Psychology was a byproduct of philosophy. The word psychology comes from two Greek words meaning the study of the soul. The theories that fuel therapy provide a philosophy of life and a theology of man-our human nature, how we develop our personalities and how we evolve as people.
Unlike the “medical-model” or “disease model” that the majority of mental health clinicians and medical doctors adhere to; I utilize a personal growth and brain-based model in working with clients. The medical model supports the idea that a person with social or mental problems is “ill” (hence individuals are referred to as “patients”) and limits their understanding of their patients through a “diagnosis” which is too confining to understand the complexity of human beings. Medical “treatment” targets symptoms and clinicians determine what to do with their “patients” based on “medical necessity.”
In contrast to the medical model, the personal growth model strives to remove pathology from the human condition. Psychotherapy deals with the social, mental, and emotional aspects of individuals, couples and families. Within the personal growth model, the individual is referred to as a client because the individual is perceived to have areas of strength and resources that need to be cultivated to address their areas of self-improvement and to establish new patterns of social behavior.
Breakthroughs in neuroscience have resulted in creation of an interactive brain-based model which suggests that therapeutic interaction changes the brain of both client and therapist. Dealing with concerns within the safety of a therapeutic alliance helps the client’s brain rewire itself which we refer to as neuroplasticity.
The therapist creates a relational environment conducive to experiential learning and helps build the client’s confidence resulting in a deeper understanding of oneself. The therapist fosters client’s strengths and resources by providing a therapeutic environment that is conducive to clients in attaining their goals and realizing their fullest potential.
Operating from a personal growth model requires that therapists are client-centered and focus on client needs and utilize approaches that will result in desired change. The goal is to empower clients by teaching them skills and strategies that will allow them to have victory over their concerns and to have a meaningful existence. The objective is to teach clients to be proactive about their lives, self-sufficient and establish a healthy interdependence. It is my intention that clients leave therapy feeling confident to address their concerns because they have established a healthy mental and emotional frame of mind and have been equipped with effective life tools to cope with a challenging fast-paced technologically advanced and modernized world.