“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brené Brown
The counselling orientations below represent cornerstone approaches at Lightwarrior Counselling. Counselling is an organic process that requires creativity and flexibility. It is not uncommon to use a blend of the approaches mentioned below, if that is what best serves the client's situation. At Lightwarrior Counselling, each individual experience is customized to both the needs and interest of the client.
Person Centered Therapy
Throughout our lives, we are faced with the expectations of significant people and society itself (parents, teachers, friends, media, etc). In trying to meet these expectations, the true self is denied and a state of incongruence is born.
With person-centered therapy, a caring, honest, and non-judgmental relationship is built with an authentic, attuned, and empathic counsellor. Clients begin to express themselves truly as they feel heard, understood, and accepted. Over time, self-acceptance increases and the false self can be discarded.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Often our thinking is automatic and tends to be evaluative, and our beliefs reveal a self-critical and pessimistic nature. Cognitive therapy puts attention on the thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes of the client. Clients are taught to have an awareness of their cognitions so they may begin to challenge and adopt new, healthier ways of thinking and perceiving themselves and their world. Awareness and tools gained through cognitive therapy facilitate the re-authoring of the client's narratives to positively impact emotional states and ways of being.
The field of neuroscience now reveals the plasticity of our brains. New neural connections are created in the brain as we learn new ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We can literally rewire our brains through conscious effort. Buddha stated the following, "All that we are is a result of our thoughts."
Mindfulness-based therapy allows clients an opportunity to non-judgmentally explore what is going on in the mind and body in the present moment. It is in the present moment that we are free from rumination leading to worry and regret. Clients learn to put some distance between the wise observer self and what is being perceived, affording the observer much greater control over his/her experience and an ability to glean powerful insights. Mindfulness practice is encouraged outside of the counselling office. Regular practice can also lead to heightened intuition, greater clarity, and better overall health.
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
Many individuals carry painful emotions that have not yet been adequately processed. Often emotions have been suppressed as a way to cope with the discomfort. With emotion focused therapy, a safe and supportive environment is provided so clients can fully experience their emotions with the goal of greater emotional intelligence and more productive use of their emotions.
Some clients may need help regulating heightened emotions, others will need help to access them. Clients will have the opportunity to identify, accept, and explore their emotions as well as the opportunity to shift unhelpful, maladaptive emotions into productive, adaptive ones. Clients will learn to trust the guidance their emotions provide and develop new ways of responding to situations in their lives.
Focusing Oriented Therapy
The body is a gateway to wisdom that lies within each person, just beneath conscious awareness. When we attune to the body with curiosity, acknowledgement and acceptance, we are able to experience the inner knowing and gain direction for our lives. Eugene Gendlin, the initiator of focusing as a clinical tool, said, “From the body come our next moves. Now we see that the body implies not just more, but a right next step.” Benefits of focusing include gaining insights, making better decisions, identifying needs, getting past blocks, tapping into creativity, and feeling healthier in body and mind. Once focusing is learned, it can be used at any time, individually or with a partner. Clients are encouraged to practice focusing outside of session and make it a regular part of their lives.