What is therapy?
Psychotherapy and counselling are primarily talk-based approaches that are intended to help people improve and maintain their mental health and well-being. Therapy can involve individual, group, or family meetings with a professional.
When embarking on your mental health journey, it is important to ensure that you choose a professional who is registered and licensed with a regulatory College in your region. Robin Cann MSW, RSW is registered as a Private Practice Social Worker with the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers (www.nscsw.org).
Robin provides nonjudgmental, compassionate, and effective support for managing life’s challenges, including:
- Anxiety, worries & stress
- Depression, persistent sadness or low mood
- ADHD, improving focus and attention
- Harmful involvement with substances
- Interpersonal issues and relationship problems
- Managing difficult or intense emotions
- Self esteem
- Perfectionism (a strong “inner critic”)
- Loneliness and isolation
- Grief & Loss
- Difficult life transitions
- Work/Life Balance
- Compassion fatigue, burnout, and self-care
What types of therapy does Robin offer?
As a strengths-based registered social worker, Robin always strives to “meet the client where they are at,” by collaborating on therapy goals and objectives, and ensuring that your needs and wishes are at the centre of our work together. You bring many skills and resiliencies with you to this process, to which Robin will tailor her approach in order to support you while addressing the challenges that have arisen in your life. Some of the main types of therapy that Robin uses in her practice are Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. You can find a little about each, below. Information about each type of therapy is sourced from the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health. For more information, visit www.camh.ca
What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how a person’s thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes affect their feelings and behaviors. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, CBT focuses on the here-and-now—on the problems that come up in day-to-day life. CBT helps people to examine how they make sense of what is happening around them and how these perceptions affect the way they feel. CBT:
- is structured
- is time-limited (usually 6-20 sessions)
- is problem-focused and goal-oriented
- teaches strategies and skills for managing difficult thoughts and emotions
- is based on a proactive, shared therapeutic relationship between therapist and client
CBT can have a positive impact on how people feel and act and equip them with coping strategies that help them deal with challenges. Research shows that CBT can offer support to people with depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, and many other challenges.
What is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)?
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, dialectical means “the existence of opposites.” In DBT, people are taught two seemingly opposite strategies: acceptance (i.e., that their experiences and behaviours are valid), and change (i.e., that they have to make positive changes to manage emotions and move forward). DBT is based on CBT, but it focuses more on the emotional and social aspects of living. In fact, DBT was created to help people manage their intense emotions.
DBT is divided into four stages of treatment. The stages are defined by how severe a person’s behaviours are.
- In Stage 1
The person is often miserable and their behaviour is out of control. The goal is for the person to move from being out of control to achieving behavioural control.
- In Stage 2
The person may feel they are living a life of quiet desperation: their life-threatening behaviour is under control, but they continue to suffer. The goal is to help the person move from quiet desperation to full emotional experiencing.
- In Stage 3
The challenge is to learn to live: to define life goals, build self-respect and find peace and happiness. The goal is for the person to lead a life of ordinary happiness and unhappiness.
- For some people, Stage 4 is needed.
The goal is to find a deeper meaning through a spiritual existence.
DBT was developed for people with borderline personality disorder, But it can help people with other mental health problems, including suicidal behavior, self-harm, substance use, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and eating disorders. It has been adapted for effective use with adults, adolescents, and families.
What is Motivational Interviewing?
Motivational interviewing is a goal-focused approach that helps people resolve conflictual (and ambivalent) feelings to find the motivation they need to change their behavior. It is a practical, empathic, and short-term process that takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes. Motivational interviewing can be used on its own, or can be used along with other approaches during the therapy journey to help clients increase motivation to change the behaviors that are keeping them from achieving their goals.