EMDR and Trauma Therapy
EMDR is a form of therapy which uses alternating bilateral stimulation to reprocess traumatic events...
According to Dr. Francine Shapiro, a psychologist who developed this process, patients are capable of EMDR reprocessing negative self-distorted thoughts into positive, self-healing thoughts, given appropriate conditions or tools and proper environment. When a stressful or traumatic event occurs in a person’s life, the memory of that event can become locked into the nervous system with the original picture, sounds, thoughts and feelings. This information can become distorted and significantly alter their perception of that event. EMDR uses bilateral, side-to-side stimulation, while bringing in all of the sensory elements of the event to help the client reprocess and re-integrate positive information and release negative self-destructive thoughts. The key element is the alternating stimulation integrating the left side of the brain with the right side of the brain to bring the traumatic event to resolution.
See EMDR Website for Further Information.
Art Therapy is a therapeutic approach in which clients, facilitated by the therapist, use art media...
Art Therapy is a therapeutic approach in which clients, facilitated by the therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being.
During individual and/or group sessions, art therapists elicit their clients’ inherent capacity for art making to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Research supports the use of art therapy within a professional relationship for the therapeutic benefits gained through artistic self-expression and reflection for individuals who experience illness, trauma, and mental health problems, and those seeking personal growth.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance...
There is a core self that is a place of silence, freedom, and total peace. The goal of treatment at Balance is to help clients start to feel the deepest layer of their being and find their way back to the center, to who they really are and where the real power of healing lies. Once the patient knows the way there, they can actively heal and grow more and more, simply by living with this new aspect of mind, this living silence of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that Balance teaches its clients to help them learn how to quiet their thinking, and thereby more effectively experience and explore the present moment. Today, with so many things to worry about and so many distractions, maintaining our attention on what is happening right now is often very difficult. Balance staff has developed a highly distinct and deep understanding that capitalizes on the silence of the body and the precision and focus of the mind to help people reach the healing that resides within us all. Clients, regardless of their diagnosis, can all benefit from mindfulness, and we make every effort to connect with the client wherever they are on this path.
Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that helps family members improve communication...
Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts that is usually provided by a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. It is often short term and may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Your specific treatment plan will depend on your family’s situation.
Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you’re done going to therapy sessions. It can help you improve troubled relationships with your spouse, children, or other family members. You may address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, conflict between parents and children, or the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness on the entire family. Family therapy can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict. It can help you and your family members understand one another better and bring you closer together.
Couples therapy at Balance Stress Management and Therapy is not just about talking with you. Yes, we want to hear what’s going on in your relationship...
- Build Love Maps: How well do you know your partner’s inner psychological world, his or her history, worries, stresses, joys, and hopes?
- Share Fondness and Admiration: The antidote for contempt, this level focuses on the amount of affection and respect within a relationship. (To strengthen fondness and admiration, express appreciation and respect.)
- Turn Towards: State your needs, be aware of bids for connection and respond to (turn towards) them. The small moments of everyday life are actually the building blocks of relationship.
- The Positive Perspective: The presence of a positive approach to problem-solving and the success of repair attempts.
- Manage Conflict: We say “manage” conflict rather than “resolve” conflict, because relationship conflict is natural and has functional, positive aspects. Understand that there is a critical difference in handling perpetual problems and solvable problems.
- Make Life Dreams Come True: Create an atmosphere that encourages each person to talk honestly about his or her hopes, values, convictions and aspirations.
- Create Shared Meaning: Understand important visions, narratives, myths, and metaphors about your relationship.
- Trust: This is the state that occurs when a person knows that his or her partner acts and thinks to maximize that person’s best interests and benefits, not just the partner’s own interests and benefits. In other words, this means, “My partner has my back and is there for me.”
- Commitment: This means believing (and acting on the belief) that your relationship with this person is completely your lifelong journey, for better or for worse (meaning that if it gets worse you will both work to improve it). It implies cherishing your partner’s positive qualities and nurturing gratitude by comparing the partner favorably with real or imagined others, rather than trashing the partner by magnifying negative qualities, and nurturing resentment by comparing unfavorably with real or imagined others.
Individual Therapy is a joint process between a therapist and a person in therapy. Common goals of therapy can be to inspire change or improve quality of life....
