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Treatment Approaches

Dialectical Behavior Therapy Strategies (Modified DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a modified form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that teaches patients techniques to help them stay grounded in the present moment, and provides coping skills to help them regulate their emotions.  Patients learn healthy ways to tolerate distressing thoughts, feelings, and situations.  They also develop communication skills designed to help them maintain healthy relationships. DBT is an evidence-based approach, which today is used to help people change a wide variety of thinking and behavior patterns that are not effective, such as those associated with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder, and substance abuse.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy stresses the role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. It is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. The therapist assists the patient in identifying, testing the reality of, and correcting dysfunctional beliefs underlying his or her thinking. The therapist then helps the patient modify those thoughts and the behaviors that flow from them. CBT is a structured collaboration between therapist and patient and often calls for homework assignments. CBT has been clinically proven to help patients in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of disorders, including depression and anxiety.

Family/Marital Therapy & Parental Coaching

Family/Marital Therapy helps families or couples improve their communication skills, build on the positive aspects of their relationships, and repair the harmful or negative aspects.  Parents of children with special behavioral/emotional needs often need assistance learning special parenting techniques.  Divorced parents often need help learning effective co-parenting strategies.  Parental Coaching empowers parents to be the trainers, limit setters, problem solvers, coaches, and role models that their children need them to be if they are to manage their own behavior in developmentally appropriate ways.



Rick is a supportive and clinically sound clinician who works hard to help clients understand and reach their potential. Highly recommended!

Tom Coffin, LCSW, LADC, CCS

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Solution Focused Brief Treatment

Solution-focused therapy, sometimes called "brief therapy," focuses on what patients would like to achieve through therapy rather than on their troubles or mental health issues. The therapist will help the patient envision a desirable future, and then map out the small and large changes necessary for the patient to undergo to realize their vision. The therapist will seize on any successes the patient experiences, to encourage them to build on their strengths rather than dwell on their problems or limitations.

Play Therapy

For children that haven't reached adolescence, play therapy is a form of counseling that relies on play to help therapists communicate with children and understand their mental health. Because children develop cognitive skills before language skills, play is an effective way to understand a child. The therapist may observe a child playing with toys--such as playhouses and dolls--to understand the child's behavior and identify issues.  *NOTE* FRESH START COUNSELING ONLY PROVIDES PLAY THERAPY IN THE CONTEXT OF FAMILY COUNSELING/PARENTAL COACHING.  WE NO LONGER OFFER INDIVIDUAL THERAPY TO CHILDREN.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is an information processing therapy that helps patients cope with trauma. During this treatment, the patient focuses on a specific thought, image, emotion, or sensation while simultaneously watching the therapist's finger move in front of his or her eyes. The patient is told to recognize what comes up for him/her when thinking of an image; then the patient is told to let it go while doing bilateral stimulation. It's like being on a train; an emotion or a thought may come up and the patient lets it pass as though they were looking out the window of the moving train.

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