Clinical Approaches to the Therapeutic Process

The clinical approaches that I incorporate into my work as a therapist are drawn from a broad range of well grounded and widely accepted psychological theories. During our interactions, I will draw only from the psychological theories that I feel will best meet your needs at the time.

A few of the theories that makeup my clinical orientation as a therapist:

Psychodynamic/Psychoanalytic theories look at how early experiences impacts a person’s sense of self in the world. This quest often makes us more aware of what has been unconscious for us and then allows one to see their defensive/protective styles-of-relating so that we can open to become the person we want to be in the world.  The insights gained from this approach have shown to have a curative effect for people.

DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy) helps people sustain behavioral changes that they desire in their lives through problem solving and the teaching/application of skills. This is a highly effective approach for persons who have been raised in very chaotic home lives, have difficulty regulating their emotions, and/or when a person is focused on getting ‘results’ from the therapeutic process. I am certified through the Marsha Linnehan Training Group. 

Developmental Psychology is the scientific study of systematic psychological, emotional, and perceptual changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the entire life span.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is very useful when clients need tools and strategies to interrupt negative/defeating thinking and behaviors patterns.

Mind-Body Techniques provide very helpful tools that enable clients to better manage the internal sensations and feeling that arise in them. It helps one establish and create sustained tolerance of pain-filled, neutral, or pleasure-filled physical-psychological states such that the client can experience more ease and freedom in their day to day lives. This can be particularly helpful for chronic pain and attention deficit issues (ADD/ADHD).

Polyvagal Therapy connects us to our own biology- our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).  This approach will help you understand what is actually happening in your body when you are in one of the 3 physiological states of the ANS- Safe and Social, Fight-Flight, Collapse/Shut down.  From this perspective clients learn how to live with less stress and to be more relaxed and open in the presence of others.  This technique works well for social anxieties and mood swings.

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is a five-day auditory intervention designed to reduce stress and auditory sensitivity while enhancing social engagement and resilience. By calming the physiological and emotional state, the door is opened for improved communication and more successful therapy.  This is helpful for almost all psychological/physiological conditions yet to name a few: PTSD, Anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Anger, Mood Swings.

Attachment Theory explores how emotionally secure one felt in their early childhood relationships and uses this understanding to improve the quality of one’s current relationships. It focuses on the establishment of a secure-base relationship from which a person may then engage their environment/world with ease and confidence.

Neuroscientific Theories show that you can actually change your brain chemistry and pathways towards harmony and health through positive relational experiences, fresh ways of thinking, and the development of one’s perceptual ability.

I have been a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) since 1994. I received a minimum of 20 hours per year of clinical training through workshops, course work, and independent study. I participate in on-going monthly clinical peer consultation/supervision.

Spiritual approach

Many clients have found that integrating their spiritual beliefs into the counseling process has been immensely helpful. I come to the seat of clinician with a depth of appreciation and understanding of most of the western denominational and nondenominational Christianity and two of the primary Eastern religions.

Upon request and as so desired, I will incorporate Christian Biblical principles and values into the work of counseling.

I have been a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors since 2001. I received Christian Counseling mentoring through Crossroads Christian Counseling Center Aug 2001 – Sept 2003. Since 2001, I participate in monthly clinical Christian peer consultation/supervision.

LauraWiley, LCSW
96 Harlow Street, Suite 224 Bangor, ME 04401
cell/text 207/945-9754

SSP Certified
nearly 30 years of clinical experience