“Psychotherapy isn't a twentieth-century artifice imposed on nature, but the reinstatement of a natural healing process.” Patricia Love

Psychotherapy Approaches


spiral2grow  in NYC, has professionals that provide an integration of a variety of psychotherapy approaches. spiral2grow, located in Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers brief solution treatment for self-esteem and confidence, anger management, social anxiety, couples counseling and marriage therapy.

There are many psychotherapy approaches that are provided by trained licensed professionals for the purpose of helping individuals who have life and relationship challenges, including psychological problems. The therapeutic relationship is contracted between a psychotherapist and a client, patient, family, couple, or group.

Psychotherapy includes interactive processes between a qualified mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed marriage family therapist, licensed counselor, or other trained practitioner) and a person, couple, family or group. The purpose of counseling is to solve the client’s problem, provide coping skills and increase a higher level of well-being and functioning.

There are actually a large variety of methods, techniques and practices that are used in psychotherapy. The specific approach used in each situation can vary based on a variety of factors, including the training and educational background of the therapist, the preferences of the client and the nature of the problem the client is having. Depending on the approach used by the therapist, a wide range of techniques and strategies can be used and it is based on experiential relationship building, dialogue, communication and behavior change that are designed to improve the client’s situation.

The emergence of new, hybrid and integrated approaches continues around the wide variety of theoretical backgrounds. Many psychotherapists use several approaches to therapy in their work and alter their approach based on client’s need. Although all modalities can be effective, individuals may find one approach more beneficial and appealing than another, or find that some approaches are better for a certain area of counseling or psychotherapy than others.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy

Brief Strategic Systemic Therapy (BSST) or Brief psychotherapy is a high-level term for a range of methods of psychotherapy or counseling that is very strategic and systemic that is solution oriented and provides straight, quick intervention to solve clients’ problems. These approaches have found a wide acceptance among cutting-edge mental health providers and gain much success in individual counseling and particularly marriage counseling and couples therapy.

This approach is less concerned with how the problem arose and focuses on the current factors sustaining it and preventing change. Accordingly, in this approach, Therapists are more proactive, more direct and more strategic, while focusing on the present and the future to elicit quick change.

The main emphasis of brief therapy is to help the client to change clients’ perspective view from a narrow-minded lens to a wider spectrum and to utilize a healthier perspective to a more functional and solution-oriented outlook. By becoming aware of these new understandings, clients undergo internal changes that enable them to better manage the problem and solve it.

Brief Strategic Therapists utilize a systemic and strategic frame of reference to promote change in the relationship while soothing partners’ feelings and solving the problem quickly. Some of therapists’ goals are to motivate partners to focus on themselves and learn to influence their partner, to build up optimism, to help couples discuss and negotiate an issue, to develop intimacy, to stop arguing, to become more independent or inter-dependent, to cooperate better, to be respected, etc. Brief Strategic couples therapists are very strategic and able to maneuver between keeping an alliance with the couples as well as with each partner individually while considering personal needs, abilities and skills.

Key principles of Brief Strategic Systemic Therapy (BSST) 

Subjective Reality – People function and act/react based on of their internal maps (motives, values, agendas, and abilities)

Do Their Best – Individuals make the best choice for themselves at any given time based on their subjective cost-benefit analysis (most of the unhealthy decisions are based on short gains rather long-term).

Freedom – At any given moment, even in worse situations, the person has the freedom to choose. Individuals with the most durability and flexibility will be in a better position to influence their lives and others and make better choices for themselves.

Some of the strategies brief therapists are using

Strength-based approach – The therrapy is a strength approach and leads to empowerment. Clients are encouraged to become proactive and remember specific moments in their lives in which they confronted with a similar problematic situation and successfully resolved it.

Adapt healthy perspective – Psychotherapists promote clients to change their perspective from a victim mentality to do their best in order for them to manage their situation and change. Therapists encourage clients to experiment with new behaviors or to entertain new ways of thinking about their situations. In most cases, it would be enough to shift the way of thinking or in which something is perceived to create a radical change in behavior.

Change unhealthy dynamics – Therapists aim to change maladaptive interaction patterns to create more functional and healthy dynamics with a long-term perspective.

Focus on changing yourself and influencing others – Partners are able to influence each other if they understand that their partners are more likely to be less resistant to change, cooperate, and to try new approaches to resolve their problems when they are validated and when they feel that their beliefs and feelings are understood and respected.

Collaborative and goal-oriented – Clients are promoted to envision their desired future while maintaining a constant focus on that future. At the same time, the psychotherapist and client collaborate on a series of steps to achieve their goals. This approach emphasizes focusing on small gradual steps that lead to a major change and even a transformation.

Define what is needed to reach the goals – Counselors help clients determine what skills, resources, and abilities they have and what they need to develop and use to attain their desired outcome.

Direct approach – Clients are thought skills and given ideas or instructions on how to behave in particular situations. The treatment approach is pragmatic; provides psychoeducation and assignments while focusing on actions and results.

Solution-oriented method – Guided by 1) if it is not a problem, don’t fix it, 2) do more of what works. So, look for previous solutions, strengths, resources and abilities, 3) if you do the same thing again and again and the situation does not change, try to do something different.

The Solution-Oriented Approach can help you:

  • Help people change quickly
  • Dissolve or reduce resistance to change
  • Decrease your stress and burnout when you are working with people
  • Increase your confidence as a change agent
  • It can be used in psychotherapy, couples and family therapy, organizations, and workplaces.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

spiral2grow, a leading provider of cognitive behavioral therapy in New York City, has professionals that include cognitive behavioral psychotherapists and cognitive counselors, who are expert in cognitive behavioral problems.

Cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a state-of-the-art, highly effective approach to psychological treatment. Cognitive therapy’s elegantly simple model has proven to be the most powerful and successful type of psychological treatment in outcome studies conducted over the past several decades.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy facilitates a collaborative relationship between the patient and therapist. Together, the patient and counselor develop a trusting relationship and mutually discuss the presenting problems to be prioritized and explored in therapy. In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the most pressing issue troubling the patient typically becomes the initial focus of treatment. As a result, the patient tends to feel relieved and encouraged that the primary problem that brought him to therapy is immediately being acknowledged and addressed. In Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, problems are tackled head-on in a very practical manner. The patient is coached on the ABC’s of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The therapist explains the connection between thoughts and beliefs and their impact on behavior. How the patient thinks about problems determines the way in which the individual responds to various issues. It’s the manner of thinking about life’s issues that steers the patient’s way of behaving.

The cognitive theory states that human responses are governed by emotions, which actually cloud our logic. This is why changing the way we think changes the way we feel. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Counseling (CBT) is based on the premise that our belief system, thoughts and expectations about a person or event or situation influence the way we feel. This means that the feelings we experience are not the result of or inherent in of the situation itself or that others do not cause our feelings. It means that by having a certain way of thinking, we cause ourselves to feel in a certain way. This knowledge fundamentally has changed the way psychological counseling is conducted and scientifically proven that once we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel about the situation. As such, we can have control of our feelings, much like we have control over other choices we make in our life.

Cognitive-Behavioral therapists or CBT psychotherapists will explore the depths and source of the thoughts and feelings you carry. A good therapist will take as much time as is needed to truly, deeply, and respectfully understand and appreciate the source of a belief. It is through this understanding, not through countering, that healing happens in any therapy, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.

