December 24, 2012

Terms of Reference

Body Distortion:

The inability to accurately judge the size of one’s body.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an empirically based short-term treatment approach that is both structured and collaborative. It is based on a scientific understanding of the relationship between thoughts, emotions and behaviours. This approach focuses on identifying and changing unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaving, with the aim of improving our emotional experience. The aim of CBT is to understand how we interpret and process situations in which we experience distress, and to identify behaviours we may adopt that are unhelpful. Becoming aware of our thinking as well as the impact our thinking has on our mood and behaviour can lead to important behavioural changes. CBT is both time limited and structured. Studies show that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been effective in treating mood disorders, depression, phobias as well as anxiety disorders.

Disordered Eating:

“Disordered eating” covers a broad spectrum of eating behavior including eating disorders, but does not meet the diagnostic criteria of an eating disorder. When food and eating create psychological pain and suffering, even though a full-blown eating disorder is not present, the problem is disordered eating.

Eating Disorders:

Eating disorders are complex, psychological illnesses, defined quite specifically by diagnostic criteria, where people try to control conflict and stress in their lives by controlling food. The food, weight, and body image issues are identifiable symptoms of deep-rooted, often difficult-to-identify problems. People with eating disorders become preoccupied, even obsessed, with food and weight. Eating disorders can lead to extreme behavior including self-starvation, bingeing, purging, and compulsive exercise.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a powerful new tool for helping clients let go of disturbing memories, fears and anxieties. EMDR was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro after observing that the eye movements can lower the upset when a client is tuned into disturbing memories. From this initial observation, Dr. Shapiro developed the EMDR procedure. There are several controlled studies which demonstrate the effectiveness of EMDR in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Therapists have also had success using EMDR in the treatment of a variety of issues including: PTSD, addictions, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, phobias, performance anxieties, and grief and loss. After a successful EMDR session, the client may even have difficulty recalling their formerly upsetting traumatic experience. Often clients report that when they started the EMDR procedure, the trauma memory was like a video with sounds and sensations. After the session, the trauma memory is more like a still, black and white photograph. This profound change can often occur rapidly and the effects are long-lasting.

Family Of Origin Therapy:

The techniques of “family of origin therapy” are aimed at helping people to create better family relationships. Topics such as dealing with differences, closeness, being true to yourself and birth order are covered.

Imago Therapy:

Harville Hendrix, the originator and author of Imago Therapy and the book Getting the Love You Want, believes that the new role for committed relationships/marriage in our society is for partners to help each other complete the unfinished business of childhood.   If we use our love to guide us, then the relationship transforms into a new, rich and complete love.

Imago helps couples learn more about their partner’s emotional history, and what the underlying reasons are for things which show up in their disagreements.  They begin to understand why their partner is really upset, and why what they are saying really makes sense in the context of their past.  This might sound like a difficult conversation to have, but Imago makes it much easier by teaching couples a specific way to dialogue about emotional issues like this.  The Imago dialogue shifts the conversation away from blame, shame and criticism, into mutual support and understanding.

Inner Child:

The “inner child” is the original, often forgotten, authentic part of us which experiences life in a spontaneous, innocent manner. The Inner Child is a reflection of our emotional makeup. For the most part, our issues go back to childhood and what impacted on our emotional and physical bodies at that time. Through inner child healing one comes to understand their emotional child, their sabotaging and self-esteem issues, and eventually empowers themselves into freedom of body, mind and soul.


Helps to make conflict more constructive and productive. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party assists disputing parties in coming up with their own solutions to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Mediation has been found to be effective in the family, community, and workplace.

Sex Therapy:

Sex Therapy involves a range of therapeutic processes and exercises which can be used to initiate, to restore and to enrich both the individual’s sexuality and/or the sexual components of an intimate relationship. Sex therapy is based on the guiding belief that sexuality can be a healthy, positive and rewarding part of life and that emotional and physical intimacy are desirable goals. Sex therapy takes place in a supportive atmosphere in which couples or individuals can talk about their sexual, emotional and relationship issues with a specially trained professional who is knowledgeable and comfortable with human sexuality.

Transaction Analysis:

Transactional Analysis offers a framework for understanding personality, human development, communications and personal life patterns. TA provides ways to describe and explain both internal experience and interpersonal behaviour in an innovative and accessible manner, with an emphasis on the interactional aspects of communication. Counsellors who utilize transactional analysis work directly on “here and now” problem solving with their clients, focusing on creating productive problem solving behaviors. By using transactional analysis, counselor’s educate and establish an equal working relationship with their clients. This working relationship provides clients with tools they can utilize in their day-to-day functions.

Virginia Satir’s methods:

These methods focus on bringing about change at the level of being, as well as changes in doing, feeling and perceiving. The process taps the universal yearnings of individuals within their personal, family and social system and helps them work towards a sense of responsible wholeness. Based on the conviction that people are capable of continued growth, change and new understanding, the goal is to improve relationships and communication. Therapy is an intense experience with the inner Self. The therapist helps and encourages people not only to accept and deal with the pain and problems, but also to accept and live an inner joy and peace of mind.