To bring about healing and help clients feel better quickly, Christin uses an integrated approach to supporting clients. Christin utilizes a wide range of therapeutic strategies from various approaches.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Attachment-based EMDR
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
- Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)
- Family Therapy
- Transpersonal Psychology
- Experiential Play Therapy
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Christin continues to expand her knowledge and expertise. She is committed to working with diverse populations including a commitment to support clients from the following communities:
- Gender Identity and Expression
- Trans-Racial Families
- Immigrant and refugees
- Latinx, a gender-neutral alternative to Latino
Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing (EMDR)
What clients have shared with me after doing some EMDR… “I was stuck, even when I was in a good moment I always used to feel like the other shoe was going to drop.” The client was unable to stay in a positive moment without experiencing a sense of foreboding that positive situations will not last. With EMDR, he was able to integrate some nightmares that were his brain’s attempt to heal from something scary. The EMDR helped his nervous system get unstuck. He can now enjoy a simple moment without his mind quickly turning to fear and anger.
I had another client describe what she experienced as “melting ice” that had been causing her to either avoid intimacy and relationships or re-enact old dysfunctional patterns. She shared that being able to process her thoughts, feelings and sensations without having to talk about the trauma she experienced, helped her to stop re-enacting and avoiding. She shared “When you get really scared, it is like ice cubes blocking a big part of yourself and we just need to melt them to feel better and I feel more whole and complete now.”
My client was constantly blowing up with her kids. She had many triggers that caused her to feel she was a loose cannon and she had no power to control her emotional outbursts. She said, “Emdr helped me to let go of core beliefs about myself.” She spoke eloquently about how EMDR had helped her to bring all the parts of herself together. She was able to see how adaptive her anger was during her childhood. She was able to process memories without having to re-tell these stories. She was able to shift out of it quickly with techniques she used on herself. “It helped me no longer feel broken.”
An older client told me that he felt like he was able to “reconnect with the part of him that he had lost touch with”. “I feel more whole.” This is what many clients speak of and thus it is an effective treatment for a specific trauma or an event that causes you significant distress. Within the context of the healing relationship, you can pull up an image and your healing can be significant all without having to relive the experience.
The theory behind it: There is a substantial body of research that shows that adverse life experiences contribute to both psychological and biomedical pathology. EMDR is an empirically validated treatment from trauma, and anxiety that results from negative life experiences. EMDR is capable of rapidly treating unprocessed memories of adverse experiences. It is also capable of treating anxiety as well as other intense emotional symptoms in which the patient has no clearly identifiable associated negative life experience. The mode of EMDR therapy posits an Adaptive Information Processing model. According to this model, current experiences link into already established memory networks and can trigger the unprocessed emotions, the unprocessed emotions, physical sensations and beliefs inherent in earlier stored adverse life experiences. Current experiences trigger past unprocessed memories and cause a host of symptoms.
Attachment-based EMDR processes distressing experiences, and also releases adaptive integration of the distressing material such that the patient often demonstrates a rapid and positive change in affect, cognitive perceptions, reduction in somatic distress as well as new and positive insights. This happens within the context of a supportive and humanistic counseling relationship.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT focuses on challenging and changing unhelpful cognitive distortions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes) and behaviors, improving emotional regulation, and the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems. Christin helps clients decrease depressive and anxiety symptoms. Christin used CBT, evidence-based techniques and strategies to help clients resolve symptoms and improve life functioning.
My role is to assist my client in finding and practicing effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms. CBT is based on the belief that symptoms and associated distress can be reduced by teaching new information-processing skills and coping mechanisms.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from contemplative meditative practice. DBT is based upon the biosocial theory of mental illness and is the first therapy that has been experimentally demonstrated to be generally effective in treating BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder).
I also am guided by transpersonal psychology. It is closely related to the humanistic approach. Transpersonal psychology acknowledges the search by humans for a higher purpose in life, and for the qualities of compassion, creativity, wisdom and unconditional love. In addition, I support patients in understanding attachment styles and developmental psychology to help them continue to achieve their highest goals.
I offer parent coaching as well. Parents learn fun ways to help children pay attention to their sensations, feelings, and thoughts. I have supported parents in pre-schools, elementary school classrooms, church groups, professional organizations, and parent groups. I work with parents in recognizing their strengths and owning their growing edges.
I look at all the ways in which parents are promoting a growth mindset and teaching social-emotional skills to their children. I support parents to remember their own needs and set clear consistent limits and boundaries from the get-go. I engage parents in role plays and invite them to re-enact difficult interactions. They learn techniques to tap into their own wisdom and truth and speak from this place with their children. They practice proven techniques to stay centered even when their child or children are “flipping their lids”. I invite parents to get vulnerable and experience their emotions and ways that they get triggered by their children’s behavior and feelings. They gain more mastery over their own intense emotions and they model this for their children.
Techniques used that my clients find helpful
- Applied relaxation/ applied muscle tension
- Assertiveness training/ Interpersonal communication
- Behavioral skill training rehearsal
- Cognitive restructuring / cognitive coping skills
- Controlled Exposure, systematic desensitization
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Mood Journal/ Home Practice for greater self-awareness
- Problem-solving techniques
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)
- Time management/ organizational training
- Virtual reality exposure/ in vivo exposure
- Visual imagery