CHANGE VIEW: 10 Key Facts about CBT

  • Change: your thoughts and actions
  • Homework: practice makes perfect
  • strong>Action: don’t just talk, do!
  • Need: pinpoint the problem
  • Goals: move toward them
  • Evidence: shows CBT can work
  • View: events from another angle
  • I can do it: self-help approach
  • Experience: test out your beliefs
  • Write it down: to remember progress

Important things to know about CBT

  • Skills are acquired, strengthened, and generalized through the combination of individual psychotherapy, group work, homework assignments as well as coaching.
  • CBT is not a quick fix. A therapist is like a personal trainer that advises and encourages – but cannot ‘do’ it for you.
  • If you are feeling low, it can be difficult to concentrate and get motivated.
  • To overcome anxiety, you need to confront it. This may lead you to feel more anxious for a short time. You need to be committed and persistent in tackling and improving your health problem with the help of the therapist.
  • A good therapist will pace your sessions. Together you decide what you do.
  • CBT does not suit everyone and it is not helpful for all conditions.
  • For an accurate appraisal of your thoughts it is important to reassess the situation using effortful, valid, thoughtful, and accurate analysis that properly allows for the complexities we face. Employ critical thinking and work to understand what is.
  • Thinking in restricted, unconscious patterns (the old tapes) often robs you of the flexibility needed to cope with the ever-changing world and your physical problems. Learning to refute these patterns of negative thoughts and irrational feelings is called cognitive restructuring, and is the basis for a type of therapy called Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT.
  • It can be hard work. The homework may be difficult and challenging. You may be taken ‘out of your comfort zone’ when tackling situations which cause anxiety or distress. However, many people have greatly benefited from a course of CBT.

Lean more about Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

spiral2grow Marriage Family Therapy, a leading provider of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples and marriages in New York City, has professionals that include emotionally focused psychotherapists (EFT) and counselors, who are experts in the EFT approach and its application in couples therapy as well as marriage counseling.

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based, pluralistic form of person-centered/experiential therapy. It’s been shown to be an effective treatment for couples and families facing sexual abuse histories, depression, grief, management of chronic illness, eating disorders, and PTSD. Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) was developed by Dr. Susan Johnson and Dr. Leslie Greenberg. EFT evolved out of the humanistic tradition with its focus on the role of emotional experience in human growth and its emphasis on a safe, non-judgmental relationship in which to explore and experiment. As EFT was developed specifically for couples, the model incorporated systems theory, which understands individual experience in terms of interactional cycles and interpersonal contexts. By conceptualizing primary adult relationships as attachment bonds, EFT targets the issues of emotional engagement and security that are relevant for so many distressed couples.

The goal of EFT couples therapy is to provide partners with both a “safe haven,” which they can turn to for comfort, and a “secure base,” which supports their autonomy. EFT understands couples’ issues in terms of the distress that is a natural reaction to a lack of security in attachment relationships. This distress is reflected in a couple’s interactional cycle, as each partner’s efforts to get his or her attachment needs met are experienced as triggering by the other. One of the most common patterns is a blamer-withdrawer (pursuer-distancer) cycle or dance.

In research studies 90%of marital distress couples, that were engaged in EFT therapy have shown significant improvement. EFT pay close attention and emphasis on emotional engagement, secure attachment, and responsiveness between partners in healthy relationships.

EFT helps couples develop the skills to emotionally connect while promoting responsibility and de-escalation. It allows couples to overcome negative, repetitive, and rigid patterns of interaction that prevent them from having a closer and more caring relationship. The process of EFT allows a deeper understanding of their own and each other’s feelings, and to find new ways of being with each other that facilitate a stronger bond and a more fulfilling connection.

EFT also explores and identify the cycle in terms of behaviors and then in terms of underlying feelings and needs. Clients are helped to access and process emotion using interventions such as reflecting, validating, heightening, and emphatic exploration. Interactions are restructured as the problematic cycle is tracked, explored, and reframed to highlight the partners’ importance to each other as well as their longing for a secure connection. As partners’ de-escalate, EFT therapists support them in both expressing more vulnerable emotions and in responding to each other in an attuned and responsive way.

Basic Ideas of Emotionally Focused Therapy:

  • EFT is systemic and systematic while making sure the couples are empowered to define their negative cycle and learn how to break it and create more positive emotional experiences.
  • Emotion and attachment are key to the treatment. EFT therapists emphasize the importance of couples’ emotional engagement. Therapists validate the partners’ emotions and attachment needs, respond genuinely to the partners individually, and try to stir the two partners’ own ability to heal themselves and their relationship (the relationship is the client).
  • The process of uncovering emotions is not the same as catharsis but is an effort to reveal and integrate marginalized and denied emotions by identifying and engaging them in the moment.
  • The therapy session is seen as a healing place where a corrective emotional experience between partners happens, and it is that process that is the method of therapeutic change. The therapist is egalitarian, and empowers the partners.
  • The therapist avoids over-pathologization by remembering that current negative emotional responses were adaptive at some place and time; what seems irrational now actually was a logical response somewhere and somewhen. However, previously adaptive behaviors are now mismatched to the situation, or are rigidly practiced, and so are now maladaptive.
  • Systems theory combines two individuals and creates a whole relationship that is more than the sum of the part(ner)s. For Partner 1, inner emotional experiences influence external experiences, which in turn prime the person for the same inner emotional experiences, re-influencing external experiences…. This cycle for Partner 1 feeds itself and the same cycle for Partner 2, whose cycle feeds itself and that of Partner 1…. The whole thing takes on a life of its own and becomes “a self-maintaining positive feedback loop”. This means positive encounters can have a compounding effect, while experiences in which one partner failed to respond to the other’s needs (attachment injuries) can warp perceptions of future experiences.

Process of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) integrates two main perspectives; humanistic and systemic approaches. It states that attachment theory of close relationship is applied to adults, and attends to both intra-psychic and interpersonal. The founders of that EFT approach are Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg, which build this approach bases on theorist such as Carl Rogers, bertalanffy and Bowlby.

Three stages and nine step of Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT):

Building of an Alliance with the Therapy – This stage is an ongoing process that spans the whole of therapy. But it should be the starting point of the counseling and first goal for therapy. It is important to create a safe holding environment for the partners in order for them to open up and share intense and difficult emotions. Few of the elements that are keys to doing this well are: build trust, be genuine, be transparent, serve as a consultant who educates and moves with them.

Phase one – Assess and De-Escalate

Step 1 Create an alliance and identify the relationship conflict issues.

Step 2 Identify the negative interaction cycle where the issue is expressed

Step 3 Access unacknowledged emotions underline the position each partner takes in regards to the issue.

Step 4 Reframe the problem in terms of cycle, accompanying emotions and attachment needs (as well as victims allies)

The main idea in these steps in to understand the context, stay in the present, figure out process patterns, and primary affect. In this phase you have to seek out vulnerable emotions, and very slowly build the awareness of them.

In this phase a good EFT therapists use techniques like:

Set supportive atmosphere by speaking slowly, calmly, and patiently, checking with the client to make sure they are remaining engaged.

Provide reflective statements (“It seems you are feeling terribly scared by that”) for empathy, acknowledgment and validation.

Ask evocative questions (“What’s happening now for you as i say that… What’s it like to say that out loud, here and now?”). These reflective questions focus on the meta-emotion, or emotions about emotions and expressing feelings. It can help one partner connect to their feelings and be mindful of what they feel in their bodies.

Use heightening (using images like “It feels like a noose around your throat that could strangle you at any time” to evoke images that captures their emotional experiences, or requesting the partners to repeat something that seems to be important).

Going deeper with emotions – The key is to shift the emotional expressions from the secondary aggressive ones to the underlying primary vulnerable ones, moving the couples toward a softening or corrective experience.

Phase two – Change Events

Step 5 Promote Identification of Disowned Needs, emotions and hidden aspects of self

Step 6 Promote Partner Acceptance of the other person view and experience

Step 7 Facilitate Expression of Needs and Wants to restructure the dynamic based on new perspective, while promoting bonding experiences.

