Gryba Phillips Professional Counselling Associates

Therapies Used

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Cross Cultural Psychotherapy

Cross Cultural therapy is based on research which points out the significance of culture in shaping us as human beings.  Gryba Phillips Professional Counselling Associates offers services to First Nations peoples, immigrants, newcomers, refugees, and other populations which consider themselves significantly culturally different from mainstream Canadian culture.  The core principles of cross cultural therapy include humility and respectful curiosity, empathy, and the acknowledgement of the resiliency that each culture cultivates in an individual.  We take into consideration the settlement challenges of immigrants and refugees, as well as the past trauma that has occurred for many immigrants, refugees, and First Nations peoples.

Cross cultural psychotherapy research
Immigrant services

Exposure Therapy for Anxiety

In exposure therapy for anxiety, a person spends brief periods, in a supportive environment, learning to tolerate the distress certain items, ideas, or imagined scenes cause. Over time the fear linked with these things will lessen or end altogether.

Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress

PE includes the gradual approaching of safe, but upsetting trauma reminders (e.g., situations, objects). This therapy helps you safely face situations and memories that you find frightening. PCA counsellors offer sessions that will help you explore and find new patterns of behaviour and ways of coping. Sessions are modified to meet the specific needs of men and women, children, teens, and, special populations, including Residential School Survivors.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective treatment approach for trauma.

In general, EMDR is believed to work by mentally revisiting the traumatizing experiences and simultaneously “overwriting’ the stored memory. EMDR is also sometimes applied to depression. For more information, visit the EMDR website or check out a more detailed description on our website, here.

Somatic Experiencing (SE)

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body-oriented approach applied to the healing of trauma and a variety of stress disorders. The SE approach releases traumatic shock which is believed to be held in the body after a traumatic event or series of events.

For more information on SE, visit the SE website at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute


Mindfulness is an approach that can be used to deal with stress, managing anxiety and managing depression. Mindfulness helps a person focus on the present moment –noticing whatever you’re experiencing, noticing your feelings, thoughts and physical sensations without trying to change the experience. Mindfulness can help to stop your mind from wandering off into thoughts about the future or the past. Mindfulness involves paying attention here and now, with kindness and curiosity, and then choosing your behaviour. It teaches us how to respond, rather than react to the events of everyday life.

Family Therapy

Family Therapy is based on the systems perspective and sees every family as a system that operates with specific “rules” that may or may not be adaptive or functional for members of the family at various times in the family life cycle. Family therapy offered at PCA involves the whole family or those members who are willing attend. Family therapy is most often used when there is a problem that is affecting one or more family members and when it is believed that having family involved can help with finding solutions and resolving problems. In family therapy, the therapist helps the family members change their patterns of communication, develop skills to deal with family problems, and develop supportive relationships to minimize conflict and maximize feelings of connection and belonging.

Therapeutic Play

Therapeutic Play is mainly used with children under the ages of 12 years and is one form of expressive therapy. Therapeutic play encourages children to express their feelings using toys, games, and creative techniques including art and movement. In the child’s work with a PCA therapist, the focus is on the process and the issues that come up during the play therapy session. Therapeutic play techniques are used to help the child cope better with stress or anxiety; work through traumatic experiences; and cope with grief and loss, for example, the loss of a sibling or parent or the loss of a family system in the case of separations or divorce. PCA has a number of clinicians who are trained in therapeutic play. PCA is equipped with 2 play rooms that are equipped for the use of therapeutic play.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is intended to help a person identify patterns of thinking and acting that may contribute to a person’s problems. CBT is commonly used in the treatment of depression and anxiety by helping people recognize negative or self-critical patterns in their thinking that are often linked to depressed or anxious moods and by exploring how negative thought patterns can influence how we behave or feel. In CBT, your therapist will help you to change these patterns, to use more realistic and use problem solving thinking. CBT also helps a person recognize behaviours might be effective in coping with depression or anxiety and in some situations, eating problems such as anorexia or bulimia. In CBT your counsellor might ask you to track emotions and activities and the impact of each on the other.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (TF-CBT)

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (TF-CBT) is effective for treatment of post traumatic experiences. It is natural to be afraid when you’re in danger or to be upset when a harmful event has happened to you or someone you know. TF-CBT treatments can assist by addressing upsetting thoughts that focus on dangers and threats and by helping to reduce excessive fears that are associated with the trauma experience. TF-CBT counsellors offer sessions that will help you explore and adopt new patterns of behaviour and ways of coping. Sessions are modified to meet the specific needs of men and women, children, teens, and, special populations including Residential School Survivors.

Relationship Therapy and/or Couples Therapy

Relationship Therapy and/or Couples Therapy focuses on improving a couple’s relationship by addressing the patterns of thinking and behaviours exhibited by both partners. Both members of the couple attend the sessions together. Couples do not have to be married to attend couples therapy. Relationship and couples therapy aims at increasing supportive interactions such as honest communication, praise, empathy, forgiveness and problem solving; and aims at reducing negative interactions between partners, such as arguments, criticisms and verbal and emotional abuse. Couples therapy focuses on changing behaviour as well as the thought processes involved in choosing behaviour. The assumption is that if the couple’s behaviours toward each other change in positive ways, then their satisfaction with one another will improve as well