Laura Knowles, Ph.D

Philosophy of Counseling

I utilize cognitive-behavioral (CBT) and emotion-focused (EFT) strategies in therapy and believe all people can benefit from supportive psychotherapy.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 
Therapists who practice CBT tend to focus on a few specific problems. We believe that irrational thinking or flawed perceptions cause emotional disturbance. A cognitive therapist may work with a client to change negative thought patterns that kick-start uncomfortable emotional and behavioral responses to things in the environment. This type of therapy is often quite effective for clients suffering from depression or anxiety.  Because CBT is usually a short-term treatment option (8 - 10 sessions), it is often more affordable than some other types of treatment, CBT is also empirically supported and has been shown to effectively help patients overcome a wide variety of maladaptive behaviors.

Emotion-Focused Therapy
An emotion focused therapist believes emotions have adaptive potential that, if activated appropriately, can help clients change problematic emotional states or reactions to their environment.  We do not believe emotions inhibit the therapeutic process, or that strong emotions are a sign of dysfunction. However, a client's inability to manage emotions and use them productively (learn from them) is seen as a problem. Clients undergoing EFT are helped to better identify, experience, explore, make sense of, transform and flexibly manage their emotional experiences. Although EFT was first designed for use in intimate relationship counseling its applicability to individual therapy was soon evident and it is now widely used with individuals having emotional difficulties.

The Right Therapist for You
Research shows the number one predictor of success in therapy is the trust the client has in the therapist.  I strive to create an open and collaborative relationship with all of my clients.  If for some reason that is not possible, I urge clients to let me know so we can find a therapist that will be better able to help.