Feeling weighed down by anxiety, depression, or relationship troubles? You're not alone, and help is closer than you think. At my practice, we keep things simple yet impactful, using a blend of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Existential-Humanistic Therapy tailored to fit you. ACT isn't about battling your emotions; it's about learning to live harmoniously with them while pursuing what truly counts in your life. Existential-Humanistic Therapy adds another layer by helping you dig deep into who you are and what you're about—great for those times you feel stuck or hungry for more out of life.
Collaboration is key here. Your insights and feedback are invaluable; after all, you're the expert on your own life. Together, we'll work to create a therapy experience that's not only effective but also truly yours.
The journey might seem intimidating, but I'm here to assure you that meaningful change is not just a dream but a reachable reality. Ready for a better chapter in your story? I'd be honored to be part of your path to a richer, more fulfilling life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a well-established and effective form of psychotherapy that has been used to treat a wide range of emotional and psychological issues for over 50 years. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interconnected and that by changing the way we think and behave, we can improve our emotional well-being. The goal of traditional CBT is to identify and change negative thoughts and beliefs through a process of questioning and reframing.
Third-wave CBT is an evolution of traditional CBT that shares many of the same foundational principles, but places a greater emphasis on mindfulness- and acceptance-based strategies. As such, it teaches us new ways to relate to the painful thoughts and emotions that are keeping us stuck—freeing us up to be more present in our lives, and empowering us to engage more fully with who and what matters most. Examples of third-wave CBT approaches include: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).
Third-wave CBT also places a greater emphasis on the therapeutic relationship, recognizing that the relationship between therapist and client is an important aspect of treatment, and that a positive, supportive, and empathetic relationship is essential for successful therapy.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps clients develop psychological flexibility, which is the ability to be present in the moment, to engage in valued actions, and to deal with difficult thoughts and emotions in a constructive way. ACT is based on the idea that when we try to avoid or control our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we can become trapped in a cycle of suffering.
ACT uses a variety of techniques to help clients develop psychological flexibility, including mindfulness exercises, cognitive defusion, and values clarification. Mindfulness decreases our absorption in the past and future, enabling us to come into greater contact with the present-moment. Mindfulness increases our capacity to observe thoughts and feelings as they unfold, and without judgment. Cognitive defusion is a technique that helps us see thoughts as passing events in the mind rather than absolute truths that must dominate awareness and dictate behavior. Values clarification is a process of identifying what is most important in life, and using this information to guide goal-setting and decision-making.
ACT has been found to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, trauma, and chronic pain. It is also useful in addressing issues related to stress, work-life balance, and relationship difficulties.
Does your sense of self-worth seem to depend almost entirely on striving and achievement? Do you criticize yourself harshly in response to perceived failures, or "move the goal posts" after an accomplishment, preventing you from ever really feeling satisfied with your work? If so, these could be signs that you are struggling with perfectionism.
Perfectionism can cause stress, burnout, and self-criticism, making it difficult for individuals to find joy and fulfillment in life. However, through the use of psychological flexibility and self-compassion, I have been able to help my clients overcome these challenges and find a more fulfilling path forward.
Psychological flexibility is the ability to effectively navigate life's challenges by being present in the moment, accepting our experiences and feelings, and taking action that is consistent with our values. In the context of perfectionism, psychological flexibility helps individuals recognize that their pursuit of perfection is not aligned with their values and that they can choose to focus on what is truly important to them, rather than on the unrealistic standards they set for themselves.
In addition to psychological flexibility, I also use self-compassion as a tool for helping clients struggling with perfectionism. Self-compassion involves treating oneself with kindness, understanding, and compassion, even in the face of failure or imperfection. It helps us recognize that everyone makes mistakes and that these mistakes are a natural part of life, and that it is okay to be less than perfect. Self-compassion isn't about letting yourself off the hook, indulging in short-term pleasures or even trying to boost your self-esteem (common misconceptions). Instead, research shows that self-compassion actually increases self-improvement motivation, and provides a much more reliable sense of self-worth and resilience than self-esteem does.
Through the use of psychological flexibility and self-compassion, I have been able to help my clients develop new ways of coping with perfectionism and its related challenges, such as letting go of self-criticism, managing stress, and preventing burnout. By learning to be kind to themselves and to focus on what is most important to them, my clients have been able to live more fulfilling lives and find greater joy and meaning in their pursuits.
Existential-humanistic therapy is an approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes the client's unique experience and perspective. This type of therapy is focused on helping individuals explore their own personal meaning and purpose in life, and how they can live in a way that is true to themselves.
One of the core principles of existential-humanistic therapy is the belief that every person is responsible for their own life and that they have the power to make choices and create meaning in their lives. This means that the therapist's role is not to provide answers or solutions, but rather to create a safe and supportive space for clients to explore their own thoughts and feelings.
Existential-humanistic therapy also emphasizes the importance of being fully present in the moment and connecting with one's feelings and emotions. This can be done through mindfulness practices, such as breathing exercises and meditation. By being present in the moment, clients can gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their experiences.
Another important aspect of existential-humanistic therapy is the focus on self-discovery and personal growth. This type of therapy encourages clients to explore their own values, beliefs, and goals, and how these shape their sense of self. Through self-discovery, clients can gain a greater understanding of who they are and what they want from life, which can lead to greater fulfillment and satisfaction.
Dr. Arthur Dalton is a licensed psychologist with a wealth of experience in the field of mental health. He earned his B.A. in Philosophy from East Stroudsburg University in 2010 and his Master of Clinical Psychology from Marywood University in 2014. Arthur went on to receive his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from La Salle University in 2020.
Arthur began his clinical training in community mental health clinics and honed his skills in conducting individual and group therapy while working at Princeton House Behavioral Health from 2015-2016. During this time, he provided inpatient and partial hospitalization services to individuals and groups suffering with acute mental health concerns. He then worked in several university counseling centers in the Philadelphia area--St. Joseph's University, Drexel University and West Chester University--where he provided individual and group therapy to young adults with a wide range of presenting concerns.
In addition to his clinical work, Arthur has also been a dedicated teacher, having taught undergraduate, master's and doctoral level psychology courses. This experience has allowed him to bring a unique perspective to his clinical work and has given him a better understanding of the challenges faced by his clients.
Since 2020, Arthur has been working as a therapist at West Chester University's student counseling center, and in 2022 he co-founded Dalton Psychological—a family-owned private psychotherapy practice—with his wife Amanda Dalton.
Dalton, A., Nelson, E., Lustig, J. & Cardaciotto, L. (2019, May). Conservatism beyond political affiliation: How social and economic conservative beliefs shift in the face of one’s own death. Poster presented at 31st Annual Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C.
Dalton, A. & Cardaciotto, L. (2017, October). Mindfulness and existential threat: Acceptance, but not awareness, moderates pro-U.S. bias in response to mortality salience. Poster session presented at Seventh Annual Diversity Forum at La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA.
Dalton, A. & Campenni, E. (2015, October). Mindfulness moderates pro-U.S. bias in response to subliminal mortality prime. Poster session presented at Fifth Annual Diversity Forum at La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA.
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