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Explanation of Therapy Modalities


Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment for various problems including anxiety and depression. The goal of CBT is to identify psychological problem(s) then develop a treatment strategy to help change thinking patterns as psychological problems are based in faulty/unhelpful thinking and learned patterns/unhelpful behaviors. CBT strategies include understanding what motivates your behavior and others, learning how your thinking patterns can lead to problems, and learning what coping skills work best for you then how to apply them. 

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Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Additional research has shown that DBT is shown to help treat depression, PTSD, ADHD, eating disorders, and complex/severe mental illness. The 4 DBT skills are Emotional Regulation, Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, and Distress Tolerance.

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AutPlay was created by Dr. Robert Jason Grant to combine play therapy and behavioral therapy for people on the Autism spectrum or ADHD, their families, and/or have other neurodevelopmental disorders. The combination of therapies allows youth to gain skills and abilities by targeting six areas: Increasing Emotional Regulation, Social Skills Development, Connection(s) within Relationships, Improving Sensory Challenges, Decreasing Anxiety, and Addressing Behavioral Issues (Source). AutPlay therapy provides structured play interventions that will allow people to develop self-regulation that will hopefully improve their ability to navigate day to day life successfully.
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Play Therapy is a useful tool primarily for children (but can even help adults!) who struggle to express their thoughts and emotions using words. Play Therapy allows play to speak for people by allowing insight based in how they play about what their internal struggle(s) are and what problems their therapists needs to focus upon. Play therapy can also be used to resolve conflict, learn about how families interact, promote cognitive development, and advance social skills while allowing children to express themselves using their own language.

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Sand Tray therapy is for everyone! It operates a lot like play therapy by allowing people to express themselves nonverbally. The therapists supplies a Sand Tray box, sand, and various miniatures for people to express what they are feeling in that moment. When using a sand tray, the individual creates a scene that they are encouraged to build and explore. People are then asked to process the sand tray where they get to choose if they want to give it a name, explain what pieces may represent, explain the motivation behind the tray, and if they want to dismantle it or have their therapist do so after they leave. People may not want to answers any of these questions or their clinician may choose to not ask them based on what the client did in the formation of the sand tray as the process of creation is just as important as the end result. The goal of Sand Tray therapy is to establish a safe environment for the client to trust that they can express themselves freely while their therapist serves as a witness to how/what they are expressing.

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Sand Tray and Sand Play therapy are not the same. For more information on the difference, please visit or the above link to

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was designed to alleviate symptoms experienced due to traumatic memories. EMDR therapy helps people access and process traumatic memories or disturbing life experiences by focusing on an exertional stimulus (lights, tappers, tapping, noise) while engaging in short bursts with those memories. "EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma." (Source) 


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