Christine Sells, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY14808 (Direct Line: (800)515-1091)
881 Dover Drive, Suite 381 Newport Beach, CA 92663
For 25+ Years Helping Clients Improve Daily Life!
Attachment-focused therapy, Clinical Hypnosis, EMDR Therapy & Consultation Services
Getting Relief from Symptoms
I utilize some or all of the below approaches to help my clients find symptom relief and a better quality to life.
The Primary Importance of a Positive and Solid Therapist-Client Relationship...
There is a large body of research evidence which points to the primacy of the relationship between therapist and client being the single most important predictor of a successful therapy experience. I am committed to relationship building with clients within the context of being a fellow human being who is also on the path of self-discovery and positive personal growth. I actively cultivate a non-judgmental atmosphere for clients to feel safe, protected and free to explore and uncover within themselves whatever is present and true for them in sessions. With this in mind, I welcome and encourage regular client feedback regarding the therapeutic relationship in order to best serve clients' needs and meet them with professionalism, compassion and an open mind as a fellow human.
What is EMDR Therapy?
When we have distressing things happen to us (bullying, death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, violence at home, etc.), they can overwhelm our brain's ability to effectively digest distressing experience(s). We can get locked into maladaptive ways of coping with ourselves and the people around us because of not being able to really process the distressing things that happen to us. Intense and prolonged emotional suffering may be the result of our brains being too overwhelmed to effectively and adaptively process what has happened.
EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation of the brain's hemispheres via eye movements, tones, and/or tactile stimulation while invoking the disturbing event during the therapy session which brings the disturbing memory to an equilibrium as the client's brain naturally finds a more beneficial perspective on the disturbing memory. Adaptive information that was previously blocked or inaccessible to the parts of the brain that housed the disturbing memory(ies) rapidly becomes interwoven with the disturbing memory. The distressing emotions, body sensations and maladaptive thoughts connected with the distress literally fall away from the memory of the disturbing event(s) as a result of EMDR therapy. People experience accelerated healing with this method that may take talk therapy months, and even years to achieve. EMDR therapy research has proven that referral issues may successfully be handled in a fraction of the time that it typically takes to achieve in traditional talk therapy.
Clients interested in utilizing EMDR therapy will need to be ready to access and to tolerate their disturbing material in thought, feeling and body sense. For this reason, it is very important to prepare sufficiently before beginning trauma confrontation via EMDR. Since each person has a unique inner system, it is necessary to assess how symptoms and problems have been developed and maintained prior to the onset of confronting problems and traumas. In cases where clients have a complex internal system due to prolonged histories of trauma, abuse and/or neglect, appropriate attention will be given to clients in order to cultivate an internal sense of safety, to build skills for emotional containment and stabilization and/or to build a body awareness of feeling states before confronting traumas directly within sessions. In any case, I am sensitive to each client's unique needs, and I work collaboratively within sessions to form an individually tailored treatment plan for resolution of problems and symptoms.
What is attachment-focused therapy?
The relationship with one's therapist is based on building trust and a sense of safety to express sensitive and/or difficult emotions. Based on the work of psychologist, John Bowlby, in the 1960's attachment-focused therapy centers on the process of the therapist-client relationship. This therapeutic approach looks at the connections between the client's early attachment experiences with their primary caregivers and the client's response to those caregiving experiences which affect the approach to one's general way of thinking, approach to distress, approach to getting needs met, along with the general approach to interpersonal relationships. Attachment-focused therapy aims to cultivate or rebuild the ability to have trusting, supportive relationships that serve as a form of resiliency against life stressors and symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
What is clinical hypnosis?
When in a personal state of absorption, there is a mind-body interaction of focused attention that enhances one's ability to bypass mental blocks that keep us from solving problems for ourselves. Clinical hypnosis works with the client's innate ability to utilize symbol and metaphor in verbal communication with the therapist. This approach may be useful when underlying beliefs and ways of being need to be dislodged before symptom relief and daily life problems may satisfactorily resolve. I utilize this approach with my clients for a wide range of symptoms and problems, from smoking cessation and other self-defeating behaviors to complex trauma resolution.