Psychotherapy Definitions

Gestalt Awareness Practice (GAP)

While GAP has its roots in the “here and now” of Gestalt Therapy, it has evolved to include the mindfulness practices of meditation, a continuum of sensory awareness, intra-personal discoveries (i.e. providing space for different parts of ourselves to emerge), and dream work.  In its essence, GAP is a deeply loving practice which cultivates compassion for one’s self and others, develops awareness and strengthens our capacity to choose a more meaningful and connected life.  

Somatic Psychotherapy

As the name implies, Somatic Therapy (also known as body-based psychotherapy) relies on the intelligence and intrinsic health of the body. Some somatic interventions are breathing techniques to help relax the body in times of stress, sensate awareness practices to build one’s capacity to feel and express emotions, and movement to get underneath the familiar stories we tell about ourselves.   


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a technique used by some therapists to alleviate distress associated with traumatic events.  It is posited that trauma can cause a disruption of normal information processing and can therefore prevent the experiences from being integrated into one’s memory networks.  Symptoms related to trauma, such as disturbing emotions, negative beliefs about one’s self, intrusive thoughts, are believed to be “blocked” from being processed naturally and can be easily triggered by newer and painful experiences. EMDR Therapists use eye movement (or bilateral stimulation) while clients actively remember the traumatic event, their negative self-belief/s, and physical sensations and emotions related to the memory.  The intended result is to accelerate the integration of these historical experiences and provide significant relief from emotional suffering.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a structured and active form of therapy which assumes that negative or maladaptive behavior and emotions are a result of irrational or distorted thinking.  Instead of reacting to the reality of the situation, a person will react to his or her own distorted thinking about the situation. The goal is to identify and change one’s irrational thought patterns (and core beliefs) in order to create more adaptive and desirable feelings and behaviors. 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is an effective treatment for people who have difficulty regulating their emotions and making healthier behavioral choices.  DBT is skill-based, exercise guided, and experiential to help clients build mindfulness, tolerance for distress, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.  It shares many of the same principles of CBT, but focuses on the “dialectical” nature of situations which suggests there can be opposing ideas happening simultaneously which can be all be true.