Therapy Modalities

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic approach that blends acceptance and mindfulness techniques with commitment and behaviour-change strategies. It focuses on helping people embrace their thoughts, feelings, and emotions rather than suppressing, avoiding, or controlling them. Rather than focusing on what is outside of your control, you’ll instead focus on what you can personally control. ACT is beneficial for a variety of difficulties, including anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, disordered eating, and OCD. It’s also a fundamental tool to improve overall well-being. At J. Gordon Psychology Group, we often integrate ACT components into therapy sessions, even when other therapeutic approaches are primarily used.

In child and teen therapy:
This form of therapy teaches children to accept their feelings and thoughts without judgement and to take action based on their values rather than their fears. ACT helps children develop psychological flexibility and can be particularly useful for children who are struggling with anxiety or depression. The focus is less on reducing symptoms and more on promoting positive behaviours and experiences.

Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy is a unique, imagery-based therapy that works to shift the way distressing memories and events are stored in the brain so that they no longer evoke strong reactions. In session, the therapist guides the client to replace the negative images in their mind with positive images of their choosing. This process occurs with bilateral eye movements. One benefit to A.R.T is that clients do not need to verbally discuss the details of their trauma. A.R.T has been shown to effectively treat many difficulties, including PTSD, depression, grief, anxiety, and phobias. Clients often feel better after only a few sessions. Because A.R.T is creative and therapist-guided, it also works well with children. At J. Gordon Psychology Group, we have multiple seasoned Psychologists who are trained in A.R.T. and available to support.

Art Therapy

With art therapy, creative expression is used to improve a person’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Different types of materials and techniques are used to help an individual express themselves. This may include painting, drawing, sculpting, or putting together collages. As an individual expresses themselves creatively, they are able to work through personal challenges, express their emotions, and gain self-awareness.

Art therapy is commonly used with children but may be used with adolescents and adults as well. It is particularly helpful if someone has difficulties finding words to express their feelings. It allows a free flow of unconscious thoughts which are then expressed creatively. Thus, it’s an effective technique to help externalize feelings and thoughts that are difficult to communicate. Art therapy can help with processing emotions, improving self-esteem, reducing stress, decreasing anxiety, and developing coping skills. It can also help with connection and communication with others.

In child and teen therapy:
Art therapy uses creative methods to help children and teens express their thoughts and feelings when they are difficult to express in words. This could involve drawing, painting, sculpture, or other forms of artistic expression. The child’s artwork can be a gateway to the discussion, allowing them to express their feelings indirectly and helping the therapist understand their inner experiences.

Circle of Security

Circle of Security (COS) is an evidence-based program for parents and caregivers to learn more about the attachment and emotional needs of children. Rather than focusing on behaviours, COS focuses on children’s underlying emotional needs and how these needs are expressed, as well as how parents feel, think, and interact with their children from an attachment perspective. This program also gives space for caregivers to reflect on their own (past and present) experiences, which can impact parenting, and provides a roadmap to create a new parenting template moving forward. COS is one of the most effective ways to address and support the parent-child relationship and can be used in individual and group therapy formats.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that is focused on helping individuals identify and manage the underlying causes of their emotional struggles. CBT is a highly effective treatment method used to reduce symptoms associated with a range of concerns, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, panic attacks, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behaviours. By examining the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, CBT can help individuals gain insight into how their thoughts create their feelings and behaviours, thereby empowering them to make lasting changes in their lives.

In child and teen therapy, 
CBT helps them understand the link between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It encourages them to identify and challenge negative thought patterns and replace them with healthier, more positive ones. CBT can be especially effective in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and ADHD in children and teens. For younger children, we often use cognitive-behavioural play therapy.

Collaborative Problem Solving

This strategy is based on the notion that challenging behaviour in children is frequently the result of lagging skills rather than “willful disobedience”. Using this approach, we collaborate with parents and their child to identify the skills that the child is lagging in and then come up with collaborative solutions to address day-to-day concerns. This approach can help children and teens improve their problem-solving abilities as well as their relationships with others. It can also be a powerful approach to decrease parent-child conflicts at home.

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) is a type of psychotherapy where the focus is on developing self-compassion and positive emotions. CFT brings together numerous techniques, including mindfulness, behavioural and cognitive therapy. The purpose is to reduce self-criticism and negative emotions and increase feelings of warmth, love, and kindness towards yourself and others. CFT can be used for various referral concerns and is often integrated with other therapeutic approaches.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be very effective in helping individuals who struggle with emotional regulation difficulties such as anxiety, emotional distress, depression, self-harm, difficulties with self-worth, and disordered eating. Core components of DBT include teaching mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. These skills help individuals manage their emotions and develop healthier relationships with themselves and others. DBT can be an incredibly powerful tool for those who are looking to gain control over their mental health and live a more fulfilling life.