The main idea in phase two is to create corrective emotional experiences. Utilizing “I” statements to identify their needs for themselves, promoting the partner to accept and maybe meet these needs, and coaching them to effectively compromise and mainly to give (rather than focusing on receiving).

In this phase psychotherapist uses techniques like:

Tracking (“Is this what it’s like at home? What’s missing?). Using the calmness in the session to reflect on the real (challenging) dynamic that take place home.

Reframing and restructuring to clarify, deepen and expand experiences. This sometimes means translating experiences for the partner for increased understanding and empathy.

“Asoftening” – Helping partner to hear and listen and realize the partner is not a monster, bad person that they saw before. Rather, the partner is just a hurt and scared person like them.

In this phase EFT couples therapist hope to expand clients’ awareness of their inner emotional processes, change the ways they feel about problems, and thus change the way they experience the world. Also the psychotherapist affirms for the clients how hard it is to do this, how risky it feels, and make sure the partner integrates this, and the mate realizes how hard it is for the partner.

Phase Three – Consolidation of Change

Step 8 New Solutions

Step 9 Consolidation

In this third phase, as couples removed contamination and now became in a better place, while engaging constructively, providing positive energy and implementing healthy skills, couples able to address old problems and resolve it more maturely easier and more naturally).


In addition to focusing on successes, Emotionally focused therapist address failures and impasses. Bellow are few techniques that can be used when therapy progress seems stuck:

Conduct individual sessions to influence that individual and to explore what is needed to be happening to unstuck.

Use disinquisitions. Disinquisitions are stories, fables, metaphors… that invite introspection but don’t demand it. The disinquistions normalize couples’ experience by “reducing” it to a basic and universal struggle, and offer a new way of looking at issues without labeling things for the client.

It is important to look for an attachment injury that may be preventing progress.

Read more about Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Interpersonal Neurobiology Therapy (INPB)

spiral2grow in New York City, a leading provider of Interpersonal Neurobiology therapy (IPNB), has professionals who are expert in interpersonal neurobiology treatment that improve psychological integration and well being.

As clinical evidence supports the plasticity of the mind throughout the entire life, Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) serves as psychotherapy treatment for improving psychological well-being by stimulating the brain with powerful and positive persuasion, thoughts and actions. Through awareness, attention, meditation, positive attitude, constructive thoughts and behaviors as well as healthy habits that people acquire, they are physically changing and influencing the construction of their brains.

The foundation of Interpersonal Neurobiology ((IPNB) is based on the scientific evidence that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life. All experiences and relationships change the brain, but particularly are the intimate connections that advance us or regress us, altering brain circuits that shape the ourselves well as our psychological well being.

IPNB sees psychological integration as the core mechanism in the development of well-being. Accordingly, integration of the mind involves a linkage of separate aspects of mental processes to each other, such as thought with feeling, bodily sensation with logic. Integration in relationship entails each person’s being respected for his or her autonomy and differentiated self while at the same time being linked to others in empathic communication.

Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) framework proposes basic principles for conceptualizing the essential experiential components that facilitates the development of the mind, emotional well-being, and psychological resilience during its lifespan. At the core of these processes is a fundamental mechanism of integration which can be seen at a variety of levels, from the interpersonal to the neurological. Integration may be conceptualized as the basic process that secure attachments facilitate in promoting psychological well-being.

IPNB assists individuals in developing the integration of mind, brain, body and relational functioning. There are several key components regarding how IPNB describes the functions of the “mind” and crucial components of well-being; they include integration, attunement/attention/mindfulness, memory, and neuroplasticity.


Integration is formally defined as “the overall process of linkage of differentiated elements within the mind or self. In the context of IPNB, integration is seen as the fundamental process in the development of personal and psychological well-being. The movement toward a fully integrated mind is one of the primary objectives of therapy.

Integration is described by Daniel Siegel as a metaphorical river where harmony and integration make up the center channel and the two banks or boundaries of the river represent rigidity and chaos. At any point in time one may move closer to the rigid boundary and feel immobilized (stuck) or toward the chaotic boundary and feel out of control; but when well and at ease, we are able to maintain a steady flow toward the center of the channel where a sense of harmony and balanced is reached and maintained.

Attunement, Attention, and Mindfulness

The human brain does not exist in isolation and requires connection to fulfill its destiny. As we impact and are impacted by the biology and behavior of those around us, and depend on the scaffolding of others for our survival and sustained well-being, our “immature” brains is being thrived and developed through interpersonal interactions.

Attunement can be defined as a genuine feeling of connection, of “knowing” someone deeply or fully engaging with another person. The concept of attunement rests on the idea that a mind must be relax, open and free of expectations or assumptions in order to truly engage with another person and accept the experience of others.

A key component of attunement is focused attention, when the person directs his mental and physical thoughts and actions to what he wants to attend to. Our prefrontal cortex (rational mind) is responsible for our focused mechanisms. This mechanism makes synaptic connections and focuses the different elements of the brain that contribute to the process of concentration.

A mindful orientation has the capability of expanding tolerance for pain and fear and has the potential of changing the function and structure of the brain. As such, mindfulness practice in enhancing integrated functioning and increasing overall well-being.
In addition, mindfulness practice was scientifically proven to have positive psychological, interpersonal, and neurobiological effects. Also, studies have shown that focused attention, which is affected by mindful practice, and increases the ability to attune, has a direct effect on the stimulation and growth of neurons, which is the foundation of neuroplasticity.


Neuroplasticity is the used to describe the flexibility of the brain and its ability to change based on the needs and functioning of its parts. As humans has the power to direct their own attention, and attention effect the brain firing patterns, human has the power to shape and reshape the architecture of the brain.

Daniel Siegel describes the neuronal firing and wiring as similar to muscle development. Similar to our ability to concentrate on the development of particular muscle groups through focused, intensive exercises, we also have the ability to stimulate neural firing in certain areas, hemispheres, etc. through the focused attention in ways that integrate neural circuits. Individuals must, therefore, increase their level of awareness, attention and focusing to intentionally change our habits otherwise the brain will rely on default responses.

The implementation of the practical applications of IPNB, which is based on the concepts of integration, attention/attunement/mindfulness, memory and neuroplasticity has the power to change the function and the structure of the brain and the nervous system. Accordingly, psychological interventions is built upon the concept of intentionally maintaining integrated connection in order to stimulate the generation of neurons and neural networks necessary for clients to integrate their minds and increase overall function both in their individual as well as interpersonal processes. Therapeutic intervention can be effective as long as intentional change and novel experiences are maintained over time.

Through psychological integration as the main component of well-being as well as healthy relationship, we can actively influence our brain and our partner’s brain to rewire to affect our internal and interpersonal lives toward integration. In this way we open new doors to healing and growth that results in kindness, resilience, and health.

Learn more about Interpersonal Neurobiology treatment in NYC by spiral2grow.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

spiral2grow, a leading provider of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) in New York City, has professionals that include dialectical behavioral psychotherapists and behavioral therapist as well as cognitive counselors, who are expert in DBT. spiral2grow offers DBT treatment for self esteem, DBT counseling for anger management, social anxiety and general anxiety. DBT is provided in individual counseling, as well as DBT group counseling.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines multiple methodologies, mainly Cognitive Therapy and Behavioral Therapy as well various mindfulness practices and Eastern techniques. DBT is drawn from Zen Buddhism/mindful techniques that lead to acceptance and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that lead to change. The main goal of DBT is to manage stress and build a better quality of life, through the acquisition of new views and adapt healthy cognitive and behaviors skills.

