Why “Third Wave”?
The term “third wave” has been applied to behavioral psychotherapies that integrate mindfulness spirituality with a behavioral understanding of emotional suffering, and have clinical research demonstrating their effectiveness. This category has traditionally included Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression (MBCT).
The other principal techniques employed at the Third Wave Center, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Gottman style couples treatment also have a mindfulness component and extensive research data indicating clinical effectiveness. C.G. Jung brought a scientific sensibility to his exploration of the interior psyche and work with clients, and conducted experimental research in a number of areas. Nondual wisdom has stripped spiritual technologies of religious trappings and demonstrably employs cognitive behavioral techniques in deconstructing linguistic personality to point at what is eternally aware within us.
In my first Yale psychology class, I hated the part involving rats and levers because it seemed to have no soul. Forty years later, the third wave of behaviorism has included awareness in the picture we have of what it means to be human, and this makes all the difference.
Understanding how our brain works, how animals learn the most effective ways to behave, and the details of how emotions either function well or create suffering, allows a therapist to move beyond “How do you feel?” into decisive and powerful interventions that create tangible results, demonstrated in clinical trials and noticed by clients within the first weeks of beginning treatment. Moreover, due to inclusion of the awareness factor, these results occur in areas of people’s lives that have deep emotional and spiritual meaning to them.
Why a “Center”?
Currently, the staff of Third Wave BCI consists of just me. Calling what I am doing a “center” announces the intention to invite colleagues and perhaps therapist interns into association around the principles and treatments of the Third Wave Behavioral movement. Founding and directing for 12 years the New Perspectives Center for Counseling in San Francisco was a source of considerable satisfaction for me, and a significant contribution to the low fee mental health services of that city (we saw 2000 clients and trained 100 therapists during that period of time). It may be that this kind of energy will manifest again here in east Seattle. At a minimum, I will be reaching out to join or create a DBT Consultation Team here, as I move away from the team I am leading in San Francisco.
Nestled in the Issaquah Alps, with a creek running right beside my office, is this beautiful little town convenient by I-90 to the eastside of Seattle and Bellevue. I like working in a place that looks like a vacation resort town, but connects to an urban area with vibrant technological creativity and a diverse collection of people.