Treatment & Approaches
TreatmentsOur diverse and experienced team of therapists provides counseling for individuals, couples, children, and families.
- Anxiety & Stress
- Compassion Fatigue & Burn-Out
- Couples Therapy & Intimacy Issues
- Eating Disorders & Body Image
- Family Therapy
- Grief & Loss
- Personal Growth
- Prenatal/Postnatal Losses
- Spiritual Development & Formation
- Cognitive Behavioural TherapyCBT
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach to treatment that recognizes the important link between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. While all three of these aspects are seen as important to the change process, CBT views thoughts and behaviors as the best point of entry for finding lasting change. While CBT views feelings as very important, trying to change feelings by themselves is thought to be a less effective starting point. When working from a CBT perspective, the therapist and client work together to identify unhelpful automatic thoughts and personal beliefs that are getting in the way of living life. These thoughts are evaluated and potentially replaced with more realistic and helpful ways of thinking. The therapist and client also work to identify specific, concrete and manageable behavioral goals to help manage mood, often in the areas of sleep, nutrition, exercise, relationships or fun. From the CBT perspective, changing thoughts and behaviors will ultimately lead to changes in feelings. CBT is often a useful approach for clients seeking highly structured counselling that provides specific information and steps. It has been shown to be effective in treating a range of issues, including depression and multiple forms of anxiety.
Individuals wishing to find self-help materials related to CBT may wish to look at Feeling Good or When Panic Attacks by David Burns.
- Emotion Focused TherapyEFT
Emotion Focused Therapy
Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) is an empirically supported psychotherapy approach that focuses on the transformation of emotion with emotion. Emotions are believed to be the key to produce long-lasting therapeutic change in a person. Clients undergoing EFT are helped to better identify, experience, explore, make sense of, transform and flexibly manage their emotional experiences.
Emotion-focused couples therapy (EFCT) is a short term (8-20 sessions), structured approach to facilitate both intra-psychic and inter-relationship issues with couples. Intra-psychic issues involve the processing of the individual's experience, which includes processing of his/her emotions. Inter-relationship issues involve the examination of the couple's interaction cycles, which may include patterns of pursue-withdraw, pursue-pursue, or withdraw-withdraw. In each cycle couples typically desire closeness with each other, yet their behaviour associated with achieving this often leaves them feeling more distant.
EFCT aims to bring the past alive through re-enacting emotional experiences in a safe and structured environment. It is believed that the past validates present day fears, blocks and styles of relating, which then fuels conflict within a marriage. If there is to be long-lasting change in a couple's interaction cycle, emotions must be engaged and activated because it creates a softening in the relationship to make a new interaction cycle possible.
For more information about EFT and EFCT: Emotion Focused Therapy
- Family Systems Therapy/Family of Origin TherapyFamily Systems Therapy
Family Systems Therapy/Family of Origin Therapy
The basic premise of Family Systems Therapy is that individuals cannot be understood in isolation, but rather as a part of their relationship system, where people influence and respond to each other. Patterns of relationship emerge in families of origin, the workplace, our current family, a couple relationship, and in the community.
Family Systems Therapy begins with the assumption that a lot of who we are today has been impacted by the early relationships we experienced growing up in our families. How we have experienced the roles and dynamics within our families can influence our current behaviour and relationships. Family Systems Therapy involves opening up new perspectives and experiences of oneself and others; so that we are not limited by roles, rules, and unhelpful patterns; but are freer to be who we are. This includes being able to honour the best of what we’ve gained from our early relationships as well as the ability to set healthy boundaries.
For more information: www.psychpage.com/learning/library/counseling/bowen.html
- Narrative TherapyNarrative Therapy
Narrative Therapy suggests that our identities are shaped by the stories we come to believe about ourselves. In “problem saturated stories” a narrative therapist will enquire about a persons’ relationship to the problem in effort to distance themselves somewhat from the problem. Accessing alternative stories with clients serves to influence the problem and therefore change and diminish its negative impact. New, more accurate stories of health, strength, and resilience emerge and are empowering.
For more information: www.narrativetherapycentre.com/
- Spiritual FormationSpiritual Formation
"Spiritual formation is a rather general term referring to all attempts, means, instructions and disciplines intended for the deepening of faith and furtherance of spiritual growth."
Gerald May, (1992). Care of Mind, Care of Spirit, p.7.
Neurofeedback is a specialized form of biofeedback for the brain. EEG sensors are gently placed at particular locations on the scalp to collect electrical energy as various groups of brain cells fire. This information is filtered, processed, and fed back to the client in the form of visual or audio stimuli. As the central nervous system receives the stimuli, moment-by-moment in response to its own activity, it adjusts itself accordingly, essentially learning new patterns of operation.
Neurofeedback is used to relieve symptoms related to anxiety, AD(H)D, depression, disordered sleep, headaches, chronic pain, migraines, anger, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disability, and cognitive impairment. It is also used to improve the performance of athletes, musicians, students, and business people.
Further information and research articles pertaining to neurofeedback and our approach may be found at:
The Zengar Institute
The Journal of Neurotherapy
EEG & Clinical Neuroscience Society
To learn more about Jon Wieser who offers Neurofeedback, click here.
- Play TherapyPlay Therapy
Play Therapy differs from regular play as well as regular talk therapy. When it comes to counselling children, the method we use is play therapy. In Play Therapy, “Play” will be the words and the medium for children to communicate their feelings and struggles at hand. With the use of selected materials and toys--and in a safe environment with necessary limits--the play therapist supports and guides children to work through their struggles with their inner potentials and resources. Research shows that Play therapy can be effective with children experiencing a wide range of social, emotional, behavioural, and learning problems, including:
• Anger, Aggression, & Acting Out Behaviours
• Anxiety, Fears, Phobias & Timidity
• Friendship& Social Setting challenges
• School & Academic Difficulties
• Self Concept & Self Esteem Issues
• Depression, Grief & Loss
• Separation, Divorce and Family Dissolution
• Foster Home & Adoption Experience
• Crisis & Trauma; Child Abuse & Neglect
• Physical Symptoms Without Medical Reasons
Why Play Therapy?
Play Therapy can promote:
• Self Acceptance & Confidence
• Responsibility & Adaptive Behaviours
• Cognitive Development
• Development of Social and Relational Skills
• Creativity & Problem Solving Skills
• Experience & Expression of Feelings
• Empathy & Respect for Others
• Understanding & Acceptance of Past and Current Experiences
- Psycho-Educational AssessmentsPsycho-Ed Assessments
Children/Teens & Adults:
Psycho-Educational Assessment for Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities, ADHD or ADD can cause significant frustration and stress for a child which can have a debilitating effect on a child’s feelings of competence, self-esteem, motivation for learning, mental and physical health. Struggling in school is hard, especially if you try your best every day, but teachers keep saying that you can do better. Early school dropout has a direct correlation with Learning Disabilities that was not diagnosed.
A Psycho-educational assessment measures the child’s cognitive, attention, memory, social-emotional and perceptual abilities as well as their basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. This information provides a map to their cognitive abilities, strengths and challenges. Early diagnosis and educational intervention and support provide the parents and the teachers with a cognitive map on how the child learns and how to optimize the child’s cognitive potential and learning challenges. Working in a multi-disciplinary team as Psychologist with Parents, Teachers, Tutors and Family doctors, an Individual Education Plan is developed to support your child throughout their educational career in school, College and University to acknowledge their learning strengths and accommodate their learning obstacles.
Dr. Sophia Van Vuuren's Psycho-Educational assessment will assist you in clarifying and identifying specific areas of your child's struggles to enable you to obtain the necessary support for your child to succeed to his/her potential.