Jim Browning

Jim's approach to therapy is direct, practical, informed by research and provided with a generous dose of warmth and humour. He works with each client to create an individualized plan to address their concern.

Jim's career as a psychologist and therapist spans 30 years. He helps individuals and couple with issues such as depression and anxiety, anger management and family violence, relationship concerns, addictions, trauma and workplace disability.

Jim is particularly interested and skilled in a therapeutic approach called cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT.

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More Information about Jim

Jim has a Masters and Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia. He has been a registered psychologist since 1980. He worked for seven years at the North Shore Mental Health Centre at the beginning of his career.

He was co-director of the Vancouver Assaultive Husbands Program (a therapy program for abusive husbands) for 14 years. For 13 years, he was the director of Clinical Services for a major Canadian employee assistance company, Wilson Banwell. Throughout his 30-year career, he has provided assessment and counseling services to individual adults, couples and adolescents. Since 2005, Jim has been a full time private practitioner with offices in West and Downtown Vancouver.

Currently, he sees clients for issues such as depression, anxiety, anger management, trauma, addictions, workplace concerns and relationship problems.

While Jim sees both women and men, Jim's individual clients are predominantly men and so "men's issues" are a central focus in his practice.

More Depression and Anxiety

Treatment involves a thorough assessment, a trusting therapeutic relationship, cognitive-behavioural therapy and treatment of any co-occurring disorders (such as addictions). A strong working alliance with the client’s physician and use of community supports are key components of treatment.

The core of my treatment approach for depression and anxiety is cognitive behavioural therapy. Generally, people tend to avoid things that make them anxious and they tend to feel like doing less when they are depressed. So their functioning tends to become diminished. Because of this, a central goal of therapy is to help clients expand their scope of function through graduated goal setting. Along the way, I help the client develop coping strategies (such as breathing and relaxation, assertiveness, communication skills, etc.) to improve the chances of a successful experience. Self-defeating thinking is uncovered and the client is helped to develop a more self-supportive form of internal dialogue.

Anger Management and Family Violence

My approach to treating family violence places safety as the highest priority and emphasizes personal responsibility for violent acts. Violence is seen as the result of inadequate anger management skills and dysfunctional power motives – both of which need to be addressed in therapy.

Couple's counseling can help resolve underlying issues once and atmosphere of safety and respect has been created. Sometimes early trauma may need to be addressed to facilitate learning healthier approaches to conflict. A social learning/cognitive behavioural therapy approach is used for non-violent anger management issues.

Relationship Concerns

My approach is to assist couples to listen and fully appreciate their partner's viewpoint, coach effective communication and conflict resolution, encourage a conscious increase in shared activity and demonstrations of mutual caring and to foster a shared vision for the relationship.

A thorough assessment is made to screen for serious mental health problems, violence and substance abuse which would need to be addressed for couples counseling to be effective.

Addictions

I follow these steps in the treatment of addictions:

  1. A thorough assessment to determine motivation, the presence of co-occurring disorders, health concerns and current social supports.
  2. Referral to residential treatment if warranted.
  3. Work on enhancing motivation and reducing minimization of the problem with a goal of abstinence in most cases.
  4. Identification of triggers for substance use and the development of alternative coping skills.
  5. Treatment of contributing mood disorders and relationship issues.
  6. Coordination with the physician regarding medical aspects of the case
  7. Encouragement of consistent involvement in AA/NA for group support and public commitment
  8. Relapse prevention
Trauma

My treatment approach for trauma includes the following steps:

  1. Ensure safety
  2. Assist in decision making and developing support
  3. Provide information regarding trauma reactions and recovery process
  4. Assist in reducing panic and hyper-arousal
  5. Facilitate desensitization through “dosed” re-experiencing
  6. Assist in reconnecting to others

Breathing, relaxation, cognitive behavioural therapy, gradual exposure, nutrition and exercise are all components of the treatment.

Workplace Disability Management

Psychological disabilities are the fastest growing cause of workplace absenteeism. They are notoriously difficult for insurance companies and employers to manage and are demoralizing for the disabled employee.

My approach is to intervene as soon as possible following the identification of a problem. This intervention begins with a thorough assessment including input from all stakeholders (physician, employer, insurance company, family) with the client’s consent.

Targeted cognitive behavioural therapy to treat the client’s symptoms (e.g. depression, anxiety), collaboration with the physician on medical aspects of the treatment, a coordinated return to work plan, and the resolution of conflict issues in the workplace are all crucial to components of a successful intervention.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been found in numerous research studies to be an effective treatment for mood issues such as depression, anxiety and anger. In many cases it is as effective or more effective than medication, has fewer side effects and lower relapse rates.

CBT involves helping a person identify and change thoughts and behaviours that maintain the depressed, anxiouse or angry mood state. Graduated behavioural goals are developed in the session and carried out by the client in order to build confidence and support a healthier mood state. Becoming aware of unhealthy self talk uncovers old beliefs, assumptions and thinking habits that are then countered to create a more balanced way of thinking.

CBT is not just about replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations. It is designed to defuse debilitating thought patterns and create new ones unique to the person. Because CBT is a very focused a direct form of therapy, it tends to be relatively short term.

 

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