How I Work
Therapy Is Commitment To Positive Change
My Therapeutic Approach
"Give a man a fish and he won't starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won't starve for his entire life." (Chinese Proverb)
This proverb is meaningful to me in that I feel my responsibility as a therapist is to help you become your own therapist as soon as you are able.
And how do I do that?
I ask you what you want to change, what you want different in your life. That question leads to an exploration of family patterns, feelings, expectations and beliefs that may have worked for you in the past but no longer help you in present circumstances.
Behavior and communication (your external world) are anchored on your beliefs, feelings and expectations (your internal world). Committing to positive shifts in your internal world results in changes in your external world. Re-framing your circumstances more positively, taking responsibility for managing your emotions and behaving in wholesome ways while under stress increase your self-esteem!
Therapeutic Modalities I Use
To help you become your own therapist as soon as possible, I have found Virginia Satir's Transformational Systemic Therapy model combined with recent neuroscience research on Mindfulness work best.
Satir Therapy is brief and in-depth. Following are some of Satir's beliefs that I subscribe to and that clients find helpful:
- Most people are basically good.
- Parents do the best they can at any given time. Parents often repeat the same patterns, even though they are dysfunctional, from their growing up years.
- Although external change may not always be possible, internal change is ALWAYS possible.
- You cannot change the past or the present, but you can manage the impact it has on you.
- You have inner resources and the wisdom to change and grow positively.
- The problem is not the problem; coping is the problem.
- You are the one who owns and manages your feelings.
- Appreciating and acknowledging your past helps you better manage your future.
- When stressed, you often fall back on the coping strategies used when you were growing up.
- High self-esteem manifests how wholesomely you cope under stress.
- You have choices on how to respond to different situations.
- Hope is an essential part of therapy.
The tenets of mindfulness include:
- Focusing on the present moment;
- The ability to treat yourself and thus others kindly and non-judgementally;
- The ability to manage emotions without being overwhelmed by them;
- The ability to be adaptable, flexible and open-minded;
- The knowledge that your emotions, thoughts, sensations, ideas are temporary and not the totality of who you are;
- The ability to take control of your thoughts and emotions rather than be driven by them;
- The ability to integrate the right (emotional) and left (logical) brains to make reasoned choices; and
- The ability to connect with each other with empathy, particularly when there are differences.
A therapy session with me:
- Is non-judgmental
- Focuses on moving towards positive growth in your internal and external worlds
- Explores your family-of-origin to discover patterns, beliefs, expectations that block positive growth
- Focuses on setting positively directional goals
- Is a commitment to positive, long-lasting change
Homework is encouraged to set in motion new ways of being and doing. With commitment and consistent practice, change occurs. Old patterns disappear and new, healthier patterns take hold.
Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation to see how these modalities can help you live a life free of anxiety.
Judith Barnard, MSW, RSW
Registered Social Worker
I am located in Richmond. I provide therapy services for Richmond, Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver area including Delta, Vancouver, New Westminster, Surrey and White Rock.