In child and teen therapy, DBT focuses on helping manage emotions and cope with stress. DBT teaches skills in four areas: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. It’s often used for adolescents who have difficulties with emotion regulation or are exhibiting self-harming behaviours.

Direct Teaching

This approach involves the therapist explicitly teaching the child new skills or strategies to cope with their difficulties. This can include social skills, problem-solving strategies, emotional regulation skills, or coping mechanisms for managing stress and anxiety. The therapist then helps the child practice these skills and integrate them into their daily life.

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a powerful, evidence-based approach to counselling, focused on helping individuals recognize and process their emotions. By exploring underlying patterns of emotion, clients gain insight into their behaviour and the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Emotion-focused therapy can also be used to help empower parents and caregivers and support them in becoming an “emotion coach” for their child. EFT is especially beneficial for those struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and relationship concerns. Through this therapy, clients can learn to express and manage their emotions in healthier ways, resulting in improved overall well-being.

In child and teen therapy, this approach is meant to help children and teens and their parents better understand and manage their emotions. It encourages children to express their emotions in a safe and supportive setting, and it teaches them how to identify and respond to their emotional needs in a healthier manner. It can be especially beneficial for children who have experienced trauma or emotional struggles.

Exposure Response & Prevention Therapy

Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) therapy is a type of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). It is often used to help individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related concerns. With ERP therapy, you are exposed to situations or objects that cause a trigger and work towards reducing the resulting compulsive or ritualistic behaviours. Similar to exposure therapy, you work with a therapist to identify a hierarchy of situations you can be exposed to over time. You start with the least anxiety-provoking situation and work towards exposure to the highest anxiety-provoking situation. When you are exposed to these experiences, you aim to reduce compulsive and ritualistic behaviours and gradually learn to tolerate the discomfort associated with exposure to the feared stimuli. This exposure is paired with a variety of relaxation and coping strategies.

In child and teen therapy:
ERP is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that’s often used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in children and teens. The therapy involves gradually exposing the child or teen to the thoughts, images, objects, and situations that make them anxious and preventing the accompanying compulsive behaviour, while engaging in more adaptive coping strategies. Over time, this can help children manage their anxiety and reduce obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) intended to help overcome fears, phobias, and anxieties. To do this, you are gradually exposed to the feared object or situation while engaging in relaxation strategies. Together with the therapist, you will determine a gradual hierarchy of the feared situations or objects that you work through over time. It is commonly used for anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD. However, it may be used in other situations. Exposure therapy can help reduce the intensity of anxiety, improve emotional regulation, and ultimately lead to greater self-esteem.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of therapy intended to help people who have had traumatic or unsettling experiences in their life. During EMDR, a therapist will take you through guided eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation (e.g., tapping) while you recall the traumatic event or negative thoughts you are seeking support for. Recalling the events and emotions this way can help reduce the distress associated with them. It is used for a variety of concerns, including single-incident and complex trauma, anxiety, and depression. The goals of EMDR include reducing the intensity of symptoms, improving emotional regulation and coping, and increasing self-esteem.

In child and teen therapy:
EMDR therapy can be used to help children process upsetting events and memories (single-incident and complex trauma, nightmares, or any events that they are distressed about). In EMDR, children learn coping and relaxation skills and then recall targeted events/ memories while a therapist guides them through a series of left-right movements (e.g., hand tapping or marching). This helps their brain reprocess the memories and reduce the distress associated with them. Child-friendly techniques, like play, storytelling, sand-tray and drawing, are incorporated to make the process more comfortable and engaging for children.

Gottman Method

At J. Gordon Psychology Group, we have seasoned Psychologists trained in the Gottman Method. This method is used in couples therapy and focuses on building trust, enhancing intimacy, and developing better communication. In session, partners will work together to identify and address patterns of negative communication and behaviours contributing to challenges in their relationship. The specific experience will vary depending on the therapist and your needs; however, it may include role-playing and guided conversations. By going through these scenarios, you can start to improve your communication and conflict resolution skills. The Gottman Method is used for a variety of relationship challenges, including conflict in areas of intimacy, parenting and family dynamics, and communication difficulties.


Clinical hypnosis (hypnotherapy) works by inducing a state of focused attention and relaxation. Once settled, the therapist helps explore thoughts, feelings, and memories that are buried in the subconscious mind. This may involve visualizing living in an ideal state. For example, living without pain, being in a calm situation, or working through a future scenario that is usually symptom-inducing Clinical hypnosis is a powerful technique for various concerns, including stress, anxiety, and depression.

