Anton Counseling & Health Psychology believes that together, we can make a world of difference in our lives by paying attention to the smallest details. We offer you a varied selection of interventions and treatment preferences, matched to your unique and specific needs. Interventions are both evidence and practice-based, psychological and biopsychosocial. As always, respect and caring are at the heart of our therapy.
EVIDENCE & PRACTICE-BASED PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS
Executive Coaching: The focus here is on bolstering your strngths and honing your leadership style.
Sport Psychology: As always, this approach is focused on your competitive edge. It may be different than you think.
Psychoeducation: This includes strategies to promote the development and maintenance of a healthy understanding or mindset regarding optimal mental health.
Motivational interviewing: This is a client-centered, but also directive, counselling style that aims to explore and resolve ambivalence and may be involved in adherence to preferred management.
CBT: Behavioural Interventions
Activity scheduling: Mainly used to assist with depression, activity scheduling involves time management and scheduling in advance, daily pleasant events, as well as activities which involve a sense of mastery and satisfaction. These activities are designed to provide enjoyment, change the person's self-perception and
improve self-esteem. Doing planned activities distract patient/clients from their problems and negative thoughts, helps them to feel better, paradoxically less tired, more in control of their lives and able to make decisions.
Exposure Techniques: Particularly used to deal with anxiety, phobias and PTSD, the exposure technique of choice is called systematic desensitization. Imaginal exposure is normally used, often combined with relaxation and cognitive techniques.
Systematic desensitization involves exposure to a hierarchy of feared objects or situations (often in imagination) while using slow breathing, and/or other relaxation techniques, and cognitive coping self-statements to cope with the anxiety experienced. On exposure, the person is assisted to implement the learned relaxation techniques and use the coping self-statements until the fear subsides.
CBT: Cognitive interventions:
Cognitive analysis, thought challenging and cognitive restructuring: Cognitive analysis involves identifying the dysfunctional thoughts which lead to unwanted emotions and problematic behaviour. This process firstly requires patient/clients to become aware of the thoughts which produce distressing feelings and behaviour and to uncover the beliefs which underlie these thoughts. These dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs are then
challenged and replaced with more rational cognitions and supportive self-statements.
Attention-regulation and control: Patients with distorted cognitive processing often attend specifically to negative aspects of themselves, others and their environment and not to neutral or positive aspects. They inadvertently misinterpret events as unduly threatening or confirming of their inability to manage and hence view themselves as helpless. They believe that others feel negatively towards them and that they are not worthwhile. Attention regulation involves teaching patients to attend to positive aspects of themselves, others and situations and to process events in a realistic way. They then feel more able to cope and more positively about themselves.
Therapeutic Relaxation strategies
There are a number of therapeutic relaxation techniques, including guided imagery, controlled breathing, visualization and self-hypnosis. Therapeutic relaxation involves voluntarily releasing tension and reducing arousal of the central nervous system. Muscles also become tense when someone is anxious, so teaching awareness of excessive muscle tension and what situations produce it, followed by learning through a series of exercises to progressively tense then relax the tense muscles throughout the body, can overcome this problem. This procedure needs to be practiced for a period of time before it can be effectively implemented in anxiety-provoking situations.
Skills training involves carefully constructed combinations of various cognitive and behavioural strategies in a manner designed specifically to treat the particular disorder and/or the specific difficulties the person is experiencing. Training involves the development of skills needed to deal with the situation that is problematic.
Anger control: involves identifying likely anger arousing situations; learning to identify body sensations (physiological reactions) and thoughts that lead to feelings of anger and aggressive behaviour; then developing alternative strategies, (for thinking and behaving) that reduce the angry feelings or sensations, or distract the person to allow time to calm down, and to think and behave more rationally. These strategies may include verbal self-instruction, coping statements, relaxation and distraction techniques. Once self-control is established, the person can engage in adaptive problem-solving.
Stress management (skills training): firstly involves identifying the stressful situation or event, and establishing whether it can be altered or has to be lived with. New cognitions may have to be cultivated and motivating self-statements learned, as well as alternative behaviour (e.g. engaging in pleasant activities, therapeutic relaxation or hypnosis) in order to cope with the stressful situations and be able to engage in adaptive problem-solving.
Communication training (skills training): involves both verbal and non-verbal skills. Effective communication requires: attention, active listening, accurately understanding, then summarizing and reflecting back, and responding empathically with clear messages to the original speaker. Appropriate posture, facial expression, gestures, distance from speaker, eye contact, voice modulation and tone may also need to be addressed.
Social skills training: includes appropriate ways of approaching challenging situations, conversation skills (how to start, maintain and close a conversation with someone you are in conflict with), co-operative behaviour (sharing or turn-taking), assertiveness and dealing with unpleasant reactions or rejections. Planned practice in personal social settings, feedback and reinforcement are essential aspects of any social skills program.
High Performance Parenting: High Performance Parenting (HPP) refers to cultivating a respectful parent-child relationship in the home. HPP was founded as a response to maladaptive parent-child interactions, particularly in relation to discipline practices, which have been shown to foster and to sustain conduct problems among children. Social learning techniques, relying heavily on principles of operant conditioning, have also been extremely useful in enhancing the parent-child relationship. In HPP, parents' styles of interacting are cultivated so as to provide children with more respect, more opportunity to learn from their own mistakes and more opportunities to celebrate with their children.
Relapse Prevention: A strategy or set of techniques designed to keep people from relapsing to prior poor health habits after initial successful behavior modification; includes training in coping skills for high-risk-for-relapse situations and lifestyle rebalancing.
Anton Counseling & Health Psychology is committed to improving the quality of life for our clients by providing an environment for learning and sharing healthy ways to relate with others and grow emotionally.
We also believe that the earlier a person can acquire emotional health skills and develop a support system, the better equipped they are to enjoy life, avoid unhealthy and dangerous habits, and help support others.
That's why we are contributing a portion of our revenue to the Kids Help Phone. It's Canada’s only toll-free, national phone and web counselling, referral and information service for children and youth: (1-800-668-6868) www.kidshelpphone.ca).
We believe that the world can be changed from the inside out.
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