Individual Therapy is a joint process between a therapist and a person in therapy. Common goals of therapy can be to inspire change or improve quality of life. People may seek therapy for help with issues that are hard to face alone. Individual therapy is also called therapy, psychotherapy, psychosocial therapy, talk therapy, and counseling.
Therapy can help people overcome obstacles to their well-being. It can increase positive feelings, such as compassion and self-esteem. People in therapy can learn skills for handling difficult situations, making healthy decisions, and reaching goals. Many find they enjoy the therapeutic journey of becoming more self-aware. Some people even go to ongoing therapy for self-growth.
Group Therapy at Balance Stress Management and Therapy is a great alternative or addition to individual therapy...
Group Therapy at Balance Stress Management and Therapy is a great alternative or addition to individual therapy. Group therapy provides benefits that individual therapy may not. Psychologists say, in fact, that group members are almost always surprised by how rewarding the group experience can be.
Groups can act as a support network and a sounding board. Other members of the group often help you come up with specific ideas for improving a difficult situation or life challenge and hold you accountable along the way.
Regularly talking and listening to others also helps you put your own problems in perspective. Many people experience mental health difficulties, but few speak openly about them to people they don’t know well. Oftentimes, you may feel like you are the only one struggling — but you’re not. It can be a relief to hear others discuss what they’re going through and realize you’re not alone.
Diversity is another important benefit of group therapy. People have different personalities and backgrounds and they look at situations in different ways. By seeing how other people tackle problems and make positive changes, you can discover a whole range of strategies for facing your own concerns. Please check the Fabebook Page and Blog for group updates.
Affirming and supportive counseling & psychotherapy services for LGBTQ individuals, couples and families...
We are 100% committed to serving LGBTQ clients on their healing journeys. “…I want LGBTQ clients to know that I support them and their families. Being affirmative means I treat loving couples, families, and transgender people with the dignity, respect, and affirmation they deserve; they are fine just the way they are.” –
Affirming and supportive counseling & psychotherapy services for LGBTQ individuals, couples and families.
Persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) face unique challenges and concerns.
At Balance we’ve been supporting LGBTQ people and their families for years. Through our specialized LGBTQ services, we offer mental health services specifically tailored to address the needs of LGBTQ individuals, couples and their families, provided by therapists who are experienced in working with LGBTQ clients and who understand the issues that impact their lives.
Individual, couple and family counseling and psychotherapy to help clients dealing with issues including:
- Understanding sexual orientation & gender identity
- When mom or dad is LGBTQ
- “Coming out” and disclosure to family, friends & co-workers
- Relationship satisfaction
- Coping with social stigma, bias & homophobia
- Challenges for couples
- Parenting an LGBTQ child
- Depression and anxiety
- Relationships with family and friends
Rainbow Families, a specialized therapy program for LGBTQ parents facing child-rearing issues such as:
- How (and when) to come out to your children
- Preparing your kids for their friends’ inevitable questions
- Helping your sons and daughters understand their origins
- How your sexual orientation/gender identity impacts their own
- Coping with the heterosexism of schools, camps, and community organizations
- Should same-sex households provide opposite-sex influences?
- Challenges in everyday child management and child rearing
Play therapy differs from regular play in that the therapist helps children to address and resolve their own problems...
Marriage Therapy, also called Marriage Counseling, at Balance Stress Management and Therapy is a service many of our providers specialize in...
Marriage rates supposedly are on the decline. While it’s an oft-repeated statistic that 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, that number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years. Divorce rates also vary with the partners’ level of education, religious beliefs, and many other factors.
But when divorce does happen, it results in difficulties for adults as well as children. For adults, divorce can be one of life’s most stressful life events. The decision to divorce often is met with ambivalence and uncertainty about the future. If children are involved, they may experience negative effects such as denial, feelings of abandonment, anger, blame, guilt, preoccupation with reconciliation, and acting out.
While divorce may be necessary and the healthiest choice for some, others may wish to try to salvage whatever is left of the union. When couples encounter problems or issues, they may wonder when it is appropriate to seek marriage counseling. Here are seven good reasons.
1. Communication has become negative. Once communication has deteriorated, often it is hard to get it going back in the right direction. Negative communication can include anything that leaves one partner feeling depressed, insecure, disregarded, or wanting to withdraw from the conversation. This can also include the tone of the conversation. It is important to remember that it’s not always what you say, but how you say it.
Negative communication can also include any communication that not only leads to hurt feelings, but emotional or physical abuse, as well as nonverbal communication.
