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  • Writer's pictureTherapy Alberta

Approaches to Therapy

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Different types of mental health therapy

Each therapist has a unique process of building a relationship and helping you. At Therapy Alberta, we know you have different experiences, preferences, and needs. Our team draws on the following types of therapy to meet you where you are at and guide your healing journey.


Attachment theory explains how early relationships influence the way you relate to yourself, your caregivers, other people, and the world. Attachment therapy considers the impact of your patterns in relationships on how you connect to people, things, and problems. We can help you better understand yourself and build a secure therapeutic relationship based on trust. Therapists can use the relationship to help create a safe place for clients to explore, experiment, and establish new patterns.


When memories and feelings seem cut up in pieces and messy, it is possible to make sense of them and reorganize them in your brain. EMDR is a mind-body therapy that targets past experiences and negative beliefs through the stimulation of both sides of the brain and body. What began as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has evolved to include tapping, sound, lights, and other techniques. EMDR therapists can help you contain, regulate, and reprocess memories and feelings to gain awareness, understanding, capacity, and trust in self.


Emotions are not good or bad, though you may have been taught to avoid them. Every emotion shows up in the body as a sensation asking for something - all emotions just want to be felt and heard.. There’s a difference between talking about your feelings and feeling your feelings- therapy can help you tune into and feel these sensations and hear the message your emotion is trying to communicate. Every emotion is valid, a reaction to an action, yet sometimes they are based on old beliefs or patterns of response. Emotion focused therapy helps you accept, identify, tolerate, and regulate any emotion long enough to express it in a healthy way and release it or find the unmet need.


Mindfulness is more than just meditation. Mindfulness is a process of becoming aware of the self here and now in this moment- mind, body, and emotion. When you can accept the present experience without judgment, you can tolerate whatever shows up, understanding it’s there for a reason. By learning to regulate, you can tune in to any thought, feeling, or emotion to hear any unmet needs and express yourself in healthier ways. Mindfulness in therapy allows you to connect to your own inner experience, accept all parts of yourself, meet your unmet needs, and release what is no longer adaptive or helpful.


All humans are social creatures with innate and instinctual needs for connection and belonging. Sadly, most harm happens relationally and can suppress these instincts, so most healing needs to happen relationally too. Therapists can build secure, professional relationships with you that model respect, acceptance, and dignity. Within a secure and healthy relationship, you can create safety, explore vulnerability, release harm, and form new patterns of thinking, feeling, sensing, behaving, and relating. Relational therapists also understand going to therapy is a really hard thing to do - they’ve probably been there too.


Somatic therapists embrace the relationship between mind and body and practice from a whole person approach to therapy. Your experiences affect both your mental and physical self and your nervous system, which controls your breath, digestion, and heart. Somatic therapists incorporate both talk therapy (mind down) and body therapy (body up) to help you understand what your body and mind are doing and why, how to regulate, and how to change. Bridging the connection between mind and body can help you feel and sense, learn to trust your body, protect yourself, and improve your mental, physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health.


You can't just talk your way out of trauma. Abuse, neglect, grief, pain, and injury impact your brain and body in ways that can linger for decades. A trauma-sensitive therapist understands the impact of trauma, recognizes different signs, knows how to facilitate recovery, and practices in a way that reduces the likelihood of causing further harm. Trauma-sensitive therapy centers around compassionate care with empathy and non-judgment, creating a safe space for discovery and expression. We can help you integrate mind, body, and emotion so you can feel and heal your way forward.

There is no one right way to do therapy. You can benefit from a different combination of approaches for your concerns and your process of change and healing. What matters most is if you have a good fit with your therapist and feel comfortable and hopeful. Contact us for a free consultation to find a good fit.


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