BETR (Balance board, EMDR, Talking, Reality therapy) takes 3 well-researched methods of counselling and adds physical balance work. The combination helps clients access change from body, brain and behaviour, thoughts, and emotions in combinations that work best for them, while guided by a supportive, caring therapist.
Balance Board work helps us regulate our minds, emotions, and physiology (bodies). Client and therapist each stand on their own small platform attached to low rockers (Belgau Balance Board). By activating the vestibular, or balance, system new brain pathways are available for learning.
Mini-meditation while balanced, bilateral stimulation, eye-tracking, rhythm, reciprocity, and focus, are among the options to increase the effectiveness and lead to better self-regulation of thoughts and behaviours.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Retraining) is an effective, evidence-based approach used extensively in trauma work. Trauma is, now, understood to include not only the single event, overwhelming traumas, like a car accident or the effects of abuse, but also as a response to chronically overwhelming situations, like ongoing disruptions in healthy parenting. For many adults experiencing difficulty with addiction, anxiety, and less-than-optimal methods of trying to meet their Basic Needs (see Reality Therapy, below), can be traced to events or beliefs arising from early trauma.
Talk Therapy encompasses a range of methodologies. The ones from which I choose include Person-Centred Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Feminist Psychology, Emotionally Focussed Couples’ Therapy, and Adlerian Therapy, but mostly William Glasser’s, Reality Therapy. All these approaches reject labelling people using diagnostic criteria and either focus on the individual and free will, or on context, like societal norms and oppression. The underlying worldview of the therapist and therapy should be congruent so you, the client, can decide whether this is sufficiently compatible with your own worldview. For example, I believe we are in charge of our own lives and behaviour, even when the world puts limitations on us or barriers in our way. I see this as hopeful, allowing us to believe that what we do matters and has the chance of making our lives better. Maybe you do, too?
Reality Therapy helps us focus on getting our 5 Basic Needs met in healthy ways, rather than ways that hurt us, or others, or that create more problems. According to Choice Theory, upon which Reality Therapy is based, although our past struggles (and successes!) influence our current and future
- behaviour, and
we are all striving to meet our needs for love and belonging, freedom and choice, positive power/competence, and fun, in the best ways we know how. We do this through our total behaviour (thoughts, feelings, actions, and physiology). You can learn more about Reality Therapy, especially for Teens or Couples by watching short 3 to 5 minute videos I created as part of my Master’s of Arts (Counselling Psychology) Capstone project (they earned the only 100% in the class – I hope you find them helpful!)
YOU ARE THE EXPERT ON YOU
Accepting the challenge to be gentle with ourselves, and look at how we might better meet our primary needs, can be frightening, confusing, and even exciting. A therapeutic relationship with someone who supports you to:
- take appropriate risks,
- remember that it is okay to make mistakes,
- keep motivated, and
- be heard.
You are the expert on you. I am the expert on some theories and practices others. Together, we should be able to imagine some kind of better – and make progress toward it! 🙂