Cognitive behavior, or, in other words, the way individuals perceive a situation, is more closely connected to a person's reaction than to the situation itself. Tracey helps people see the relationship between their beliefs, thoughts, and feelings, and what happens next. It is a person's thought process that informs his or her actions, its how you feel about events that determines how you will act. Tracey helps by adjusting thoughts that directly influence emotions and behavior thereby avoiding depression or dysfuctional assumptions that may have been established in childhood.
This modality is directed toward individuals who have seen little or no improvement with other models of therapy. The focus is on problem-solving and acceptance-based strategies, hence the term "dialectical" which refers to the processing of opposite concepts such as change and acceptance. Tracey offers acceptance and support to her clients, some of whom have conditions described as "difficult to treat," as they work together to develop approaches to achieve goals, improve overall mental and emotional well-being, and find lasting positive change.
The focus is on the client's present circumstances and future goals rather than past experiences. This is goal-oriented therapy where the symptoms or issues that bring a person to therapy are not usually targeted. Instead, Tracey will encourage her clients to develop a vision of the future, then offer support by helping determine the skills, resources, and abilities necessary to reach that vision successfully.
Tracey acknowledges the premise that clients who need to make changes in their lives come to counseling for different reasons and at different levels of readiness to change. During sessions, some clients express thoughts about making behavioral changes, but may not yet have taken steps toward change themselves. On the other hand, some clients may be actively trying to make changes in their behavior but have been unsuccessful for years. Motivational interviewing is non-judgmental, non-confrontational and non-adversarial. The resolution of ambivalence is Tracey's central purpose and primary objective.
Tracey teaches mindfulness skills using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help individuals live and behave in ways closer to their personal values. By helping individuals recognize ways in which their attempts to repress, cope, and control emotional experiences create challenges, they can release themselves from these challenges freeing their minds to consider more values-based actions that support well-being.
Tracey follows the existential analyis of Dr. Victor Frankl that proposes human beings are free to achieve goals and purposes. The primary motivation of humans is seen as a search for meaning. Thus complications occur when a person cannot realize his or her "Will to Meaning" and soon begins to experience the dreadful sensation of meaninglessness and emptiness. The discontent of a lack of meaningful goals ultimately gives rise to aggression, addiction, depression and suicidality, and it may lead to more serious disorders.