Psychological Services in London, Ontario
I provide psychological assessment and treatment for adults (ages 18+). I currently offer evening appointments only. While I see clients presenting with a wide variety of issues, I have several areas of special focus. These are listed below; click the links to learn more about how I can help with each of these.
Trauma and PTSD. In particular, I focus on “complex” PTSD or trauma symptoms resulting from abuse experienced in childhood, traumatic losses or separation (especially in childhood), sexual assault, and abusive relationships. If you find events and relationships from your past just won’t let go, click here to learn more about how I can help.
Overwhelm, Stress, and Worry. Life is coming at you with a never-ending stream of demands. You’re working hard to be the best employee, partner, parent, or friend you can be, but you feel like you’re fighting to keep your head above water. You know you can’t keep going like this, but you can’t see a way out. Pressure keeps building and you feel exhausted, discouraged, and overwhelmed. Click here to learn how I can help.
What types of therapy are offered at Erin Ross Psychology?
I work from a framework called interpersonal neurobiology. It’s an integrationist framework, combining knowledge and theory from both psychology and other sciences in order to understand how are bodies, minds, and emotions work together to form the people we are. If you’d like to know more, click here to hear Dr. Dan Siegel describe interpersonal neurobiology.
Because I work from this integrationist place, there is no single method or type of therapy I use. Instead, I have been trained in a number of the different therapeutic approaches and I draw on these to fit the individual needs of my clients. I do not use all modalities (approaches) with each person but instead combine different pieces at different times in order to tailor your treatment specifically to you. As well, you will be an active participant in determining what approaches or techniques feel right for you; I firmly believe therapy is most effective when the client feels comfortable with the process. To give you an idea of what therapy might look like, my primary therapeutic modalities are listed below.
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) – This approach helps people understand, express, manage, and transform emotion. It helps us move from being overwhelmed by emotions that feel out-of-control and harmful to using emotions as a guide to help us identify and get what we want and need. It allows us to handle difficult emotions so we can care for ourselves in a healthy way when emotions become intense. EFT also teaches us how respond to ourselves and the people in our lives in ways that are positive, adaptive, and productive.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – In psychodynamic psychotherapy, we explore emotions, thoughts, and early life experiences in order to gain insight into present-day problems and long-standing issues that seem to pop up again and again. When we have had to deal with painful situations in the past, especially in early life, we often develop unconscious defense mechanisms to help us keep the painful feelings and memories at bay. Too often, though, these defense mechanisms either aren’t up to the job (and painful feelings leak through) or they become problems themselves so that we feel even worse off than before. In psychodynamic psychotherapy, we try to explore these hidden thoughts and feelings in order to gain the insight necessary to break free of these old patterns of feeling and behaviour
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – CBT focuses on the links between thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in the present moment. It looks at how out-dated, inaccurate, or distorted thoughts can lead to emotional pain and suffering. As part of the work, we identify these thoughts and, together, work to update or correct them, which in turn eases emotional distress. Additionally, CBT looks at how we can use changes in behaviour to change our thoughts and feelings. Often, the use of behaviour experiments is an important part of this treatment – we can’t just think or way out of our problems, we must also change what we do. These behaviour changes consist of a series of small steps rather than pushing you out of your comfort zone all at once. Unlike EFT or psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT typically does not explore early life experiences. Rather, it is a solution-focused, here-and-now therapy.
Somatic Techniques – The body has its own intelligence, but all too often we forget this when approaching therapy. For PTSD, dissociative disorders, and other trauma-related issues in particular, the body is an integral part of the healing process. Somatic techniques combine elements of the above therapies with body-based intervention, like working with the breath, body awareness, or basic movement. Somatic interventions are often simple but powerful techniques that work to manage and calm emotional and physical distress.
EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapy that, at first, sounds unusual but is backed by decades of research. It targets distressing thoughts, images, and memories and makes use of specific eye movements to dampen the power of these emotionally charged recollections. Though EMDR is helpful with other issues, the processing and weakening of traumatic memories is one of its prime applications. As such, it is commonly used in the treatment of trauma and is considered a gold-standard treatment for PTSD. For more information on this therapeutic modality, please visit http://www.emdria.org.
I also include elements of mindfulness and self-compassion practices in all my work.
In addition to therapy services, I also offer psychological assessment services. Psychological assessments are completed with the goal of providing diagnoses of psychological disorders and treatment recommendations. Assessments typically require multiple sessions in order to get an in-depth understanding of your symptoms and issues. You may also be required to fill out some questionnaires exploring specific symptoms or difficulties. As part of the assessment, you will receive a written report of findings. Assessments are often done when people need diagnoses in order to access services (i.e., accommodation at school or work, to qualify for disability programming). Assessments can also be helpful if you’ve engaged in treatment multiple times in the past with little success; by clarifying exactly what issues you are dealing with, it can allow treatment to target them more accurately and effectively.