DBT maintains that some people (due to biological and environmental reasons) react in an unhealthy way to emotional stimulation. Their level of arousal goes up quickly, peaks at a high level, and takes long time to return to baseline. Because of their past invalidation, these people don’t have the skills necessary to manage with these sudden, intense emotions. DBT is set of skills that will help in this task.

DBT is a structure model that helps streamline decision making and build healthy skills. The DBT method integrates mindfulness, motivational techniques and range of emotional regulation as well as interpersonal skills in a customizable way that leads to healthy living.

DBT assume that successful psychotherapy must promote the following factors:

  • enhance and maintain the client’s motivation to change;
  • enhance the client’s capabilities;
  • ensure that the client’s new capabilities are generalized to all relevant environments;
  • enhance the therapist’s motivation to treat clients while also enhancing the therapist’s capabilities;
  • and, structure the environment so that treatment can take place.

Skills are acquired, strengthened, and generalized through the combination of individual psychotherapy, group work, homework assignments as well as coaching.

Learn more about DBT Therapy in NYC by spiral2grow.

Schema Therapy

spiral2grow, a leading provider of schema therapy in New York City, has professionals that include schema theraspit or schema-focused cognitive psychotherapists and behavioral therapist, who are expert in schema therapy. spiral2grow offers schema treatment for self esteem and confidence, anger management, social anxiety, general anxiety. Schema Therapy is provided in individual psychotherapy method, as well as group therapy method.

Schema Therapy (or Schema-Focused Cognitive Therapy) integrates multiple approaches that combines aspects of Experiential Therapy, Interpersonal and Psychoanalytic therapies into cohesive unified treatment model. Schema-Focused Therapy has shown successful results in helping individuals to change negative (‘maladaptive”) patterns.

The Schema-Focused Therapy was developed by Dr. Jeff Young, who discovered that many people that had unhealthy long-standing patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving as well as coping mechanism may require unconventional means of intervention. Schema Therapy helps clients to address their challenges and modify these deeper patterns or themes, also known as ‘schemas” or ‘life-blocks.’

The treatment targets the enduring schemas that are self-defeating patterns that usually developed early in life. These patterns consist of negative/dysfunctional thoughts and feelings, have been repeated and elaborated upon, and pose obstacles for achieving one’s goals and getting one’s needs met. Some examples of schema beliefs are: ‘No ones care or love me,” ‘I am a failure,” ‘People don’t love me,” ‘I am a loser,” ‘Something bad is going to happen,” ‘People are going to leave me,” ‘My needs will never be met,” ‘No matter what I do, I will never be good enough,” and so on. These schemas are perpetuated behaviorally through the coping mechanism (schema avoidance, and schema compensation) that only maintain the schema rather than changing it. The Schema-Focused model is designed to help the person to break these negative patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, which are often very persistent, and to develop healthier alternatives to replace them.

Four main concepts of Schema Therapy:

  • Early Maladaptive Schemas are our fundamental patterns or behaviors that we tend to engage over and over again throughout our lives.
  • Schema Domains refer to the emotional needs of a child. When these needs were not met during our childhoods life, unhealthy schemas are developed, which then result in unhealthy patterns of behaviors.
  • Coping Styles are the way we adapt to schemas and early life experiences. These are often unhealthy and tend to maintain or worsen the problems. In other words, some the solutions that we adapted in early childhood, no longer help us in our present life and need to be revised.
  • Modes are emotional states that we adapt and use from time to time. They can sometimes lie dormant for a long time or being activated by specific triggers. Whilst we can be in a dominant state or mode for some time, we can flip over into other modes.

The three stages of Schema-Focused Therapy:

  • The first stage is the assessment phase in which schemas are identified to provide clear picture of the various patterns of behaviors and way of thinking.
  • The second phase is to increase of emotional awareness and experiential within the clients, so they will get in touch with their schemas and learn how to spot them when they are operating in their day-to-day life.
  • In the last phase, the behavioral change stage becomes the focus, during which the clients are actively involved in replacing negative, habitual thoughts and behaviors with new, healthy cognitive and behavioral options.
  • The efforts of spiral2grow are focused on helping clients break their disruptive, negative patterns and cycles so they become more resilient, cope better with life challenges and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

Learn more about Schema Therapy in NYC by spiral2grow

Psychodynamic and Psychoanalysis

spiral2grow provides modern psychodynamic and psychoanalysis therapy in New York City. It has professionals that include psychoanalytical psychotherapists and psychodynamic counselors, who are expert in exploring and resolving deep rooted issues with integrated approach that include psychoanalytical modality. spiral2grow offers cutting edge integrated psychotherapy treatment that include advanced psycho-dynamic method.

Psychodynamic therapeutic modality developed from psychoanalytic psychology. The originator Sigmund Freud Sigmund discovered the “unconscious” and the need to make what is “unconscious conscious” through analysis. Freud since then has influenced the field of psychology in a very fundamental way. Many theorists, such as Carl Jung and Alfred Adler, were greatly influenced by Freud’s works. Freud’s perception was that the unconscious mind drives our behavior. As a result, the Psychodynamic approach focuses on helping one to identify how the past, such as childhood experiences, influence today’s choices, perceptions, experiences, and feelings.

When thinking of the term “psychology” many people think of the stereotypical Freudian Psychoanalyst passively sitting, listening, as the client lies on the couch. While Freud did sit behind clients as they “free associated” and expressed themselves, most Psychodynamic therapist no longer fit that stereotype! On the whole, psychodynamic therapists work collaboratively and compassionately; encouraging people to gain greater insight into unconscious patterns that may be showing up in their life and causing internal and external conflict.

The psychoanalytical framework focuses on understanding the importance that:

  • each individual is special and unique,
  • there are factors outside of a person’s awareness (unconscious thoughts, feelings, sensations and experiences) which imapct the individual behavior,
  • the past shapes the present, yet our actions in the present shape the future,
  • and that human beings are always engaged in the process of personal development throughout their lives.

Psychodynamic therapy seeks to be impartial, yet encourage you to explore unconscious patterns, and how the past is connected to them. By understanding the causes of one’s internal and external conflict, psychodynamic therapy helps people to unravel the mystery behind their problems and to make emotional and behavioral changes.

Gottman Method for Couples and Marriages

Gottman therapy method for couples and marriages in New York City is a powerful modality for couples therapy as well as marriage counseling. It helps couples who are interested in improving or rebuilding their relationship while learning healthy relationship skills. The Gottman Method developed assists couples improve their relationship by teaching them the necessary couples skills. The Gottman Method applies leading-edge research on marriage in a practical, down-to-earth therapy. No other approach to couples education and therapy has relied on such intensive, detailed, and long-term scientific study of why marriages succeed or fail.

