Once we have identified your strengths and weaknesses….
In working with clients I emphasize specific and concrete strategies to try in sessions and at home. These strategies help clients respond constructively to difficult feelings, thoughts, and life situations.
In addition to traditional cognitive-restructuring and behavioral exposure methods, I use visual images, humorous examples, stories, and active exercises to help clients try new ways of coping. These images and stories can help trigger a different mindset for viewing life situations. For example, an image can shift a person from “black and white thinking” to a more advanced mindset of observing the turmoil of one’s thoughts and feelings (for an example of one such strategy, please click here or look under the Resources for Current Clients). A story is easier to remember than a list of strategies to use, especially under stress. A visual image can capture multiple strategies discussed in sessions, making it easier to apply them to real life challenges.
For those clients who are interested in understanding why the various images and stories work, I am delighted to explain our understanding of how our brains work, and whenever possible, link these strategies and mental shifts to recent brain research. But I find that trying the strategies is the most important step in getting better. When a strategy works, even a little (to start with), it has the same effect as learning to balance does for someone who just took the training wheels off their bike. The experience of succeeding at something new is worth a thousand words of explaining.
Many clients have told me that they have found these images and stories very helpful as shorthand symbols to help them remember and apply specific new strategies.
Please click here for brief examples of some of the images and metaphors I use.
To learn how to contact Dr.Ostoja, please click here.