In her ongoing work with individuals, Mona uses a psychodynamically oriented approach to assist persons in understanding the impact of their past on their present - through analysis of dreams, transferences, and defensive barriers. This approach addresses early childhood impacts and developmental experiences that may be affecting the unconscious present day actions, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. For more pragmatic change, Mona pulls from cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapies, and neurobiology. She embraces practices of mindfulness, mind/body awareness and connection and integrates Buddhism philosophies of meditation, compassion, radical acceptance, and tolerating uncertainty throughout her work.
Mona's work with couples is influenced by Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT). When couples experience breakdowns in communication or trust and/or feel a sense of isolation and betrayal, it is an indication that the bond and dynamic between the partners is under threat. Mona works with couples to assist both partners in recognizing mutual responsibility, in understanding and developing compassion for another's underlying emotions and fears. The work is designed to strengthen the attachment between the couple by locating their relationship impasses and developing the language of vulnerability to turn towards one another, rather than away. Mona has completed an externship training as an EFT couples therapist.
Mona utilizes a combination of a psychodynamic approach with Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) to assist clients in overcoming trauma. EMDR is an empirically studied and supported therapy that is used to effectively treat trauma. EMDR uses bilateral stimulation of the triune brain to assist persons in processing and reprocessing their perceptions, feelings, and thoughts associated with traumatic experiences and events in their lives. EMDR therapy can be used in conjunction with regular talk therapy or as a separate therapy altogether.
Mona's trauma work also integrates the mind-body connection, assisting clients in implementing safety, grounding, and coping tools to alleviate the impacts of heightened cortisol on their physiology.
Brainspotting is a somatic, "bottom up" approach (similar to EMDR) that acts as a vehicle to release stored trauma from the body. Rather than beginning with the memory of the trauma (such as in EMDR), Brainspotting utilizes vision or gaze points to determine areas of trauma in the body- using vision as an entry point to the subcorticol brain and central nervous system. Clients will then engage in an internal exploration while holding that gaze point, allowing opportunity for the trauma and its associated physiological symptoms to release. Both EMDR and Brainspotting are somatic interventions and both function to release, reprocess, and feel unburdened by past and present trauma.