Psychotherapy is a viable choice when you are feeling overwhelmed by difficult issues and difficult emotions. A therapist can help you resolve your issues, get relief from difficult feelings and help you to make sense out of the broken pieces in your life. The problem you are experiencing can be a broken relationship, anxiety, depression, or anything else that is painful for you. It is important to Dr. Swartout that the therapeutic environment is a safe place where you can talk about things confidentially without worrying about the consequences of revealing personal information. Dr. Swartout will make it as easy as possible for you to discuss the truth about your life including your difficult issues and feelings.
Couples Therapy/Premarital Counseling
Dr. Swartout uses the model of therapy called Emotion Focused Therapy. Using this model can help you and your partner sort out your problems and build a strong relationship. She can also help you fine-tune a good relationship to make it better. Whether you are in the middle of a crisis, moving through a difficult transition time, or discovering unpleasant behaviors--Dr. Swartout can be a tremendous source of support, strength and growth. Dr. Swartout can be the third party who helps you work through anger, resentment or frustration, get to workable solutions, prevent a divorce, enhance your love life, or simply deepen the love you have for each other. When you're struggling with your partner, it's nice to know you're not alone. Her greatest pleasure is seeing couples emerge from a difficult situation feeling more intimate and committed than they ever thought possible.
For premarital counseling, Dr. Swartout can teach you conflict resolution skills, administer introspective quizzes to expose more of your inner lives and past history with each other, practice real-life exercises to help couples practice cooperative decision-making and compromise before a crisis happens, and help couples discover and have the opportunity to change bad habits which threaten the viability of the relationship.
What is Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy?
History of EFT
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples therapy that is based on the science of adult love and bonding (attachment). Developed in the 1980’s by Drs. Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg, EFT is a highly researched, effective and evidence-based theory that helps couples understand and respond to each other’s needs. EFT concepts have been validated by over 20 years of empirical research as well as research on the process of change and predictors of relationship success.
Studies show that 70-75% of couples working with an EFT therapist move from relationship distress to recovery during the course of therapy. Approximately 90% show significant improvements. The results of EFT therapy tend to be robust and long lasting, something that other modalities of couples therapy cannot claim.
How EFT Works
When we can’t find a safe, loving way to stay connected to our partner we go into a state of emotional pain and alarm. We automatically respond by protesting or withdrawal (fight or flight) when we feel this fear or panic. Our partner will then often respond with his or her own protest or withdrawal. This cycle is a “neural duet” between partners—they impact each other both physiologically and emotionally creating a feedback loop of negative interactions.
EFT is a systematic map of steps and stages that understands these cycles as the underpinnings of relationship distress. Couples are helped to create nurturance, love and connection in their relationships. Change strategies and interventions are specified within the EFT steps and stages. Couples learn to identify their cycle, the emotions underling the reactions and their parts in the dance as they come up in the session and at home. Couples learn to regulate their emotions and send clear, coherent emotional signals of their needs to their partner. They also learn how to respond in a healthy way to the signals that are sent to them.
Couples begin to actively create a new, positive cycle where they can express their needs and fears and create accessibility and responsiveness. When we can send clear attachment cues we actually pull our partner closer and create the safety, trust and support that we have been yearning for. EFT is a collaborative, experiential model that encourages couples to be involved in the deconstructing of the negative cycle and the creation of a new, secure relationship.
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Learn How Dr. Swartout does Couples Therapy Using Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) - Therapy for healing past and present trauma
EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a powerful method of psychotherapy. To date, EMDR, has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological distress. No one knows how any form of psychotherapy works neurobiologically or in the brain. However, we do know that when a person is very upset, their brain cannot process information as it does ordinarily. One moment becomes "frozen in time," and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the images, sounds, smells and feelings, have not changed. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interferes with the way a person sees the world and the way they relate to other people. EMDR allows normal processing to resume, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting and a person sees the disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
EXCELLENT Information! Find out more about EMDR:
Using EMDR Therapy to Heal Your Past with Creator Francine Shapiro
How EMDR Opens a Window to the Brain with Creator Francine Shapiro
EMDR: Research Prompts Acceptance | New England Psychologist
EMDR Therapy on Scoopit Community
During an EMDR session the client will recall a disturbing issue. The therapist facilitates the directional movement of the eyes or other dual attention stimulation of the brain while the client focuses on the disturbing material, and the client just notices whatever comes to mind without making any effort to control direction or content. Sets of eye movements are continued until the memory becomes less disturbing and is associated with positive thoughts and beliefs about one's self; for example, "I did the best I could." During EMDR, the client may experience intense emotions, but by the end of the session, most people report a great reduction in the level of disturbance. EMDR has been reported to be successful for: panic attacks, complicated grief, disturbing memories, phobias, pain disorders, performance anxiety, stress reduction, addictions, sexual and/or physical abuse and body dysmorphic disorders.
Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (DNMS)
The DNMS is an ego state therapy designed to treat a wide range of clients, symptoms, and issues. This includes adults with complex trauma wounds, such as those inflicted by verbal, physical, and sexual abuse; and with attachment wounds, such as those inflicted by parental rejection, neglect, and enmeshment. The DNMS is based on the assumption that the degree to which developmental needs were not adequately met is the degree to which a client is stuck in childhood. It starts by guiding clients to establish three internal Resources: a Nurturing Adult Self, a Protective Adult Self, and a Spiritual Core Self. Together these Resources gently help wounded child ego states get unstuck from the past by meeting their unmet developmental needs, helping them process through painful emotions, and by establishing an emotional bond. Alternating bilateral stimulation (made popular by EMDR therapy) is applied at key points in the process. The DNMS focuses special attention on healing maladaptive introjects (ego states that mimic abusive, neglectful, or dysfunctional caregivers). Since these wounded ego states cause the most trouble for clients, their healing results in a significant benefit. As introjects heal, clients report unwanted behaviors, beliefs, and emotions diminish.
Find out more at: www.dnmsinstitute.com and watch the informative 25 minute slide show.
Psychological/Chemical Dependency Evaluations
You may be referred for an evaluation by your physician, attorney, or licensing board. Psychological tests are used during these kinds of evaluations. The information gathered from these tests along with the information from a clinical interview can help to create a treatment plan especially designed for you.
Bariatric Surgery Psychological Evaluation
The pain of infertility can enter the deepest part of your being and can remain there. Embarking on this unique journey to finally begin your family can include many test and medical procedures. During the course of your care, you or your partner may experience roller coaster emotions: from excitement and anticipation, to repeated frustration. Research has shown that depression, isolation, anxiety and feelings of "not being in control" are common symptoms when dealing with infertility. For many, psychotherapy and stress reduction training can greatly reduce these symptoms. Please visit our Coping with Infertility page for additional information.
Third Party Reproduction Evaluations
If you are using an egg donor as an option to conceive a child, your doctor will refer this individual for a psychological evaluation to assess her mental state and to determine her ability to participate in the process of egg donation. The evaluation will consist of a clinical interview and psychological tests.
Mind/body programs are 10 weeks long for 2.5 hours per week. During the course of the program you will learn how to reduce the physical symptoms of stress, learn to self-nurture, communicate effectively, cope with negative emotions, learn relaxation techniques, learn the impact of diet and exercise on fertility, and learn about alternative medicine. This is a research based program modeled after the Harvard Mind/Body Medical Institute's Infertility Program. Dr. Swartout has been personally trained by Dr. Alice Domar, Ph.D., a luminary in the field of Mind/Body work in infertility. (Click here for a printable flyer)