“Non-Therapy” Modalities That Might Inform Your Therapist’s Work

"Non-Therapy" Modalities That Might Inform Your Therapist's Work

"Non-Therapy" Modalities That Might Inform Your Therapist's Work

There are many different approaches to therapy that can inform the way that a therapist works. In addition to official therapeutic modalities (such as cognitive behavioral therapy or emotionally focused therapy), other experiences and education might inform your therapists’ approach to working with you.

Therapists are human, with different lived experiences and personal interests. The whole of their lives informs their practice. Sometimes reading a therapist’s bio will help you discover these different influences and assist you in finding a therapist who is the right fit for you.

“Non-Therapy” Modalities That May Inform a Therapist’s Work

We’ve asked some of our therapists about what modalities outside of traditional therapy education have informed the way that they approach their client relationships and the work they’re doing. Here were some of their answers:


For example, therapist Stephanie Bain says, “My clients are welcome to share their charts with me and we can utilize the metaphorical and archetypal significance of the patterns in their chart (though I never force the issue).”

Buddhist Philosophy / Mindfulness/ Meditation

This isn’t too surprising coming from our therapists, since we are, after all, the Center for Mindful Psychotherapy. Note that not all therapists who practice mindfulness consider themselves interested in or informed by Buddhist philosophy. Among those who do, they may or may not consider this part of their spiritual practice.

This approach may be combined with many other things. For example, April Snow says, “Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Visualization Practices are a huge part of my work” and Stephanie Bain says, “I am also informed by mindfulness, meditation, shadow work, dreamwork, and yogic practices.”

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Coaching Experience

Coaching, consulting, and counseling are all different types of work. However, they do have areas that overlap. Sometimes, a therapist has experience in one of the other modalities. For example, therapist Ingrid Tsong says, “I have a certificate of professional coaching from Leadership That Works, and was in a corporate executive role myself for a number of years, which allows me to step into a goal-oriented and pragmatic space when called upon by my clients.”

Faith in the Process

Ingrid Tsong also says, “I believe whole-heartedly that what needs to show up in session will and does. I guess I would call it a faith based practice born from years of my personal therapy, as well as my experience in the therapeutic space with my clients where healing can be accessed through the most unexpected starting points.”

Feminist Theory/ Gender Studies

SF Bay Area therapist Sofia Escudero says, “Before pursuing clinical social work, my academic background was in gender studies, which helped me understand how important it is to pay attention to the flow of power in systems and relationships.”


Therapist Erma Kyriakos mentioned humor as key to informing her work with clients.


Massage Therapy, Reiki, Acupuncture

Many therapists also have some experience in these healing arts. For example, Odessa Avianna Perez says, “I was a massage therapist, as well as a ThetaHealing Practitioner and Teacher before becoming a psychotherapist.”

Yoga, Dance, Movement

Dena Ehrlich has been a “Facilitator of Yoga & Gentle Movement – Awakening Through Yoga & Buddhism + Embodied Mind Yoga Teacher Training”

Odessa Avianna Perez says, “I have 2 decades of dance experience, in contemporary performance, contact improvisation and conscious dance practices like 5 rhythms and ecstatic dance.”

Ask yourself what kinds of things you’d like your therapist to have familiarity with outside of specific therapeutic work. Find the therapist that is right for you!


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