Methods of Treatment

Assessment of Personal History

Childhood history, parental relationships, sibling issues, early defining experiences, personality of parents, and extended family issues, religious history issues, exploration of genealogical issues and history in light of patient’s current clinical material

Assessment of Current Psychological Situation

Current symptoms, current adjustment concerns, current significant relationships, current cognitive style, current perceptual world, current social functioning.

Explorative Therapy

Through professional questioning, the patient can explore possible blocks to the achievement of wellness.

Insight Oriented therapy

Actual trouble areas and their causes, the cognitive belief system, and behavioral reinforcers of such adjustment difficulties. Assessment and acknowledgement of actual reality vs. the person’s perception of the realities. The insight into the actual matrix of issues which are the causes of current problems including how the person’s past and past relationships may affect the current trouble areas. Irrational and/or self-defeating ideas are explored to shed light upon how the person can limit/control/discontinue such patterns.

Supportive Therapy

Techniques to encourage, enable the person to cope with and/or endure a current or past impediment, or insult to healthy functioning. This type of therapy uses the systematic discovery of the person’s hidden or unaccessed coping skills, potentials, and strengths. Also, this therapy activates the person’s strengths in employing extra resources to empower the person.

Cognitive Therapy

The use of thoughts and thought patterns as ways to correct faulty thinking which may lead to psychological problems. This modality is the meticulous assessment of irrational thoughts which lead to debilitative feelings and behaviors. Re-cognizing such thoughts and their causes, leads to change in feelings and behaviors and can relieve clinical symptoms.

Dream Work

This method employs the use of the person’s dreams and his/her unconscious material in bringing to light issues, concerns, and explanations heretofore unavailable to the person. Dreams can be a way for the patient to discover deeper psychic material invaluable to inner work. Dreams, in their archetypal issues, as well as symbolic representations have been shown to have great meaning. Dream work is for the relatively healthy person whose ego structure is well in place, and whose desire is to find deeper wholeness and well being.

Parenting Therapy

For parents who have struggles in controlling or managing their children. This includes special needs children, chronically ill children, children of blended families, adopted children, foster children, children with psychological behavioral disorders such as autism, oppositional, defiant, conduct disordered children. This includes issues with parenting children of Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hyperactivity. This can be done with couples, or in group parent therapy.

InVivo Therapy

In this procedure the person is taken on an outing which is designed to voice over or cancel out previously negative associations to the person, place, thing or activity.

Reciprocal Inhibition

This is a technique employed by Dr. Howell which, through guided imagery and mind control, the person is taught to have greater feelings of a positive nature regarding certain things which previously evoked fear or danger. The person is led through a body relaxation method which is called Jacobsonian Relaxation. Once the body is relaxed, the positive emotive images are given to the person to think about and to picture. Then the negative images are slowly introduced. These negative associations are “flooded” away by the many positive images already in place in the person’s mind. This procedure desensitizes the person to the aversive stimuli which once had prevented him/her from full psychological health and functioning.

Audio Therapy

When the patient is given personalized tapes made with their own name and circumstances while they are in the office with Dr. Howell. The patient then trains at home in reducing their symptoms, as they listen over and over to the messages created especially for them. The tapes are used for penetrating the subconscious with messages of health, wholeness, lack of fear, positivism, spiritual strength etc. These are most helpful with persons fighting a particular fear or persons in need of extra strength. For example, people with driving phobias or fear of riding in the rain over bridges make good use of such audio tapes. Also, persons who are facing a physical or mental challenge such as surgery or divorce have found these to be most effective.

Individualized Audio Tapes for: Phobias, Self-esteem issues, Anxiety Reduction, Depression Reduction, Health Issues, Stress Reduction, Spiritual Issues, Weight Loss, Trauma Resolution, Grief Resolution, Behavior Modification, Sleep Disorders, Panic Attacks, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders

Play Therapy

Used with children who are eleven years and below. It is done in a special room with toys for all ages. In this room, the child chooses toys he/she is interested in, then they make up their own play, including the themes, stories, characters, and the events which happen, etc. This is used in diagnostic work as well as therapy and has been shown to be very helpful to the child in getting his thoughts, concerns, fears, blocks, etc., over to the therapist. In the stories he tells and the toys he chooses, the child usually reveals the very themes and issues, concerns and dynamic which are currently going on in the child’s life. This way, through symbolic communication in simple play, the children not only expresses their emotional issues (which they are not yet able to consciously articulate), but are able to be addressed symbolically by Dr. Howell in the same play.

Group Therapy

Dr. Howell conducts several types of groups. Each is designed to maximize the person’s psychological health. The strength of group work is its supportive and community aspects. Here persons learn to express their concerns, gain helpful feedback and devise plans as to how to reach answers.

Family Therapy

Persons are given the benefit in this type of therapy of having their family assist them in their recovery. Dr. Howell assists each member to discuss their concerns and their difficulties. What emerges is an entire system of issues which would have remained unchanged had not the family had a therapeutic forum to engage in helpful, rather than unhelpful dialogue. The family is assisted in making an appropriate therapeutic plan to relieve the stress, and the symptoms of those involved.

Blended Families Therapy

When two families are united through divorce and subsequent remarriage, adjustment difficulties are normal. However, Family Therapy for the “new siblings” and their parents is most helpful in maximizing a full healthy transition. Such issues as loyalty, sibling rivalry, authority of step parents, attachment, grief over the lost family unit, and love are major focuses of this therapy.

Couples Therapy / Spouse Assisted Therapy

This method assesses the current psychological functioning of each partner, and the level of effectiveness of the relationship itself. Once problems are defined, a specific treatment plan is devised which reaches the targeted areas. Through discussion, catharses, need expression, healthy communication patterns, forgiveness and the sharing of dreams, couples can find new life and meaning for their relationship.

Biblio Therapy

Dr. Howell has select stories he has personally written which instruct, inspire, and teach how to surmount various life challenges. These stories are in his forthcoming book.