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Flower and Rocks in Wooden Bowl


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a treatment approach to therapy that combines psychotherapy

and behavioral therapy. CBT has been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders,

depression, substance abuse disorders, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions and

situations. CBT emphasizes the importance and the link between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

When I treat clients with CBT I help clients identify underlying core beliefs they have developed about

themselves and their world which clients may or may not be aware of. I also work with clients to

identify when and how these core beliefs became automatic coping thoughts. Our core beliefs affect

how we feel about ourselves and others. If the core beliefs we have developed are negative and

irrational then we are not going to feel like our best selves. When our thoughts and feelings are

negative, we tend to want to avoid them instead of dealing with them and this is when people can

develop addictive behaviors and other behaviors that come with consequences. I help and teach clients

how to challenge and replace these core beliefs with positive, realistic and empowering core beliefs.

Sometimes when people are going through dark times it is difficult for them to see the facts and the

full picture realistically and clearly. CBT helps calm down irrational and negative thoughts and in turn

helps people feel better. Part of our work together when using CBT is also working on becoming more

comfortable with identifying, labeling, and communicating feelings. As we work on thoughts and

feelings that have been negatively impacting behavior, we also begin to identify and use healthier

coping strategies to produce better outcomes.


Mindfulness is a treatment strategy that has been used for many years starting with Buddhist meditation

practices. This practice is intended to bring increasing awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness is

a state of non-judgmental awareness that brings attention to thoughts, emotions, and sensations

experienced within our bodies as well as brings awareness to our surrounding environments.

Mindfulness helps take away the focus from the past which can create sadness and the future which can

create anxiety and focuses on the present moment in order to break from unhelpful thinking.

Mindfulness helps clients recognize thoughts and emotions for what they are. When I use mindfulness

techniques with clients I am teaching clients how to be present in the moment and pausing before

turning to reactivity and impulsivity. Mindfulness has been found effective for the treatment of anxiety

disorders, depression, anger, chronic pain, grief and loss, ADD/ADHD, substance abuse disorder,

bipolar disorder, and other mental health conditions.


The Benefits of Mindfulness include:


·      Better ability to regulate emotions

·      Improvement of concentration and memory

·      Increased ability to handle stressful situations

·      Increased satisfaction and motivation\A decrease of ruminating thoughts

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that is an effective

treatment to help people manage overwhelming emotions. DBT is used to strengthen a person's ability

to overcome distressful situations without reacting in destructive and impulsive ways. It has been

useful for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression,

eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders. Mindfulness practices are incorporated into DBT

techniques in order to help clients increase awareness of and acceptance of the present moment. DBT

also focuses on distress tolerance strategies which teaches clients how to stop avoidance patterns and

increase their ability to tolerant negative feelings. DBT covers strategies to help with emotional

regulation as well by teaching clients how to manage intense emotions. Another focus of DBT is

interpersonal effectiveness which is a focus on teaching interpersonal skills that encourages the

development of healthy communication skills, assertiveness skills, and the ability to set healthy

personal boundaries. The goal of DBT is to achieve acceptance and change. DBT can be practiced

through the use of one on one counseling sessions as well as can be paired with referrals to DBT group

therapy sessions.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a type of therapy that separates a person from their problems. Narrative therapy

focuses on the person's personal experiences and stories to help understand purpose. Techniques used

while treating with narrative therapy include objectifying problems, reframing problems, and teaching

people to add other storylines that exist beyond the problem story. This allows the person to rewrite

their story and focus on self-reflection. Through narrative therapy a person can find purpose, gain

awareness of personal values, and find a greater understanding of their actions and decision-making


Strength Based Approach

Positive psychology states that people who are aware of their strengths and good qualities have greater

ability to maintain healthy self-esteem levels and are more likely to practice self-care strategies. I

use a strength-based approach for clients who have issues with poor self-esteem and body image. This

is done through a variety of worksheets and activities to help identify strengths and teach people how to

practice positive self-talk. I also use identified strengths and qualities to challenge negative core beliefs

that are at the root of poor self-esteem and self-confidence issues. We may also identify and implement

the use of positive affirmations and mantras to help improve a positive sense of self.

Certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine Provider

In 2019, Kerry Duarte, LICSW became a Certified Integrative Mental Health Provider (CIMHP). This means that this therapist is certified to provide education and recommendations for clients interested in natural approaches to emotional healing or would like to combine holistic approaches with conventional treatment and medication. This therapist is open to using this approach when there is collaboration with other providers when medication is being prescribed. When working with this therapist she may teach and help clients improve moods and behaviors through the help of nutritional approaches to healing, implementing plans for improving better self care and self love, providing referrals for bodywork and other holistic practices, as well suggest ruling out medical conditions such as issues with thyroid, anemia, and nutrient deficiencies that can impact mental health and wellness . As a CIMHP, this therapist may also suggest herbal medicine as well as place a focus on and teach different types of meditation and spiritual exercises to deescalate chronic stress.

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