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cognitive-behavioural therapy

CBT is a catch-all approach to psychotherapy that has clients "think about their thinking." More specifically, the therapeutic modality asks clients to become aware of automatic thought processes and how distortions in their thinking patterns affect their emotions and behaviours. CBT works best when it is task orientated or helps clients achieve specific therapeutic goals. 

emotion-focused therapy

EFT is a humanistic, person-centered modality where the therapists works closely with the client to create awareness of emotional states and reactions in order to change how the client responds to life stresses. EFT is based in attachment-theory that holds that our emotional "schema" was developed in relationship to our primary attachment figures from a very young age. EFT heavily relies on "process-experiential" therapeutic approaches with the intent of evoking emotional reactions in therapy and then changing those emotional reactions to be more appropriate and mature.  

dialectical-behavioural therapy

DBT is multi-modal form of therapy originally designed for people suffering from extreme emotional dysregulation, but is today used for disorders that range from substance abuse to personality disorders to eating disorders. At the core of DBT is the Buddhist concept of "radical acceptance" that asks clients to find a sense of peace in their distressing thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and through acceptance paradoxically find a way to change them. DBT also emphasizes psychological skills associated with distress tolerance, self-soothing, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness.  

attachment/family systems orientated therapy

Attachment and family systems theories inform a framework for conceptualizing client issues rather than offering an explicit modality or clinical approach to therapy. Both theories emphasize the role of the nuclear family in shaping a person's schematic reactions to life stressors and coping with distress, impairment and interpersonal conflict. A guiding clincial principle that comes from the theories is that a healthy relationship formed between therapist and client could be used as a model to improve interpersonal functioning outside of therapy.


Mindfulness is the adaptation of traditional Zen Buddhist practices that facilitates a greater consciousness of the present moment and awareness of self and environment. Though the principles of mindfulness are more than 5,000 years old, it has become one of the best researched therapeutic modalities in the past 30 years. It should be considered an essential component of just about any clients' treatment. 

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