Treatment Modalities

Treatment modalities-(Evidenced Based) and Services


Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the most widely used evidence-based practice for improving mental health. Guided by empirical research, CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes), behaviors, and emotional regulation. Related treatments include Behavior Therapy, Reality Based/Choice Theory, Motivational interviewing. CBT has been used since the 1950s and 60s.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) This approach works towards helping people increase their emotional and cognitive regulation by learning about the triggers that lead to reactive states and helping to assess which coping skills to apply in the sequence of events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help avoid undesired reactions. DBT is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that was developed in late 1980s by Marsha M. Linehan.  DBT combines standard cognitive behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness.

Family Systems Therapy:   Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to reduce distress and conflict by improving the systems of interactions between family members. While family therapists often seek to have all family members (affected by the problem) in the room, that is not always possible or necessary. What distinguishes family therapy from individual counseling is its perspective or framework, not how many people are present at the therapy session. This type of counseling views problems as patterns or systems that need adjusting, as opposed to viewing problems as residing in the person, which is why family therapy is often referred to as a “strengths based treatment.” Related treatments include solution focus, narrative therapy.  These concepts originate from the 1940s onward growing into many theories/schools of thought.

Existential psychotherapy is a philosophical method of therapy that operates on the belief that inner conflict within a person is due to that individual's confrontation with the givens of existence. These givens, as noted by Irvin D. Yalom, are: the inevitability of death, freedom and its attendant responsibility, existential isolation, and finally meaninglessness. These givens are seen as predictable tensions and paradoxes of the four dimensions of human existence, the physical, social, personal and spiritual realms. Another view of existential psychotherapy – that life has meaning under all circumstances. Viktor Frankl's logotherapy includes as one of its basic tenets that life has meaning under all circumstances – even under suffering. Meaninglessness then is meaning not yet discovered.

Trauma Focused/ informed therapy:  These cluster of treatments center around assisting individuals in managing or relieving them of symptoms related to trauma.

Trauma Focused-CBT is a treatment model that incorporates various trauma-sensitive intervention components that combines trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive behavioral therapy strategies It can also be used as part of a larger treatment plan for children with other difficulties. TF-CBT includes individual sessions for both the child and the parents, as well as parent-child joint sessions. Major treatment components are denoted by the “PRACTICE” acronym. Psychoeducation and Parenting skills, Relaxation, Affective Expression and Regulation, Cognitive Coping, Trauma Narrative Development and Processing, In Vivo Gradual Exposure, Conjoint Parent-Child sessions, Enhancing Safety and Future Development.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) integrates elements of multiple psychotherapies in structured protocols that are designed to maximize treatment effects.  EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach. During the 8 phases of treatment the client attends to past and present experiences while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Then the client is instructed to let new material become the focus of the next set of dual attention and is repeated several times during the session. Multiple research studies have demonstrated its effectiveness.

Play therapy is generally employed with children aged 3 through 11 and provides a way for them to express their experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process. As children’s experiences and knowledge are often communicated through play, it becomes an important vehicle for them to know and accept themselves and others. This approach is common to young children. It can generally be categorized as directive and non-directive play therapy. Meta-analysis in 2013 demonstrated effectiveness. It originates from  the 1920 onward.

Psychological  and educational assessments are performed by licensed psychologist  (LP) and licensed psychological associates ( LPA) these services and treatments go back to the to the go back to the 1890s.  The field advanced rapidly in the 1940-1950s particularly with the need of governments to quickly assess and assign individuals to various levels of difficulty related to war time task.  The field continued to grow and mature with the need for educational and forensic assessments in the 1980s and beyond. Generally, instruments used to measure and assess are peer reviewed and have long develop histories of involving thousands of (N) uses.

Psychiatric assessments and services are preformed by Medical Doctors (MD) that have additional years of training, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP),  Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C). They take into consideration underlying medical health conditions that create symptoms or exacerbate symptoms and look at medical treatments that are beneficial.





Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal of AAT is to improve a patient's social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. Advocates state that animals can be useful for educational and motivational effectiveness for participants. A therapist who brings along a pet may be viewed as being less threatening, increasing the rapport between patient and therapist. Animals used in therapy include domesticated pets, farm animals and marine mammals (such as dolphins). [not in use]

7 Challenges Program is designed for adolescents with drug and other behavioral problems to motivate a decision and commitment to change-and to support success in implementing the desired changes. The challenges provide a framework for helping youth think through their own decisions about their lives and their use of alcohol and other drugs.


Triple P-Positive Parenting Program is a parenting and family support system designed to prevent – as well as treat – behavioral and emotional problems in children and teenagers. It aims to prevent problems in the family, school and community before they arise and to create family environments that encourage children to realize their potential. Triple P is delivered to parents of children up to 12 years, with Teen Triple P for parents of 12 to 16 year olds. There are also specialist programs – for parents of children with a disability (Stepping Stones), for parents going through separation or divorce (Family Transitions), for parents of children who are overweight (Lifestyle).

Celebrating 20 years of service, West Counseling 2002-2022