Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Techniques

face-shaped path individual counseling

We help adults recover from abuse, trauma, anxiety, and depression.  We often empower creative individuals and the LGBTQ community.

Visit the Couples Counseling page to learn more about our approach to couples’ work.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

We use and love Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Don’t worry if you don’t know anything about ACT – that’s our responsibility. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Techniques are evidence-based methods that emphasize is an evidence-based method that emphasizes psychological flexibility, being present, and doing what matters. It’s about helping you live your life the way you genuinely want to.

Nikki and Nicole often integrate DBT, or Dialectic Behavior Therapy, which is another evidence-based method that is very helpful for trauma recovery. Brene Brown, an amazing researcher and writer, is a major influence on Nikki’s work.  Nikki often uses Internal Family Systems (“self-therapy” or “parts-work”), which is an ACT-consistent approach to creating insight and getting unstuck.

Our general philosophy is that your experience has taught you a great deal, and you’ve done the best you can with the tools you have. We’re here to be very curious about your experience and to understand the context. We believe that our job is to help you uncover your own answers about what you want (usually by asking questions), and equip you with any skills and strategies you may need to create that change you want.

So if you want a therapist who nods, validates, and very little else, we’re probably not the right fit for you. Some people really need a person to just listen and support them, and that’s a wonderful thing. It’s just not the type of therapy we do in every session. Sometimes that is what you need for a raw situation, and that’s what we’ll do.

We’ll often make recommendations about things to practice between sessions. They may be worksheets, book recommendations, TED Talks, thought exercises, things to notice, communication strategies, apps, self-care, coping strategies, or other practices. We avoid the word “homework” because that implies we grade it! It’s about helping you create action and change.

hanging out of a car and therapy for artists

Special Considerations for Trauma

trauma and therapy for artists

We are not going to make you re-experience your trauma in every session. We don’t think that’s helpful. If you experienced a trauma, you didn’t have control over what happened or how long it lasted, so we believe in giving you control over when you’re ready to talk about it and how much.

Our approach to treating trauma focuses on how it’s affecting you in your life today. There may be difficult or painful memories you really need to process, and we’ll absolutely provide you with support and compassionate listening as part of that healing process. Then, we’ll empathetically explore how it’s affecting you now, and collaborate on what you need to recover from it and gain resilience.