How to keep your relationship strong by Gottman Method

  • Edit yourself. Couples who avoid saying every critical thought when discussing touchy topics are consistently the happiest.
  • Soften your “start up.” Arguments first “start up” because a spouse sometimes escalates the conflict from the get-go by making a critical or contemptuous remark in a confrontational tone. Bring up problems gently and without blame.
  • Accept influence. A marriage succeeds to the extent that the husband can accept influence from his wife. If a woman says, “Do you have to work Thursday night? My mother is coming that weekend, and I need your help getting ready,” and her husband replies, “My plans are set, and I’m not changing them”. This guy is in a shaky marriage. A husband’s ability to be influenced by his wife (rather than vice-versa) is crucial because research shows women are already well practiced at accepting influence from men, and a true partnership only occurs when a husband can do so as well.
  • Have high standards. Happy couples have high standards for each other even as newlyweds. The most successful couples are those who, even as newlyweds, refused to accept hurtful behavior from one another. The more you can tolerate bad behavior in the beginning of a relationship, the happier the couple is down the road.
  • Learn to repair and exit the argument. Successful couples know how to exit an argument. Happy couples know how to repair the situation before an argument gets completely out of control. Successful repair attempts include: changing the topic to something completely unrelated; using humor; stroking your partner with a caring remark (“I understand that this is hard for you”); making it clear you’re on common ground (“This is our problem”); backing down (in marriage, as in the martial art Aikido, you have to yield to win); and, in general, offering signs of appreciation for your partner and his or her feelings along the way (“I really appreciate and want to thank you for.…”). If an argument gets too heated, take a 20-minute break, and agree to approach the topic again when you are both calm.
  • Focus on the bright side. In a happy marriage, while discussing problems, couples make at least five times as many positive statements to and about each other and their relationship as negative ones. For example, “We laugh a lot;” not, “We never have any fun”. A good marriage must have a rich climate of positivity. Make deposits to your emotional bank account.
  • Seek help early. The average couple waits six years before seeking help for marital problems (and keep in mind, half of all marriages that end do so in the first seven years). This means the average couple lives with unhappiness for far too long.

Sound Relationship House (SRH)

Gottman method couples therapy is based on the Sound Relationship House (SRH) theory. John Gottman is his research found out that successful couples work on three levels: one, sustaining romance through friendship, two, managing conflict well, and three, creating shared sense of meaning.

In addition, the partners minimize criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.

The couples are, also, able to provide to the relationship more positives than negative, in a ratio of at least of five positive to one negative.

The Sound Relationship House is subdivided into seven domains:

Love map: The love map is a road map of one’s partner’s inner psychological world. In this case, each partner acknowledge and validate the other partner’s internal word.
Lack in this area occurs when couples become distant from one another.

Fondness and admiration: Fondness and admiration is the antidote for contempt. By voicing and expressing feelings of care and respect to the partner the couples create a culture of appreciation, affection, and respect. .
Instability or lack in this area results in loneliness, a sense of invisibility, and feeling of being uncared for.

Turning toward: Successful couples turn toward when bids for emotional connections are made, which is also called building the “Emotional Bank Account.” Turning toward takes place when one partner make a bid of connection and the other responds back in a positive way.
Couples may also turn away or turn against to distance themselves.

Positive sentiment override: In this case, the tendency of each partner is to interpret neutral statement of the other as positive.
On the other way, when couples are distant or hyper-vigilant and negative interpretation takes place. In this cased, individuals see they see their partner as an adversary, not a friend.

Managing conflict and solving problems: Couples need to identify the core issues and the anatomy of repeating negative cycles in their relationship. In that regards, healthy couples are successfully negotiating problems to establish win-win resolution.
To be able to resolve problem successfully, couples must develop skills such as: soft start-up, repairs, self-soothing, accepting influence and ability to compromise.

Make life dreams and aspirations come true: Couples at that domain honor each other’s dream, support them in pursuing it. This includes having fun, creating adventure and pursuing passion.

Creating shared meaning: A relationship involves building a life together, and that life is full of meaning. Partners explore roles, values and symbols that give the couples shared meaning and fulfillment.

Read more about Gottman Couples Therapy in NYC.

Imago Couples Therapy

Imago relationship therapy in NYC offers couple’s imago relationship treatment through marriage counseling, couples therapy and relationship coaching. Imago Relationship Therapy has helped thousands of couples worldwide. Emotional disharmony in intimate relationship may be expressed as dissatisfaction, criticism, anger or resentment. Imago Relationship Therapy explores the root of the uncomfortable emotions and destructive behaviors which is manifested in negative communication dynamics between you and your partner. As such, it enables individuals in intimate relationships move unconscious to conscious relationship, while healing childhood wounds within a supportive and safe environment. Imago therapy lays the foundation of thriving relationship and provides the tools to enhance deeper connection, experience joy and fulfillment.

Imago approaches problems on the emotional, rational and behavioral levels. The fundamental premise of Imago is that deep understanding of each other’s feelings, needs and experiences is crucial to being able to empathize, understand and connect with each other. In addition, change must be on the behavioral level, rather than being a change in the mind to increase the chances to get closer to what we want. Also, an important element of the Imago counseling is the emphasis that even when one partner change, the dynamic of the relationship change, which leads to a valuable growth and healing for both partners.

Couples at any stage of their relationship, in crisis or in love, married or unmarried can enjoy the benefit of such transformative therapeutic technique.

Imago Relationship Therapy

Imago Relationship Therapy is a relationship counseling modality for marriage and couples therapy which integrates leading western psychological methodologies, behavioral sciences, and spirituality into a theory of love and intimate relationship. Imago Therapy is effective and easy as it helps individuals understand and recognize the unconscious factors (The Imago) in the choice of their intimate partner. It reveals the emotional dynamics that are being replayed from early age and it instructs couples how to relate to each other and themselves, in a more nurturing, loving and healthy way.

Imago couples counseling equipped couples with concepts and tools to achieve safety and deep intimacy as well experience fulfillment and aliveness. It improve communication, moving toward positive dynamics while expressing care and love to transform the relationship into healing personal and spiritual growth. Imago Relationship Therapy helped many couples heals childhood wounds while moving it from an unconscious to a conscious level creating the foundation for empowerment and love.

Imago teaches you how to engage with one another by using a effective communication skills (“Imago Dialogue”), which helps you learn more about each other need and perspective. It also makes couples understand what lies underneath their relationship conflict, while adapting healthy and constructive ways to resolve it.

Imago addresses challenges on the emotional, rational, and behavioral levels. A clear understanding of each other’s feelings and experiences is a key factor to being able to understand, empathize and relate to each other. In addition, we emphasize the need to change our behaviors to give and get what we really want. Even when only one partner change, the change leads to valuable growth and healing for both parties. We find that our partner’s requests for change often challenge us to grow into untapped part of our Self.

Some of the basic premises of Imago Therapy

  • We were wounded during the early childhood and socializing stages of development by our primary caretakers (usually not purposely).
  • Our unconscious mind contains the positive and negative traits of our primary care takers. This is called the IMAGO. It is like a blue print of the partner we need to “complete” us in an intimate relationship.
  • We look for someone who matches up with the composite image of our primary caretakers (called IMAGO Match). This is important for us as we look to heal and finish the “unfinished business” of our childhood. Our parents are the ones who wounded us and through our Imago Match we reenact our childhood situation to heal ourselves.
  • Romantic Love (“being in love’) is the initial attraction or the door opening that lead us to committed relationship and is a natural way of connecting us with the “perfect partner” toward the ultimate healing.
  • Following the romantic stage, once we become more committed, we move into a power struggle. The power struggle is a necessary stage in the healing and growth process as it lies in the internal struggle to heal ourselves. It is the struggle to change our partner (“to fix him/her”) and to change ourselves. The above two stages (“romantic love” and the “power struggle,”) are engaged in at an unconscious level for the purpose of healing our childhood wounds.
  • Inevitably our love partner is incompatible with us and least able to meet our needs and most able to wound us all over again. As such, the goal of Imago Relationship Therapy is to integrate our conscious mind with the agenda of the unconscious mind to assist clients in developing conscious, intimate, committed relationships.

