Dave Decker, M.A. - Philosophy of Working with Clients

My theoretical orientation and therapeutic approach includes cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, psychodynamic, and Reality Therapy elements. These elements involve:

  1. an emphasis on psychoeducation and skill-building to provide some basic information about who they are and how they tend to function in their daily lives;
  2. an increase in awareness and mindfulness of their internal processes (e.g. recognition of thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs) and their interpersonal interactional styles (e.g. recognition of unhealthy and self-defeating thought and behavior patterns);
  3. the development of some understanding of how they have learned these dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors related to messages they received from family of origin, childhood, and cultural experiences and influences; and
  4. the development of a sense of empowerment to assist clients in taking more personal responsibility for and then actively making more positive choices to work on changing parts of themselves and their lives that are not working well for them.

My style of practice is based on ideas of honesty, respect, empathy, genuineness, and insight. However, in addition, I see it as critical that observable behavior change occur in clients’ day-to-day lives as a result of the therapeutic process. To this end, an important part of my working with clients involves setting and following through with specific measurable behavioral goals by which therapeutic progress can be continually assessed.

Finally, I do not view therapy as an ongoing and life-long endeavor but rather as one where clients can learn specific and concrete skills and remedy current life distress and then move on with the actual day-to-day living of their lives with the option to return to therapy at any point in the future if they need to do so.

Dave's Areas of Clinical Specialty and Competency

  • Individual, couple, group, and family therapy with adults and adolescents
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Crisis intervention
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Psychoeducation
  • Case management, including meeting third-party reimbursement requirements
  • Brief therapy
  • Domestic abuse (perpetrators and survivors)
  • Anger regulation and anger management
  • Divorce and uncoupling issues
  • Stress management, including relaxation and visualization training
  • Chemical abuse and dependency, including relapse prevention
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Grief and loss issues
  • Chronic mental illness
  • Sexual acting-out, sex addiction, and sexual abuse
  • Couple communication and conflict resolution
  • Assertiveness
  • Shame and family-of-origin issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Spirituality
  • Trauma (e.g. PTSD)
  • Men’s developmental (life adjustment) issues
  • Court-ordered clients
  • Parenting
  • Organizational development and consultation
  • Personal/management coaching
  • Workplace/harassment issues
  • Program development, implementation, and direction
  • Program curriculum development and writing
  • Clinical and staff supervision
  • Professional training/seminars/workshops
  • Community education/workshops