Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

      

―  Carl Jung

General Approach

The Basics

 

I use an integrative model of counselling that employs factors of successful treatment common to most counselling approaches, things like active listening and guided questioning for example. I also use specific tools from different approaches. For instance: parts work, bilateral stimulation, dream work, motivational interviewing, role-playing, self-regulation techniques, and journaling. This all depends on what we assess may be most helpful for you. I look at every problem from multiple points of view. In general, my practice draws heavily on contemporary psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches in order to provide practical interventions and long-lasting change, but I incorporate other modalities when called for. I’m comfortable getting very concrete and research-based, as well as far out, speculative, and spiritual. If you follow or are attracted to a particular psychospiritual tradition, I am happy to align our work with and build on it. Please visit the services page for a list of additional modalities.

 

Getting Technical

 

In my experience, and because the counsellor-client relationship is so important to the therapeutic process, approaches that specialize in the subtle dynamics—often unconscious, emotional communications—between client and counsellor have some of the most far-reaching applications and results, particularly for resolving long-term and underlying issues. Some examples of these approaches are Interpersonal Neurobiology, Attachment Based Therapy, Relational Psychoanalysis, and forms of Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapies like Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP).

 

On the other hand, third-wave cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) can provide immediate practical tools and help develop new cognitive skills and capacities. Third wave CBT refers to cognitive-behavioral techniques that focus on cognitive functions other than, but related to, thinking and feeling. For instance, how we relate to our thoughts rather than the thoughts themselves, and things like mindfulness, acceptance, psychological flexibility, self-awareness, and metacognition. If you’ve heard of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), or Mindfulness Based CBT, these can be classified as third wave CBTs.

 

There are also several approaches that could be characterized as bridging these two trends, such as Mentalization Based Therapy, Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy, and Cyclical Psychodynamics. As a clinician, I have found these approaches to be extremely helpful, but even these powerful approaches might miss out on something that is a more important piece for you. I particularly look for those things that might fall between the cracks, because those are the things that are most unique to you. The things that are most unique to you are the ones likely to be most helpful.

Ben Bjorgaard, MA, RCC

1744 Richmond Ave.

Victoria, BC 

Registered Clinical Counsellor # 17465

benbjorgaard@gmail.com