When dealing with something as complex as human behavior, we believe that the most effective approach is one that is evidence-based, yet also flexible. Our treatment approach is one that is grounded in solid science but is also warm, compassionate, and centered around your individual values and needs. At times, we will emphasize real, measurable change, and at other times we emphasize acceptance, openness, and letting go of control. We utilize extensive clinical experience and knowledge of behavioral science, yet firmly believe that each individual is the true expert on choosing their own path.
If you choose to work with us, here are some things you can expect:
Effective, evidence-based treatment that directly addresses your issues
A personalized approach centered around your unique history and life situation
Active, engaging sessions involving thoughtful exploration and skill-building
Working towards real change by setting measurable, obtainable goals
Learning, practicing, and applying the skill of mindfulness (read more here)
Sessions that build on each other and progress steadily over time
Frequent monitoring of your progress to ensure that we are on the right path
Out-of-session assignments, such as:
Logging your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
Practicing skills learned in session
Completing meaningful behavioral goals
At The Path, there are a handful of basic assumptions that guide our work. If these assumptions seem to fit well with your own, then you're likely to benefit from working with our clinicians:
1. Every human being is capable of change.
In fact, flexibility and change is in our nature as human beings. Often times, the real problem is our resistance to change. Resisting change leads to inflexibility, stagnancy, and a sense of being at war with the rest of the world (which is always changing). If we are willing to listen, life usually tells us in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that change is needed.
2. Your past does not dictate your present.
Like the wake behind a ship, our past is like a trail that we leave behind us as we move through life. The past has value and can give us clues as to how we ended up where we are, but just as a ship's wake does not determine it's direction, our past does not determine what we do next. We are capable of making sharp changes in direction right now in the present moment, if we choose to, leaving a completely different type of wake behind us.
3. Painful thoughts and emotions are not inherently bad.
Painful thoughts and emotions have purpose and meaning. If we take the time to explore and understand them, we almost always find that they are actually signals alerting us to something important or something that needs to change. Rather than treating a painful thought or emotion as an enemy or something that needs to be eliminated, we should treat them as messengers and try to respond to the message appropriately.
4. To understand an individual, you must understand their context.
Similar to every other creature on this planet, human beings are intimately connected with the world around us. This includes our physical environment, the people and things around us, and also our history. Having a better understanding of an individual's connection with the world around them, and their past, means having a better understanding of why they feel and behave the way they do. Also, it gives us important clues as to how to create real change that lasts outside of the therapy room.
5. Effective therapy & coaching is not about giving advice.
The role of a therapist is very different from that of a Medical Doctor (M.D.). An M.D. gives you direct instructions, tells you what to do or what medicine to take, and in many cases does some sort of treatment to you. A therapist doesn't do something to you, but instead works on problems with you. A therapist helps you to explore problems in new ways, points out certain "blind spots," and proposes alternative paths for you to experiment with. However, in the end, it is always you who makes the final call on whether or not to take action.
6. We are humans too.
At the most fundamental human level, we as clinicians are really no different than you as the client. We do not belong to a separate class of human beings who "have it all figured out" and are free from emotional pain and struggle. With this in mind, we don't speak to clients from a place of "authority," but rather from a place of partnership and shared experience.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." – John Muir