2. When one or both partners consider having an affair, or one partner has had an affair. Recovering from an affair is not impossible, but it takes a lot of work. It takes commitment and a willingness to forgive and move forward. There is no magic formula for recovering from an affair. But if both individuals are committed to the therapy process and are being honest, the marriage may be salvaged. At the very least, it may be determined that it is healthier for both individuals to move on.
3. When the couple seems to be “just occupying the same space.” When couples become more like roommates than a married couple, this may indicate a need for counseling. This does not mean if the couple isn’t doing everything together they are in trouble. If there is a lack of communication, conversation and intimacy or any other elements the couple feels are important and they feel they just “co-exist,” this may be an indication that a skilled clinician can help sort out what is missing and how to get it back.
4. When the partners do not know how to resolve their differences. “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” For me, that phrase comes to mind with this situation. When a couple begins to experience discord and they are aware of the discord, knowing is only half the battle. Many times I have heard couples say, “We know what’s wrong, but we just don’t know how to fix it.”. This is a perfect time to get a third party involved. If a couple is stuck, a skilled clinician may be able to get them moving in the right direction.
5. When one partner begins to act out on negative feelings. I believe what we feel on the inside shows on the outside. Even if we are able to mask these feelings for a while, they are bound to surface. Negative feelings such as resentment or disappointment can turn into hurtful, sometimes harmful behaviors. I can recall a couple where the wife was very hurt by her husband’s indiscretions. Although she agreed to stay in the relationship and work things out, she became very spiteful. The wife would purposefully do things to make her husband think she was being unfaithful even though she wasn’t. She wanted her husband to feel the same pain she felt, which was counterproductive. A skilled clinician can help the couple sort out negative feelings and find better ways to express them.
6. When the only resolution appears to be separation. When a couple disagrees or argues, a break often is very helpful. However, when a timeout turns into an overnight stay away from home or eventually leads to a temporary separation, this may indicate a need for counseling. Spending time away from home does not usually resolve the situation. Instead, it reinforces the thought that time away is helpful, often leading to more absences. When the absent partner returns, the problem is still there, but often avoided because time has passed.
7. When a couple is staying together for the sake of the children. If a couple feels it is wise to stay together for the sake of the children, it may help to involve an objective third party. Often couples believe that they are doing the right thing when staying together actually is detrimental to the children. On the contrary, if the couple is able to resolve issue and move toward a positive, healthy relationship, this may be the best decision for all involved.
In my opinion, children should never be the deciding factor when couples are determining whether to stay together. I recall working with an adolescent who was having trouble in school. She was acting out and her grades were declining. After a few sessions she stated, “I know my parents really don’t like each other.” When I asked her why, she replied, “They are nice to each other, but they never smile or laugh like my friends’ parents.”
Children are generally very intuitive and intelligent. No matter how couples may think they are able to fake their happiness, most children are able to tell.
All marriages are not salvageable. In the process of marriage counseling, some couples may discover it is healthier for them to be apart. However, for those relationships that can be salvaged, and for those couples willing to commit to the process, marriage counseling may be able to remind them why they fell in love and keep them that way.
Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage...
Premarital counseling is often provided by licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists. These therapists have graduate or postgraduate degrees — and many choose to become credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Premarital counseling might be offered through religious institutions as well. In fact, some spiritual leaders require premarital counseling before conducting a marriage ceremony.
Premarital counseling can help couples improve their relationships before marriage. Through premarital counseling, couples are encouraged to discuss topics related to marriage, such as:
- Beliefs and values
- Roles in marriage
- Affection and sex
- Children and parenting
- Family relationships
- Dealing with anger
- Time spent together
Keep in mind that you bring your own values, opinions and history into a relationship, and they might not always match your partner’s. In addition, many people go into marriage believing it will fulfill their social, financial, sexual and emotional needs — and that’s not always the case. By discussing differences and expectations before marriage, you and your partner can better understand and support each other during marriage.
Early intervention is important because the risk of divorce is highest early in marriage.
Aromatherapy is used alongside of health and wellness treatments and can be used for insomnia, anxiety, pain and itching...
Holistic Nutritionist Coaching
Help clients by creating an individualized plan for healthy eating...