The practice of Imago Couples Therapy

  • Imago gives you insight into the dynamics of your own relationship and empowers you to do your own work together in a safe, supportive and positive environment.
  • Imago Relationship Therapy helps align our conscious mind with the agenda (needs) of the unconscious mind with the goal of enabling the clients to develop conscious, intimate, and committed relationships.
  • Imago provides structured communication skills (Couple’s Dialogue) in a safe environment to help couples to engage in a constructive conversation. The dialogue consists of Mirroring (repeating) each statement, Summarization, Validation (“That makes sense because…”) and Empathy (“I imagine that makes you feel …”). This enables each partner to extend themselves to understand the experience of the other as different from their own. The Imago dialogue shifts the conversation away from blame, shame and criticism, into mutual support, understanding and proactivity.
  • Imago addresses the roots of the conflict rather just trying to solve it in a surface way. Imago helps couples learn more about their partner’s emotional history, and what the underlying reasons are for things which show up in their disagreements. They begin to understand why their partner is really upset, and why what they are saying really makes sense in the context of their past. As such, Imago turns this conflict on its head. The conflict isn’t the problem, it’s the answer. The result is transformation of conflict into opportunities for deeper intimacy and connection. It teaches couples how learn how to better meet each other’s needs.
  • As partners help each other to heal, they are also helping themselves to grow, moving them both closer to becoming whole and complete. When individuals learn to be proactive and become a source of pleasure for the other partner and perform small changes, it makes the biggest difference in terms of happiness and fulfillment as individuals and as a couple.
  • Imago integrates couples workshops with coaching and therapy to create fast improvement in your relationship to make it fulfilling, alive, passionate, fun, transforming and source of increasing wholeness.
  • This transition toward healing cannot take place through insight alone. Specific skills and processes are necessary that need to be practiced daily to shift us from having an unconscious marriage or relationship to a conscious marriage or relationship.
  • It takes two to five years of on-going work although not necessarily therapy, to develop a conscious healthy marriage/couplehood, which is safe and passion.
  • Imago Therapy has shown successful results in helping couples to change unhealthy patterns of behavior. By utilizing Imago therapy, spiral2grow efforts are focused on helping clients break their disruptive, negative patterns and cycles so they become more resilient, cope better with relationship challenges and enjoy greater relationship and life satisfaction.

Read more about Imago therapy in NYC by spiral2grow.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)

spiral2grow, a leading provider of Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) in New York City. ACT psychotherapists and counselors are expert in utilizing ACT treatment modality to help clients attain better quality of life, while dealing with their psychological challenges. spiral2grow offers Acceptance Commitment Therapy for treating anxiety, stress, anger, social anxiety and general anxiety.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a cognitive-behavioral model of psychotherapy. ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies and techniques, together with commitment and behavior change tools, to increase psychological flexibility, and resiliency. The greater your ability to use ACT, the greater your quality of life, the greater your sense of vitality, wellbeing and fulfillment.

The goal of ACT is to empower the client to create fulfilling and meaningful life, while accepting the unavoidable pain that comes with it. As the famous quote by Haruki Murakami say “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”So, as we work hard to create the life based on our deepest values, we will face all sorts of challenges, unwanted and unpleasant experiences. These experiences can come in a form of feelings, thoughts, urges, sensations etc.). Accordingly, ACT guides individuals to utilize skills to handle these challenges and to emerge stronger.

Rather than trying to teach people to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other internal processes, ACT teaches individuals to become aware, accept, and embrace their private events, especially unwanted ones. A key part of the acceptance is a mindful, non-judgmental attitude toward the internal (as well as external) events.

ACT helps the individual to develop their observing ego – to observe and experience and yet distinct from one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories. ACT aims to help the individual clarify their personal deepest values and to take actions that promotes these values. By acting based your values, individuals bring more vitality and meaning to their life in the process, increasing their psychological flexibility, durability and equanimity. It helps people to fundamentally change their attitude toward their painful thoughts and feelings, to develop a transcendent sense of self, to live in the present, and to take action, guided by their deepest values, to create a rich and meaningful life.

The core assumption of ACT is that psychological suffering is usually caused by avoiding the experience and by entanglement of cognition. This in turns result in psychological rigidity that leads to a failure to take the necessary actions and behavior that is aligned with individual’s core values. One of its core messages: to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve your quality of life.

The premise behind ACT is that a more fulfilled life can be attained by accepting life as is and by doting so overcoming negative thoughts and feelings. The goal of ACT is to help clients consistently choose to act effectively (concrete behaviors as defined by their values) in the presence of difficult or disruptive “private” (cognitive or psychological) events. The aim of ACT is to help people create a rich full and meaningful life, while effectively handling the pain and stress that life inevitably brings. The acronym ACT has also been used to describe what takes place in therapy: accept the effects of life’s hardships, choose directional values, and take action.

Growing data of scientific research confirms that cultivating mindfulness, acceptance, facing your fear and opening yourself to difficult experiences is highly effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders, social anxiety, sadness and depression, anger management, substance abuse, chronic pain, PTSD and eating disorder. ACT is also a very powerful modality that is used life coaching, career coaching and executive coaching.

ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility:

  1. Cognitive defusion: Learning to perceive thoughts, images, emotions, and memories as what they are, not what they appear to be.
  2. Acceptance: Allowing them to come and go without struggling with them.
  3. Contact with the present moment: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
  4. Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
  5. Values: Discovering what is most important to one’s true self.
  6. Committed action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly.

Read more about Acceptance Commitment Therapy in NYC by spiral2grow.

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

Internal Family Systems Therapy is comprehensive, integrative approach that was originally developed to treat trauma and other related symptoms, and later was enhanced to provide therapy guidelines for working with individuals, couples and families.

Internal Family Systems Therapy provides practical methods to recognize and access the “higher” or “deeper” Self (depends on your perspective), so that the process of growth happens according to an “inner wisdom.” In accessing the Self and healing parts of the Self, a person is not pushed, rushed or imposed upon to “fix” things. The process allows the Self to unfold at its own speed, and according to its own pattern.

It is the nature of the human mind to be subdivided into an indeterminate number of sub-personalities called parts. You can think of them as “small people” inside us. Each has its own perspective, feelings, memories, goals, and motivations. We all have parts like the inner critic, the abandoned child, the pleaser, the angry part, and the loving caretaker.

These parts are conceptualized as inner people of different ages, temperaments, talents, and desires, who together form an internal family or tribe. This internal family organizes itself in the same way as other human systems and reflects the organization of the systems around it.

All parts are valuable and want to play constructive inner roles, no matter how problematic it might be. They are forced into extreme and destructive roles by external influences and by the self-perpetuating nature of inner polarizations and imbalances. They will gratefully find or return to preferred, valuable roles once they believe it is safe to do so.

Once you understand that a part has a positive intent, it doesn’t mean that you give that part power. You change your perspective and attitude toward that part, while having understanding and appreciating that part, while taking the steps to heal them. This is fundamentally different from the way we ordinarily relate to our parts. Usually when we become aware of a part, the first thing we do is evaluate it. Is it good or bad for us? If we decide it is good, we embrace it and give it power. We act from it. If we decide it is bad, we try to suppress it or get rid of it, however, this doesn’t work. You can’t eliminate that part. You can only push it into your unconscious, where it will continue to affect you, unfortunately, without your awareness.

Fundamental Assumptions of the IFS model

  • The mind is naturally subdivided into parts and sub-personalities.
  • Everyone has a Self, and the Self serves as the individual’s internal system.
  • All parts of the Self in its non-extreme form are good. The intention of the parts are positive for the individual. Yet, when the intention is used in inappropriate way or extreme way, this part becomes destructive. As there are no “bad” parts, the goal of therapy is to integrate all parts and help each part find their non-extreme roles, rather than eliminate, deny or disown them.
  • As individuals evolve and develop, the parts develop and form a complex system of interactions among themselves; therefore, systems theory can be applied to the internal system. When the system is reorganized, parts can change rapidly, which lead to better functioning of the system.
  • Changes in the internal system will affect changes in the external system and vice versa. The implication of this assumption is that both the internal and external levels of system should be assessed.

