Original article by Jake Kastleman
At Utah Family Therapy, we fully realize the value of methods like multisystemic therapy and (Intensive Outpatient Therapy). We swear by these types of approaches, as they incorporate individual counseling, as well as, family members.
We realize that for some, these types of approaches may be more intense and intricate than they need. This is why we offer curriculums and programs in varying degrees of intensity.
In individual counseling, also known as Individual Therapy, or one-on-one therapy, our main commitment is to lead with compassion and empathy as our main focus.
We believe that genuine connection and trust breeds lasting change. Motivation stems from channels of understanding and love. If we are not motivated to change, we never will.
3 Principles that we use in every counseling session, Compassion, Connection and Communication.
Compassion and empathy are beautiful aspects of human interaction that lead to the motivation to do better and become better.
Utah Family Therapy, we use what we refer to as “Positive Language”. What this means, is we have completely done away with old methods of shaming in therapy as a means of “fixing” patients.
Shame has been shown to yield positive short-term results sometimes, but in the long-run, these types of methods prove detrimental, as they do not face the core issues that addicts and others struggle with inside.
Ironically, nearly all negative habits (including addictions) find their roots in shame.
One of our main missions in individual therapy is to teach your child how to love themselves and build true self-worth; to understand their imperfections and know that they are worthy of love and belonging with all their imperfections intact.
We do not condone their negative behavior, rather we seek to lead patients to self-acceptance and self-love. In turn, they are then able to love others around them more, and the cycle continues.
As they learn to do this and to work through their sources of personal shame, they begin unveiling a life of far more fulfillment and joy, bringing about the removal of the need for unhealthy coping mechanisms.
This occurs after working through initial neurochemical dependency.
For those who have children struggling with addiction, we will educate your child on how their brain works.
We will go into depth about why they have become wrapped up in their addiction, and why their brain feels like they need it.
From here, we will over time determine some of the reasons why your child has sought out their coping mechanism and help them work through and heal these internal issues in their individual therapy sessions.
This journey takes time, but with a skilled professional to teach accountability, forgiveness, positive coping strategies, and daily lifestyle choices that will help build a new identity, the journey can indeed be ventured and your child will find themselves victorious.
No one can make this journey on their own, that is why we do what we do. Many of us have been through our own processes, and some have endured their own addiction recovery.
We find passion in this field because we know the pain, and we also know the triumph. We desire to enable others to work through their processes more effectively than we were able to, with a guide in the steps along the way.
We are creatures of habit. With reference to both good and bad, the behaviors we elicit and the choices we make are all part of habits.
We choose to drive home the same way from work every day because of habits. We choose to listen or to not listen because of habits.
We also choose to give in to addiction due to very powerful and repetitive habits (granted, we must not forget addiction is interlaced with neurochemicals, cravings, and much deeper trauma).
Some of these habits can be worked through in a few weeks, and some take much, much longer.
One of the major obstacles we face in habit-change is knowing how. This all starts with our thoughts. If we can begin to change our thoughts, we can begin to change our behaviors.
From the instant that we choose to do something differently, our brain begins forming new connections. The more and more we choose the better option, the more it forms a new habit.
With enough repetitions of changing our thoughts (thousands of repetitions), and our behaviors (hundreds of times), we form a new identity and reality.
“My anxiety just melts away when I come here.” – J.P.
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