Holistic Nutritionists subscribe to the principles of holistic nutrition, which advocates providing for optimum health in the long term by eating a balanced, personalized diet. Healthy eating means moving away from genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and antibiotics found in the food supply toward more natural, nutritious food grown in high quality soil. More and more, healthy eating is shown to prevent physical problems, improve energy levels and correct imbalances and deficiencies in the body. Holistic Nutritionists also recommend diets that help clients improve their mood.
A Holistic Nutritionist
The goal for the Holistic Nutritionist is to advise clients about which foods to eat, and which foods to avoid, for improved health.
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship...
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. From American Music Therapy Association (2013)
What does music therapy involve?
To begin, your music therapist will assess your strengths and needs in multiple areas of functioning including: your emotional well-being, your physical health, your social functioning, communication skills, and cognition. This is all done through the use of music and musical tools. However, you do not need any musical ability to participate. Then based on your needs, music therapy sessions are designed to target your specific goals for wellness and functioning. During music therapy sessions, you will have the opportunity to engage with the music therapist using music improvisation, receptive music listening, song writing, lyric discussion, music and imagery, music performance and more. Music therapy treatment plans are designed specific to your needs but can be implemented in group or individual settings.
What are some common music therapy goals?
- Increase communication, even for those who find it difficult to express themselves using words.
- Physical rehabilitation for learning new or lost skills like walking, stepping, gross and fine motor movement.
- Provide emotional support and creative outlet for families and loved ones during trauma, emotional distress, loss and bereavement.
- Increasing self-awareness and expression of emotion.
Who can benefit from music therapy?
People of all ages and abilities can benefit from music therapy. This includes: infants, children, adolescents, adults, the elderly and their caregivers. Music is a whole brain, whole body experience. Therefore, even those with the lower levels of verbal and auditory skills can still participate and benefit. Skills and strengths gained in music therapy sessions are transferred to many other areas of life, providing great therapeutic benefit across the lifespan.
What needs can music therapy help address?
During music therapy treatment, music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. Specific mental health needs including anxiety, depression, personal identity issues and grief can be addressed with the addition of music wellness routines. Individuals living with developmental and learning disabilities can benefit from the holistic approaches of music therapy that target both developmental goals like attention and communication but also encourage appropriate social interactions, awareness and self-expression. Families who care for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s and other aging related conditions can benefit from the routine and opportunity for reminiscence that music therapy provides. Even those expecting babies or living with very young infants can benefit from music therapy treatment for bonding, healing and optimal development.
Reiki is a form of energy healing that can promote the body’s natural physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing...
Reiki is a gentle and safe healing practice that was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui in the 1920’s. Reiki is geared towards removing energy blocks in the body. These blocks can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. These blocks are thought to be caused by stress and pain. During a Reiki Session a practitioner places his or her hands above or on the client to allow the universal life force energy to flow. Reiki does not use the practitioner’s energy and is safe for both the practitioner as well as the Reiki recipient.
During a session a person may feel heat, tingling or cooling sensations as blocks are removed. Many clients get to a deep state of peace and relaxation during a session. A goal in Reiki is to balance a person’s energy, restoring it where it may be low.
Executive Functioning Training
Executive Functioning Training focused on the body’s executive function, controlled by the frontal lobe...
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational Therapy (OT) as a profession began in 1917 and has evolved into a dynamic area of rehabilitation that treats a wide variety of diagnoses throughout the human life cycle...
Neurofeedback Training (NFB) is an innovative, non-invasive, and safe method that improves brain function and enhances brain health...
In a typical neurofeedback training session, the client is seated in a comfortable chair in front of a video screen watching a movie. During the training process the clinician observes the brainwaves in action as a real-time movie, and then rewards the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. Neurofeedback gently encourages the brain to self-regulate and produce healthier brainwave patterns. This ultimately improves thinking, behavior patterns, and the emotional state.
Decades of practice have demonstrated the effectiveness of Neurofeedback in improving the quality of life through symptom reduction in individuals with a wide range of issues:
- Attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Learning disabilities
- Autism spectrum disorder
Neurofeedback could be an option for people who are looking for a natural alternative to medication, or do not respond well to traditional methods of treatment. Experienced clinicians have reported that Neurofeedback has success rates of 60% to 80%, with virtually no side effects.
Child and Adolescents Therapy
Child and Adolescents Therapy is similar to therapy for adults as children and adolescents can participate in and benefit from counseling...
Our approach to child/adolescent therapy is holistic and strength-based. We seek to identify and develop strength and growth areas, while reducing distress and increasing coping skills.