General Groups of the Parts Within the Self


As the name indicates, the “Managers” have a supervision role. As such, the Managers exhibits typical roles such as an inner Critic, Pleaser, Organizer, Judge, Intellectual. Our Managers work hard anticipating what others want from us and they feel anxious when criticized, rejected or abandoned. They like to keep us in line and in top form with their ambitions, goals, and lists.

  • Parts that operate the day-to-day activities of the individual.
  • Desire to keep the individual in control of every situation and relationship in an effort to protect parts from feeling rejected or hurt.
  • Utilize multiple ways to achieve its goals through a combination of parts – striving, controlling, evaluating, caretaking, terrorizing, and so on.


The “Exiles” are often child parts, these exiles are stuck in an earlier time, frozen in the pain and fear of those experiences.

  • Young parts that have experienced trauma and often become isolated from the rest of the system in an effort to protect the individual from feeling the pain, terror, fear, and so on, of these parts.
  • If exiled, can become increasingly extreme and desperate in an effort to be cared for and tell their story.
  • Exiles can leave the individual feeling fragile and vulnerable.


The “Firefighters” serve as defensive parts since their tendency for quick rescue in threatening situations. The quickness in which they appear and arrive to rescue is their signature. While they share the same goal as the Managers (to protect exiles), these parts are often associated with addictive behaviors. Whenever unbearable feelings are stirred up, a Firefighter suddenly show up with strategies involving a quick escape (which not always beneficial).

  • Group of parts that react when exiles are activated in an effort to control and extinguish their feelings.
  • Can do this in any number of ways, including drug or alcohol use, self-mutilation (cutting), binge-eating, sex binges
  • Have the same goals as managers (to keep exiles away) but different strategies.

Therapy’s Goals of Internal Family Systems

The goal behind Internal Family Systems Therapy is to find the core Self of the client. The idea if is to unfold and cover the Self to include the damaged and undamaged parts. The undamaged portion of their consciousness is the self that was apparent before the child experienced events or trauma. This is the core of their deepest identity.

Uncovering the parts of the Self and the intention and responsibility of each part is key element of the process. Thereafter the integration and acceptance of all parts in its non-extreme way is promoted to reach tranquility and balance.

  • To achieve balance, harmony and equanimity within the internal system.
  • To differentiate and elevate the Self so it can be an effective leader in the system.
  • When the Self is in the lead, the parts will collaborate and provide input to the Self. Also, each part will respect other parts and will respectfully accept the leadership and final decision of the Self.
  • All parts will lend its talents that reflect their non-extreme intentions.

Read more about Internal Family System provided by spiral2grow.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

spiral2grow, a leading provider of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in New York City. It has MBSR professionals and psychotherapists who are expert in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. spiral2grow offers MBSR for treating anxiety, stress, anger, social anxiety and general anxiety. MBSR is provided in individual counseling, as well as MBSR group counseling.

The key to maintaining balance and equanimity in our life is responding to stress not with frustration and self-criticism, but with mindful, nonjudgmental awareness of our bodies and minds. For those who are interested in knowing more ways to reduce stress and anxiety will find MBSR to be an extraordinary method.

A successful method in dealing with anxiety and stress as well as bringing self-care and happiness is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The method was originally developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn and now taught all around the word. It is a highly-effective program that teaches simple, yet powerful practices of body scan, awareness and meditation. MBSR help users discover deep sense wellness, balance, equanimity, self-reliance, self-resiliency and inner freedom.
Participants study how to develop their own practice of centering, grounding and living life in the present moment. They will also learn how to transform their fear-based reactions and habits into responses.The practice of mindfulness has an extremely healing affect on all human aspects-physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

MBSR trains people to relate differently to stresses in their lives, and even more to relate constructively to each moment in their lives. Regardless of the stressors in your life, through MBSR you will learn the skills to feel more peaceful, more in control and more accepting of whatever comes into your life.

People who complete MBSR program report an increased capacity to manage more effectively with stressful situations; a better ability to relax and calm down, a decrease in negative physical and psychological symptoms; a decrease in pain level and greater ability to cope with chronic pain and even more importantly a greater energy, enthusiasm and joy for life. Also, many reported that they are better able to manage stress, be less fearful, deal with anger, manage anxiety and overcome depression both at home and in the workplace.

This creative, yet simple and effective proven program will help you relieve the symptoms of stress and identify its causes so that you can start living a healthier, happier life. Through the practice of MBSR individuals learn how to transform their fear-based reactions and habits into mindful responses.

Some of the skills individuals learn in Mindful-Based Stress Reduction Course:

  • Practical skills to better manage stressful situations
  • Learn relaxation methods for being physically and mentally calm and peaceful
  • Develop Gentle full body conditioning exercises to strengthen your body and release muscular tension
  • Increase ability to become less judgmental and more accepting
  • Being more aware of the interplay of mind and body
  • Increase capacity to deal with change and enhanced resiliency in tolerating difficult times in your life with greater ease
  • Enhance self-awareness, self acceptance and empathy
  • Better connection with one self as well as improved self intuition
  • Practice of centering, grounding and living life in the present moment
  • Practice mindfulness that provides healing affect on all human aspects-physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. At the same time, it offers individuals a means of discovering a deeper sense of ease and peace of mind.

Skills are acquired, strengthened, and generalized through the combination of individual psychotherapy, group work, homework assignments as well as coaching.

Spiritual Counseling New York City

spiral2grow, a counseling center in NYC, provides spiritual counseling for individuals and couples to solve spiritual challenges. Our experts in spirituality include couples counselors, marriage therapists, psychotherapists and spiritual counselors who help teaching and building healthy and fulfilling life and healthy relationships. spiral2grow offers spiritual awareness in a variety of formats: individual psychotherapy, couples counseling and marriage therapy.

spiral2grow recognizes that people are both human and spiritual beings. Spirituality is a fundamental source of health and balance and is essential to the healing process. Couples therapy as well as individual counseling is provided in a spiritually-sensitive manner, with respect for the individual’s belief systems, values, religious practices and life meanings.

Spiritually-oriented psychotherapy assists in integrating our spiritual nature with our humanness. Together with psycho therapeutic basics such as building a healthy self-esteem and sense of self, learning to communicate effectively, establishing healthy boundaries, identifying and meeting personal and relationship needs, spiritually-oriented counseling recognizes and facilitates multi-dimensional awareness and understanding of spiritual elements and its effect on our relationship with ourselves, our partner and life in general.

Also, spiritual counseling is designed to understand the human spirit in its all dimensions. As a holistic and systemic psychotherapist, it is hard for me not see the spiritual aspect as integral part of psychology and well being. The spiritual counseling attends to four main layers: the physical part, the mental part, the emotional as well as the spiritual-energetic part. The main goal of the counseling is to enable the client to connect to all of its facets at the deepest level and to establish the harmony that is so necessary to live happy life.

Healing and transformation may be possible when we address both daily experiences and spiritual understandings about our lives. Psychotherapy helps one in identifying the meanings inherent in difficult experiences and pains, such that old patterns of behavior may be broken and personal growth can be achieved in a transformative process where one becomes more personally and spiritually empowered. spiritual counseling is different from philosophical counseling.

Spirituality is only one of many philosophical subjects humans are challenged by and would like to explore understand and integrate into there life, while philosophy encompass other life domains such as: mid-life crises, career changes, stress management, emotional regulations, assertive behavior, illness, aging and dying as well as meaning of life, decision making, tranquility and morality.

