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Individual Therapy - Portia Dahl, M.A. - Creative Arts Therapist

Portia Dahl, M.A.

Approaches:

Areas of Speciality:

  • Addiction & Non-Addiction Personas
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety & Stress Management
  • Depression
  • Family Conflict Resolution
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Post-Treatment Planning
  • Self-Esteem
  • Shame & Guilt

Description of Approaches

Creative Art Therapy

As a Creative Art Therapist, I use a variety of modalities to explore any therapeutic issue.   Creative art therapy is beneficial as it affects clients on an emotional, psychological and intellectual level.  The goal is to achieve catharsis.  Catharsis is the process of bringing to the surface repressed emotions, complexes and feelings in an effort to identify insights for the purpose of creating positive and sustained changed.

If you are interested in participating in creative art therapy, I recommend that you bring the following with you to Heritage:

  • Family pictures from childhood to present
  • Mementos that represent who you are in different roles (e.g., parent, professional, son/daughter, spouse, friend, etc)
  • Pictures of you during the addiction cycle
  • Blank scrapbook
  • Any materials you would like to work with

I work with clients to develop a project that becomes in-depth; for example, a painting might be developed into a story, which in turn is used in a monologue.  What is important is that clients are active in the creative art process by providing input into the types of projects they want to work on.  Some themes that clients have worked on are:

  • Addiction & Non-Addiction Personas
  • Family of Origin Issues
  • Role as a parent
  • Shame & Guilt
  • Self-Esteem
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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

When working with clients to create their post-treatment plan, I use cognitive behavioural therapy as it is directive and challenges maladaptive and distorted thought processes for the purpose of creating healthy thoughts, feelings and behaviours.  Developing a healthy and achievable post-treatment plan is essential to recovery, so a lot of time and effort is devoted to this process.  Topics explored that assist clients in developing a viable post-treatment plan include the following:

  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety & Stress Management
  • Depression
  • Goal Setting
  • Leisure & Hobby Development
  • Recovery & Sobriety
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Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a dialoguing process whereby trust and a balance of power are created or re-established. In addiction, issues like theft/financial mismanagement and breach of trust affect relationships between our clients and their family members.  I use restorative justice practices and principles to enable clients and their family members negotiate a settlement agreement.  Often, clients say that addiction issues are used over and over again in arguments and that the past is rarely put to rest.  Negotiating a settlement may seem excessive and intimidating; however, it is very helpful in resolving conflict issues.  A settlement clearly defines issue areas and creates the means to resolving the problems presented.  Restorative justice issues can be as concrete as replaying money that was loaned or stolen, or it can be as ambiguous as re-establishing trust.  What is certain, is that using restorative justice measures provides closure and significantly improves the quality of relationships.  Topics explored often include the following:

  • Family Conflict Resolution
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Rebuilding Trust After Treatment

 

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