Our Process

We believe that informed clients make the best clients. We’d like for you to have a better sense of how the therapy process works.

Trust the (Therapy) Process

We want you to feel at home when you come to the office.

We recognize that ‘home’ feels different for every person.

From our experience, being at home when you come to the office for therapy means experiencing consistency (you know what to expect), stability (you feel supported), comfort (you feel understood), and security (you feel contained in the experience). D.W. Winnicott (1957) referred to therapy as the ‘holding environment,’ meaning that the therapeutic environment that the therapist creates with each client builds a ‘holding’ or securing experience that is therapeutic. Let’s build together to create that home. But a house is only as good as the foundation it’s built on.

Active listening is the engine of therapy.

As therapists, we believe that skilled listening involves being actively present and focused in the room with our clients.

We are engaged even when we are silent, we actively interject to ask questions as necessary, and we reframe and help you elaborate with carefully thought out shared observations.

Listening is like a high-powered antenna – it’s all about tuning in. We prioritize careful tracking of our clients’ words, emotions, body language, and tone of voice. Listening to yourself in this way is something that everyone needs help doing, whether they realize it or not. Listening is also inherently relational. We use the process of relating in therapy as a way of helping you learn how to listen and relate more effectively, accurately, and kindly with yourself.

However, even the best listening will inevitably miss the mark sometimes. That’s why a valuable part of our therapy process involves identifying and communicating about the possible disappointments and hurt feelings that stem from misunderstandings in the process of therapy. We believe that this is a valuable skill that will lead to better interpersonal communication in relationships outside of therapy.

Listening cultivates reflection, which leads to insight.

As we listen together with our clients, and as our clients learn to listen to themselves more accurately and effectively, the action of reflecting increases.

Reflection involves a curious mind-set, asking questions, and elaborating on and following experiences. Inherently, reflection is about making new connections. That might mean following a sensation in the body to an important and previously unknown realization. It might mean connecting a present feeling with a familiar context in our past where we felt the same feeling. When our reflective abilities increase, it is an exhilarating feeling. It’s like discovering a super power you didn’t even know that you had. Whereas you might once have shut down or gotten overwhelmed, now you start checking in with yourself because you’re excited and interested to see what you discover.

If the process of reflection is about discovery, insight and self-awareness is about what we discover. We often refer with our clients to moments of insight as being “a-ha” moments, times when the light bulb goes on.

Insight naturally flows into motivation and dynamic change.

While there are moments in therapy that call for advice, we find that the best advice is the one that naturally develops from within, as the result of a good process.

For example, someone who feels depressed and can’t seem to get motivated often begins moving towards action and rebounding after reaching a meaningful realization. While it can be hard to break through a block, when we realize what that block is, getting around it becomes a whole lot easier. It’s like seeing the road open up and being given the green-light to go 70 mph after being stuck in what seemed like endless highway bumper-to-bumper traffic. This is the kind of change we strive for with our clients, and we know it happens through a healthy therapy process.

Therapy sometimes needs to be more than just talking.

We incorporate creative, experiential, and integrative approaches to treatment.

Some of the richest therapeutic work can come through experiential techniques (e.g. clinical hypnosis, mindfulness, narrative therapy, emotion-focused interventions). How can the skillful utilization of these methods – integrated into an attuned, insight-focused talk therapy approach – work for you? They allow us to help you: bypass your own conscious defenses which may interfere with more meaningful therapeutic integration; be more mindfully present across sensory experiences in an observational and non-judgmental manner promoting growth; tune into the manner in which your mind and body interact in producing bodily sensations and symptoms; and creatively engage with your problems in an inspiring manner that leads to positive outcomes.

The biggest predictor of success in therapy is the relationship that you cultivate with your therapist.

Lambert et al., 2001; Duncan, 2014

Are you going to be able to treat my specific needs?

Our licensed Philadelphia therapists will provide you with the tools you need to successfully achieve mental health.

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Attune Philadelphia Therapy Group