Approach to Therapy & Supervision

Welcome to Mind Point Psychotherapy, PLLC! As a licensed therapist and AAMFT Approved Supervisor, I integrate a process-oriented existential-humanistic approach to therapy and clinical supervision. My approach couples systemic theories with existential-humanistic psychology to consider personal, cultural, relational, historical and systemic influences. I emphasize the importance of thinking critically about the values and ethics our worldview is comprised of - with attention to how values and ethics show, relationally.


Process-Oriented 

A process-oriented approach respectfully examines relational experience evidenced behaviorally specific to what is happening in the here and now. Typically, a process-oriented focus views what's currently happening as fodder for insight to what may be happening similarly in multiple areas of a client's life, what happened in the past and what can be reasonably anticipated to happen again. Hofman, Hayes and Lorscheid (2021), define process as theory-based, dynamic, progressive, contextually bound, modifiable and occurring at multi-levels. 


Sequential Practice

The overarching framework I use for therapy and clinical supervision is based on the sequential practice of therapeutic Assessment, Goal development and Interventions (AGI). This means, therapeutic progress and supervision are focused, first and foremost, on a thorough assessment of the concerns that bring a client to therapy. A rich exploration of the presenting concern has favorable implications for therapeutic impact and, moreover, is necessary for establishing a meaningful and transformative goal with the client. The client goal, likewise, has significant implications for the course of therapeutic interventions.


The Art of Therapeutic Assessment

A therapeutic assessment differs from a diagnostic assessment's aim to categorize experience. In a therapeutic assessment, the aim is to narrow a reasonably presumed gap between the client's described and lived experience - while gathering more accurately representative and reliable assessment data. Additionally, the therapeutic assessment generates experience-anchored process-oriented insights for the client - maximizing the outcome gains from the assessment phase.  This approach assures clients connect to, validate, and find value in, their respective lived experience (Satir, 1978).


The Healing Practice of Goal Development

Change may be frightening for some clients - hence, the goal phase may be the most therapeutically impactful point in the course of psychotherapy. Working to define and act on a goal may require clients become vulnerable in a manner distinct from what's required to share about a past or current problem. That is, there may be heightened vulnerability in sharing and acting on a goal for a client, than there may be in discussing the initially reported presenting concerns. 

Goal development offers healing opportunity: moving to satisfy a long-standing desire will require the client engage in ways that promote actualization, agency, congruence, ethics, hope, integrity, and virtues - particularly important for clients who experienced frustrated needs, trauma, poverty, protracted marginalization, and/or perceive a foreshortened future.  

 


Systems Thinking as Conceptual Framework

Systems thinking is best summarized as: “Attention to organization, to the relationship between parts, to the concentration on patterned rather than on linear relationships, to a consideration of events in the context in which they are occurring rather than an isolation of events from their environmental context.” (Steinglass, 1978).

The systems framework requires a conceptual shift that goes against the linear, cause and effect, explanatory quest historically and culturally rooted in scientific thinking.  Asking what and how interactional questions versus individually oriented why questions are easier said than done - yet, the very practice of doing so (that is, a focus on mutual-causes interactions) is the cornerstone of systemic therapy.  


Exploring, Inquiring, Narrowing & Expanding

Connecting clients to their lived experience contributes to favorable therapeutic outcomes for clients and more accurately representative assessments for clinicians (Gilligan & Price, 1993; Ruesch, 1961). Connecting clients to their lived experience is key to assessing the presenting concern(s) reported for therapy by clients - particularly when clients are mystified, or their experience is befuddled by ambivalence. Exploring, inquiring, narrowing and expanding a client’s personal report provides opportunity for meaningful discourse on the client’s presenting concern(s) and, moreover, facilitates anchoring the client's goal. Respectfulness is key to therapeutic inquiry - which is diminished when clients are questioned.  


The Dilemma of Change

Once a single meaningful and transformative client goal is established, there is therapeutic value in exploring the concerns that may keep clients from reaching their goal. Therapists who fail to explore the risks a client may face in reaching their goal, unwittingly facilitate their client's return to homeostasis.


Theories and Interventions

I have extensive in-depth knowledge of a wide variety of theories - including the foundational systemic theories, evidence-based approaches, integrative and emerging models. I will work with creative/original and uniquely integrated models in progress, as well. This means I will work with your theory of choice, not my own.


Consults on Contributions to the Literature

From 2018 to 2023, I served as Editor of the Counseling and Family Therapy Scholarship Review - a peer-reviewed, fully indexed, open access journal. I am available to provide support and consultation on the preparation of manuscripts for publication.