• Jenna Boles

Get Off the Couch: Therapy styles and their real life applications


If you’ve never talked to a therapist before, your idea of what it might be like is probably based on what you’ve seen in the media and movies. This typically includes a middle-aged white person wearing glasses who nods occasionally while the main character reclines on a couch and whines about laughable life situations. While this scenario might make for a good sitcom, it’s not how real therapy works.


What movie scenes don’t usually show are the varieties of therapy types and the challenge of finding just the right therapist and style for a person’s specific needs.


At Trailhead, we take a functional approach, meaning we are here to guide you by using strategies that can actually work in your day to day life.



Our therapists care about your daily struggles, and we use that information to decide who to match you with and what type of therapy would best suit your situation. We specialize in four main therapy styles and intentionally hire compassionate staff with experience in these counseling strategies.


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First up, one of our most fundamental and life changing/altering approaches is called Internal Family Systems (IFS). It takes the view that each person contains many parts. These parts are like family members that can be in constant conflict, or can work together to create a whole, healthy person. This kind of therapy allows us to help you identify areas of your life you might have locked away but that are resurfacing and causing trauma, relationship problems, and destructive behaviors. IFS addresses any internal conflicts and symptoms you may experience by getting to know those aspects of yourself and bringing internal balance/harmony.


Next, Acceptance and Integration Training (AAIT) is a way for our therapists to help men deal with compulsive behaviors and relational problems by addressing that opposing desires can co-exist and choice is available even when life feels hopeless or clients feel helpless. It is effective for people who have admitted they are struggling and reached out for help but are still finding it hard to achieve lasting relief and results.


Additionally, we find that many of our clients respond to Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) because of its emphasis on visualization and our ability as humans to reprogram how traumatic memories are stored in our brains. It can help clients who struggle with PTSD, addiction, grief and depression achieve lasting relief.


Finally, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is another effective way our clinicians help address trauma. This style is particularly useful because it allows victims of trauma or those who suffer from anxiety to identify their triggering thoughts while teaching their brains to process and heal through a series of non-intrusive, bilateral stimulation..


We find that these four therapy styles help us create an authentic and empathetic environment that promotes active healing for men. And while we do have comfy couches for you while you’re here, we’re into less sitting than movie therapists. We are more like trail guides (with plenty of maps, tools, and snacks) to help you move toward healing.


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