapy that focuses on adult relationships and attachment/bonding. The therapist and clients look at patterns in the relationship and take steps to create a more secure bond and develop more trust to move the relationship in a healthier, more positive direction. Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples seeks to break the negative emotion cycles within relationships, emphasizing the importance of the attachment bond between couples, and how nurturing of the attachment bonds and an empathetic understanding of each others emotions can break the cycles