Children, just like adults, experience stress. Common stressors for children include school and family issues. School stressors may include excessive or difficult homework, test anxiety, peer pressure, bullying, and learning difficulties. Family issues may include parental arguing, divorce, moving homes, new sibling, major illness, death, loss, and transitions.
If you notice a change in your child’s behavior (e.g., inattention, arguing, withdrawing) or emotions (e.g. depressed, angry, worried, stress) and think they may need help, child/adolescent therapy may be a good resource.
Specific therapy goals are customized to meet the needs of the child and their family. The overall goal of our child and adolescent therapy program is to alleviate symptoms of distress; improve the child’s social and emotional resources; increase their use of effective communication skills; and strengthen family, community, and peer relationships.
We strive to create an environment where a child/adolescent feels safe and protected from real or perceived threats to their sense of control. We then work collaboratively with the child/adolescent to identify their areas of distress, examine and express their feelings by expanding their emotional vocabulary, and develop positive ways to cope and thrive in their environments.
Balance is a structural family therapy environment. This means that we always include families into sessions with children. Family members that we may include (e.g., parents, grandparents, siblings), teachers, and caregivers. The amount of time and frequency of involvement of others is unique to the child/adolescent and family’s situation. We understand that many parents have questions about their child/adolescent’s therapeutic process and progress. Therefore, we often reserve part of every session to touch base with parents/caregivers to answer questions and provide updates, as appropriate.
Neurofeedback and Peak Performance
Neurofeedback and Peak Performance makes it possible for athletes to gain the competitive edge in sports and in life without having to spend more hours practicing....
Neurofeedback and Peak Performance makes it possible for athletes to gain the to spend more hours practicing. By identifying areas of the brain pertinent for performance enhancement and improving their functioning, behaviors can be altered; athletic deficits, areas of weakness, and even extraneous distractions can be eliminated from the game. Different sports place different demands on the brain. As such, treatment is tailored to the specific needs of the athlete based on a comprehensive evaluation. Treatment has been found to be effective in many different sports despite the position played by the athlete.
In addition to alleviating psychological symptoms (e.g., anxiety, depression) and sports related injuries (e.g., concussions, migraines, muscle tension) that can interfere with sports performance, neurofeedback training can improve various areas necessary for peak performance: Relaxation, Focus, Agility and Timing, as well as maintaining and/or enhancing motivation. Pressure to perform can be intrinsic or extrinsic, but whatever the cause, pressure can have damaging effects if the athlete is unable to effectively manage it. Unexpected mistakes as a result of unmanaged pressure can be costly during competition for the athlete or the team as a whole. With training, an athlete can become more comfortable performing in high pressure situations without buckling or choking. This training becomes essential especially for those athletes in specialty positions/sports. Coupled with relaxation, training to improve focus further helps an athlete to eliminate distractions from opponents, the crowd, and/or self talk that can inhibit optimal performance. Many times athletes can be their own worst enemy; focusing on past failures removes the athlete’s confidence, setting them up to fail as long as they remain unfocused and self-criticizing.
“Neurofeedback tries to block this downward spiral of self-destructive doubting. When it works, it helps the player find ‘the zone’ and stay in it”. Finally, agility and timing also become an important factor for peak performance. An athlete already has the skill to compete in his/her chosen sport while meeting the demands of his/her position, but he/she needs to fine tune their skills in order to be effective on a consistent basis. Split-second decisions become easier through training, and the athlete becomes better able to perform as the movements become automatic.
Sports psychologists have been around for many years, helping athletes through techniques such as visualization, hypnosis, and imagery. However, neurofeedback goes a step further by retraining the brain for optimal performance. Many sports teams around the world are beginning to turn to neurofeedback in order to become more successful on the playing field. In 2006, the Italian soccer team received neurofeedback training and when they won the World Cup, they attributed their win to that very training. The Canadian free ski team also used neurofeedback to reach peak performance levels in the 2010 winter Olympics, while the Vancouver Canucks turned to the same training in their race for the Stanley Cup in 2011. In addition to the successful Italian soccer team and Canadian skiers and hockey players, the tennis champion, Mary Pierce, and Olympic gold medalist skier, Hermann Maier have spoken in support of neurofeedback training.
Neurofeedback is helping athletes to gain the competitive edge over their opponents. Allowing athletes to reach their optimal mental and physical state necessary to be successful on the field, training is an investment in their career in themselves.