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Balance & Being Counseling

Mary-lynn Ballew - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist



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Psychotherapy is one aspect to a holistic approach to well-being, incorporating physical health and somatic experience as well as social-emotional processes. Academic training in marriage and family therapy focuses on how personal circumstances, social systems and interactions work to maintain problems, and looks at ways that old patterns can be disrupted and replaced with more adaptive strategies. Each therapist applies theories and models of therapy that have been learned in relation to their personal experiences. My work is also inspired by new findings in research. The following therapeutic orientations form the basis of my work.


-Attachment Theory

Originally introduced by Bowlby, and later infused into couples and individual therapy by Johnson and Greenberg, this theory is based on an understanding that humans have a need for secure attachment relationships throughout their lifetime. When a secure and nurturing relationship is not available at a developmentally appropriate time, or when an attachment is ruptured or harmed, psychological and physical health problems can arise. New research shows that people can develop secure attachments and heal old wounds allowing for more openness, contentment, and improved relationships.


-Narrative Therapy

White and Epston introduced this model of therapy based on the premise that we tell ourselves stories to describe and make meaning in our lives. There are many influencers to these stories and sometimes people develop problems when their personal narrative doesn’t fit with their lived experience. Healing involves exploring cultural messages, examining assumptions and separating the self from the problem, then creating a new alternative narrative.


-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a common and much researched therapeutic intervention that has developed out of behaviorism and cognitive psychology. CBT is used to challenge unhelpful thoughts and behaviors, enhance emotional regulation and implement healthy coping strategies. Goal setting, homework, and interventions are used to change problematic patterns.


-Brief Solution Focused Therapy – De Shazer and Berg developed this model of therapy that is focused on solutions and on the future, as opposed to what has gone wrong in the client’s past. This approach assumes that clients have strengths and knowledge of how their life can be better. It is the therapist’s role to help clients move forward and utilize their own strengths through goal setting and dialogue.   


-Gottman Method Therapy – This was developed by John and Julie Gottman at the Gottman Institute in Seattle, WA. They have conducted extensive research and used these findings to isolate what causes relationship distress and what makes for a successful union. The therapy aims to improve the way conflict is handled, deepen intimacy, and create shared meaning. They have also developed a model that supports new parents, as the birth of a child brings a great deal of stress to many parents.

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