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

IFS is an evidence-based and integrative approach that focuses on the relationships between parts of ourself and our core Self, which possess many positive qualities such as confidence, creativity, calmness, compassion, acceptance, wisdom, courage, and connectedness. The goal of IFS therapy is to create a cooperative and trusting relationship between the Self and other parts (e.g., parts that have been wounded or feel stuck) in order to achieve healing and well-being. IFS has been shown to be effective for many emotional struggles such as anxiety, panic, phobias, depression, trauma, grief, resilience and coping, pain, and relationship difficulties.

Mindfulness-Based Therapy

Mindfulness-based therapy is a therapeutic approach that integrates mindfulness and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). It aims to help individuals cultivate awareness and acceptance of their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. The goal of mindfulness-based therapy is to reduce the distress caused by thoughts, emotions, and experiences to improve overall well-being. The exact approach will depend on your needs and your therapist. However, you will be encouraged to engage in meditation and/or mindfulness practices. This may include breathing exercises, mindful movement, and body scans. As part of mindfulness-based therapy, you may be asked to work towards identifying and challenging negative thought patterns so you can develop positive coping skills. This modality is used for a variety of concerns, including anxiety, stress, and depression. By creating an increased sense of connection to yourself and others, you can experience a greater sense of purpose in life.

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is a supportive therapy approach that views problems as separate from the person and assumes that people have the skills, competencies, beliefs and abilities that will help them decrease the influence of challenges in their lives. With narrative therapy, you will focus on the stories you create about yourself, your experiences, and others. To create change, you will work towards rewriting these stories to be more empowering and positive. This can ultimately impact your overall quality of life and the strength of the relationships you have with others. With a therapist, you will explore your life experiences to uncover how they have shaped both your beliefs and identity. Narrative therapy is often used for anxiety, depression, and trauma, but it may also be used for a variety of other referring concerns. As a result of narrative therapy, you may feel a greater sense of control over your life and have a new perspective on past experiences.

Play Therapy

Play therapy is most often used with children and involves using play as a way for children to communicate and express themselves. Kids naturally use play to explore their environment and emotions. Thus, it is a great way to help children express their feelings and work through stressful experiences and emotional and behavioural struggles. Play therapy has been shown to support coping in children with anxiety, depression, trauma, and behavioural difficulties and to help support their adjustment in times of stress, change, and life transitions. Play therapy can range from child-led to directive (directly teaching a child skills in needed areas). At J. Gordon Psychology Group, we integrate both child-led and direct/facilitated play therapy activities and offer both individual child sessions and parent-child dyad sessions, pending the referral concern and needs.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) is a collaborative approach to therapy that focuses on identifying and achieving goals in the present while keeping the future in mind. SFBT is widely used to help people with a range of psychological and emotional struggles such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship issues, and more. It is based on the belief that clients are experts in their own lives and have the capacity to resolve their own issues. By focusing on what’s working and what can be changed, SFBT offers a positive outlook and a sense of empowerment that can help clients achieve their desired outcomes quickly and efficiently.

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing is a therapy approach that focuses on the mind-body connection and the body’s natural ability to heal. It’s all about tuning into our physical responses, like tension or sensations, that are often linked with difficult life experiences. This may include breathing techniques or other types of movement. It’s a gentle, body-focused approach that can be very effective in supporting recovery from traumatic events and helping treat anxiety, depression, grief, and when individuals feel disconnected from their bodies. Somatic experiencing can lead to a reduction in tension and physical discomfort, an improved ability to handle stress, and an overall more balanced emotional state.

Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions (SPACE)

SPACE is an evidence-based training for parents who are struggling to effectively support the growth and progress of their anxious child or teen. It is designed to provide parents with the skills and tools to help them feel less stuck in their child’s anxious patterns and to help facilitate their child’s courage and resiliency in the face of emotional triggers. SPACE helps to support parents who have children or teens with generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, school refusal, social anxiety, avoidant/restrictive eating, phobias, selective mutism, panic disorder, or OCD. Through SPACE, parents feel more confident to help shift the worry-avoidance cycle in their child.


Theraplay is a parent-child dyad play therapy approach that aims to support a secure and healthy parent(caregiver)-child attachment. Attachment is the way children come to understand, trust, and thrive in their world. An extensive amount of research has shown that a secure attachment between a child and the important adults in their life is foundational for positive child developmental outcomes, resilience, and well-being. In therapy sessions, a variety of playful games are used to provide structure, challenge, and nurturing for the child. This playful, connected engagement helps caregivers regulate the child’s nervous system and communicate love and safety, which helps the child feel seen, soothed, and secure.


TraumaPlay™ is an attachment-based, sequential play therapy approach that supports children who have experienced significant stress related to traumatic incidents, interpersonal trauma, and attachment disturbances. TraumaPlay™ integrates several evidence-based treatments into developmentally sensitive play-based modules. It is considered

a best-practice framework for trauma work with families.

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J. Gordon Psychology Group

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