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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

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 (DBT)

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.

Trauma Informed Therapy

Trauma informed therapy is a treatment approach in which treatment planning is based on personal histories and triggers disclosed. The trauma informed clinician is nonjudgmental and provides a confidential and safe space for the client. Psychoeducation is provided on the signs and symptoms of trauma as well as acknowledges the impact trauma has had on the individual in order to provide effective mental health care. Clients also learn about the connection between brain health and trauma in order to learn who to rewire their train of thought and better calm fight or flight responses.

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 Integrative Mental Health Provider (CIMHP)

Kerry Duarte, LICSW became a Certified Integrative Mental Health Provider (CIMHP) in 2019. 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 working with this therapist she can provide education on alternative approaches to healing if clients are interested in exploring other options. This clinician can provide referrals as needed. This clinician may want to collaborate with primary care physicians as well as integrative medicine physicians to advocate for some clients who may need to rule out medical conditions such as issues with thyroid, anemia, nutrient deficiencies, infections, and autoimmune conditions that can impact mental health and wellness. Unfortunately, integrative and holistic health interventions are often not covered by insurance. Since this practice is driven by an affordable model that takes insurance other referrals that can provide alternative methods can be suggested. As an CIMHP, Kerry Duarte intends on providing more education on a number of factors that contribute to overall mental health and optimal physical well-being. A way to get the message out there is for interested readers is to look at the practice's blog, Radiate, for more free information on integrative approaches to mental health and wellness.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a type of cognitive therapy that is widely used for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). CPT is based on the understanding that the way we think about and interpret our experiences can have a significant impact on our emotions and behaviors. It aims to help individuals identify and challenge negative and distorted thoughts and beliefs that may contribute to symptoms of PTSD. This treatment modality incorporates techniques from both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy to help clients confront and process traumatic memories. Research has shown that CPT has been an effective treatment for PTSD in various populations, including military veterans, survivors of sexual assault, and individuals who have experienced childhood abuse.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a collaborative and person-centered therapy approach used to strengthen a client's motivation to change. MI techniques often involve open-ended questions, reflective listening, affirmations, and summarizing. The therapist actively listens to the client's responses, reflects back their thoughts and feelings, helps them clarify their own goals and values. The focus is on guiding the person toward self-discovery, rather than providing direct advice or solutions. MI has been found to be effective to help clients experiencing substance abuse disorders and/or difficulties with healthier healthier patterns of behavior/lifestyles.

Solution Focused Therapy (SFT)

Solution Focused Therapy (SFT) is a goal oriented therapeutic approach that focuses on helping clients find solutions to their problems rather than dwell on the problem. The concept of SFT is that clients already possess the strengths, resources, and abilities necessary to create positive change in their lives. The therapist's role is to help them identify and amplify these strengths and resources and to guide them toward finding practical solutions to difficulties they are facing. SFT is effective in addressing issues with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and conflicts in relationships. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has been effective in addressing other mental health conditions and emotional difficulties. The therapy involves a structured eight phase process that integrates elements from different therapeutic approaches, including bilateral stimulation techniques. The bilateral stimulation techniques can be achieved through eye movements, taps, or sounds, which are used to facilitate the processing of traumatic memories. The goal of EMDR is to help clients reprocess the traumatic memories in a way that reduces their emotional distress and changes negative beliefs about themselves. This reprocessing allows for the integration of the traumatic experience into the person's overall life narrative, leading to a reduction in symptoms and an improved send of well being.

Bilingual Services

At Ray of Light Wellness LLC we have therapists who speak languages other than English. Kerry Duarte, LICSW, CIMHP speaks Portuguese and Rosilver Salcedo, LCSW speaks Spanish. Both of these therapists can offer bilingual sessions if needed. The demand for therapists who are bilingual is high. Please reach out to us and ask about these therapists' availability. 

Group Therapy Options Coming Soon...

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