Moshe Ratson (MBA, MS MFT, LMFT), at spiral2grow, incorporates a blend of nondenominational spiritual practices, spiritual wisdom traditions, contemporary psychologies, philosophical counseling as well as emotional healing practices. We recognize that some individuals have the need explore what is beyond ordinary conscious experience to understand our spiritual nature and gifts to be fully human and whole.

Issues to be addressed in spiritual counseling

Spirituality is an important concept that is difficult to define. Spirituality does not necessarily incorporate religion. In general, it consists of three areas: practices and rituals (prayer, meditation, etc.), belief (morals, values, deity, transcendence) and the experience of the individual.

Read more about spiritual counseling.

During the counseling process, psychotherapist will assist in exploration of client’s reality as well as the spiritual dimension. Some of the issues that may be addressed in spiritual counseling include:

  • Meaning, purpose, fulfillment and hope
  • Integrity and worthiness
  • The authentic self
  • Transcendence
  • Religious engagement
  • Loving and kindness as well as serving others
  • Gratitude and Thankfulness
  • Death and dying

Philosophical Counseling

Do you have questions about the meaning of your life? or issue in regards to: Morality? Values? Identity? Marriage? Religion? Ethics? Relationships either romantic, personal, or professional? All of these and others are philosophical questions and a philosopher would be the person to ask. Just as you ask a medical doctor about your physical health, a psychologist about your mental health, an accountant about your financial health you can ask a philosopher about existential path as well as your spiritual health.

All the world is a stage – and everything about you, from the mundane to the extraordinary, is a story living in your mind. In this story you can play many roles, but more importantly you also the producer and the creator. Philosophical counseling will allow you to open yourself to fresh perspectives and discoveries that comes from having the courage to be creative and take risks toward unexplored territories and to enjoy more fulfilling life.

spiral2grow, a counseling practice in New York City, provides a philosophical counseling. Philosophical Counseling is a form of individual counseling that seeks to provide the client with answers and solutions to the problems and questions that challenge our lives. Philosophical counseling is not psychotherapy, yet closely related to spiritual counseling. The goal of a philosophical counselor is to help clients reach clarity by having a deeper understanding of themselves and their issues through reasoned, rational discussion allowing the clients to make better decisions in their lives to achieve more gratifying and examined life.

A philosophical counselor helps clients to clarify, articulate, explore and comprehend philosophical aspects of their belief systems or “world views.” Clients may consult philosophical practitioners for help in exploring philosophical problems related to such matters as mid-life crisis, career changes, stress management, emotional regulation, assertive behavior, illness, aging and dying as well as meaning of life and morality.

Philosophical counseling modality and tools can also serve psychotherapy practices by helping them becomes more effective. As such, spiral2grow, located in Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers philosophical therapy for individuals and couples that face variety of existential and philosophical issues as well as challenging and important situations that require a decision making.

Introduction to Philosophical Counseling

Philosophical counseling, also called philosophical practice, is a new movement in practical philosophy and provides a unique counseling method that is rooted in the Socratic tradition, which viewed philosophy as a therapy for the soul. Philosophical counseling is an invitation to a philosophical way of life with its inevitable emphasis on virtues. It offers a practical model to explore and bring about integrated, meaningful life. In other words, it aspires individuals to live life based on principles that lead to fulfillment and happiness.

Philosophical counseling focuses on three goals. First, it seeks to help individuals achieve a sense of meaning by allowing them to move from a limited subjective view to a broader external and more detached perspective. Through philosophical dialogue, clients guided to have a better sense of how their lives fit into the general priorities of things. Second, clients promoted to achieve a greater sense of wholeness, a sense of integration between “conflicting” commitments, rolls, desires and different parts of their personality. By integrating the parts within the self, the clients no longer feel in chaos or alienated but integrated and intact. And, third, it brings us the peace of mind and equanimity that follows inner tranquility and acceptance. In this respect, individuals are no longer confused, but rather we feel that they have finally understood the root of things and accepted them. At its best, philosophical counseling is concerned with helping us become our best selves.

The Process of Philosophical Counseling

Philosophical counseling is a form of rational inquiry whose purpose is to help us clarify situations for us. We might be confused about some fairly basic things: what is important and meaningful to us, what would make us happy, how we should treat our friends or neighbors, where our life’s taking us, and what we care most about. What we are looking for is a better vantage point from which to analyze our lives, some reasonable ways of getting back on track, and some sensible strategies for adapting to a changing environment. In other words, we look for guidance, wisdom and consolation.

There are two main basic approaches to philosophical counseling. One is the “deliberative” approach, when a specific question and a set deadline is provided. Clients are looking for help figuring out how to identify, weigh, and reason through their options and how to make at a sensible decision. The second option is on indefinite basis while the counselor intended not so much to discuss virtues but to help the counselees to modify their thoughts, feelings or behavior through the power of virtues. On this view, conversation partners meet with philosophical counselors on an in order to perceive themselves–their thoughts, desires, and aims–more clearly.

One strategy for effective process is designed by Lou Marinoff who developed the acronym “PEACE” for a five step philosophical counseling process: “ Problem identification,” “Expressing emotion,” “Analyzing options,” “Contemplation,” and “Equilibrium.”

One good way of understanding philosophical counselling is this: we seek to clarify together what a wise person would think and do in the counselle’s situation. Wisdom refers to a large number of cognitive and practical virtues, and philosophical counseling is a process where the counselee’s powers of virtue are examined and encouraged. This is often therapeutic in the sense that it enhances the counselee’s well-being. The process of philosophical counseling.

The Role of Philosophical Counselor

Philosophical Counseling is probably not capable of solving all your problems, especially those of a non-philosophical nature (there is no amount of philosophical counseling that will cure a cold) but the understanding and perspective a session of philosophical counseling can provide will prove priceless as a tool for living your life. A Philosopher can help you figure out and resolve some of the hardest problems to identify and deal with problems of the soul.

The counselor attempts to facilitate a client to solve their own problems yet demonstrate a genuine concern and compassion for the clients dilemmas. The counselor must listen and at appropriate times reflect by restating or rephrasing what the client had expressed. This serves two purpose. First it allows the client to feel he is being heard. And secondly, it allows for any misunderstandings to be identified and corrected. When the counselor feels he understands what the client is communicating, the counselor can proceed with questions. These questions can pertain to feelings, thoughts, beliefs, expectations, past experiences, preferences, or other details relating to the issue.

The counselor and clients will define the goals they wish to achieve. They may explore other options in addressing the ultimate objective and the real issues behind the desired goal. The counselor should encourage the client to ultimately draw their own conclusions and choose the direction the want to take in resolving the issue. The counselor may challenge the client to formulate a behavioral goal to address the ultimate objective. Ultimately, the a counselor helps others understand themselves and their existence so they both may live to fully experience what it is to be human.

The Benefit of Philosophical Counseling

While the field of psychotherapy a lot of approaches are still based on philosophical assumptions (e.g. psychoanalysis, humanistic therapy, cognitive therapy, also behavioral therapy), psychotherapy rarely integrates philosophy. Philosophical and psychological forms of counseling are complementary and mutually supportive avenues for helping people to confront their problems of living. The relatively new modality of philosophical counseling is good example that integrates both aspects.

Not every personal problem is a mental illness. If you are emotionally dysfunctional, you can see psychologist or a doctor. But if you want to examine your life, see a philosophical counselor. You’ll get dialogue, not diagnosis. If your philosophy of life is not performing well, maybe it needs a tune-up.

The idea that philosophy as questioning dialogue has a therapeutic aim and impact goes back at least as far as the Socrates of Plato’s early dialogues. There is an important interplay of psychological and philosophical approaches to dealing with problems of living. I found that human problems and challenges can be addressed through the synergy of both philosophical and psychological tools.

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