Tim tends to conceptualize problems and solutions using components of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy as a basic structure. As you can see in the diagram below, these interactive components consist of Cognitions, Emotions, Physiology, and Behaviors. Working with many kinds of clients on many kinds of issues, Tim has found it extremely beneficial to strategically integrate theory and intervention from other sources.
Tim works with people to become more aware of their thoughts as they arise, sometimes to become more aware of how these thought patterns came into existence, and to notice the utility of these thoughts in a straight-forward but non-judgmental way.
A feeling of I CAN is contagious to other parts of life. Tim will work with you to gain a genuine sense of empowerment, acceptance where appropriate, and true investment (without any crutches) in your pursuits.
Research says that at least 30% of what makes therapy effective is the relationship or the “therapeutic alliance,” vs. 15% being attributed to the actual techniques. That said, Tim places great importance on building this alliance, in a way that is truly about helping the client as opposed to simply maintaining rapport.
Tim has often seen clients try to jump to meeting their needs for Esteem by focusing on achievement, without having approached an unmet need for Love and Belonging. As attachment theorist John Bowlby put it, “What cannot be communicated to the mother cannot be communicated to the self.” Having unmet needs for Love and Belonging does not mean that you necessarily had a horrible childhood or that your parents are rotten people. It simply means that there are unmet needs; these needs are often met through the therapeutic relationship.
Tim will help you to recognize and to be non-judgmental when unmet needs play a role in your day to day life. Tim is adept at genuinely understanding people in a manner that helps them genuinely understand and become more accepting of themselves.
Physiology (Bodily Feelings):
Body awareness and self-regulation are important pieces to consider as one attends to, and seeks to influence their mental-emotional state.
As we experience thoughts and emotions, our bodies are simultaneously reacting or playing a role in the process. At a recent conference focusing on the mind-body connection, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk stated that the job of therapist is to, “help people change their relationship with internal sensations, by deeply engaging with experiences on a visceral level.” Tim pulls much of his understanding of the role of physiology from the world of applied psychophysiology & biofeedback. Biofeedback is a process of influencing one’s physiology by letting things happen through heightened awareness, often with the assistance of technology.
An old cliché but true, “old habits die hard.” Tim often uses techniques such as Shaping to begin forming new habits. For instance, it is common for clients to say, “I’m going to start waking up at 5am every morning to work out before my workday. This is a noble goal, but it becomes more realistic when the behavior is shaped over time (e.g., begin by not hitting “snooze,” then setting the alarm a little earlier every 3 days).
Good goal-setting can be a major part of behavioral change. Behavioral change can lead to feelings of self-efficacy (see Cognitions above), and the positive cycle continues. Forming more helpful habits can be difficult, but making some behavioral change can cause a positive chain reaction.
Tim’s humility allows him to serve as a model for his clients as they take on new challenges. He expects learning to continue between sessions, often with experiential homework. He also facilitates change in interpersonal behaviors through practice. He is supportive and also unafraid to challenge one’s behaviors.
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