I blend many ways of working to achieve the goal of meaningful and lasting change. I work with people to generate deep insight but also to create a new way of being and feeling in the world. I often incorporate brain/mind/body therapies, experiential therapies such as internal family systems (IFS), and cognitive behavioral therapies (CBT). Below are the major modalities within which I work.

talk therapy (depth work)

Depth psychotherapy is a method for understanding the unconscious factors that influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Through talk therapy, we become more self-aware. Ultimately, this knowledge can serve as a tool for transformation and human development. Depth psychotherapy integrates Jungian, Gestalt, humanistic, psychoanalytic, and existential therapies.

mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

MBCT is a newer form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It helps to reduce physical signs of stress, such as high blood pressure, chronic pain, and inflamation, as well reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and panic. Mindfulness can liberate us from obsessive thought patterns that otherwise replay the same negative messages over and over.

dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

DBT helps people learn coping techniques for emotional over-sensitivity and reactivity. DBT skills training includes four skill areas: mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. These skills can be seen as universally useful and have been shown to be particularly clinically effective in treating borderline personality disorder, chronic suicidality, and self-harming behavior.

internal family systems therapy (IFS)

Sometimes we feel torn about how we feel or the choices in front of us. IFS offers the view that all people have parts of themselves that can hold different (often radically different) views at the same time. Sometimes, these parts hold extreme thoughts and feelings or do extreme things that are troubling to us – these thoughts and feelings arise out of painful life experiences and can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, suicidality, traumatic flashbacks, and low self-esteem. Through IFS therapy, people get to know their parts, reduce their symptoms, and unlock their healthy self-esteem.

Michelle Schlief, PhD, PsyD - mind body, CBT, IFS therapist

emotionally-focused couples therapy (EFT)

EFT is a clinically proven method for working with troubled relationships. Through EFT, couples learn to identify and examine their overall dysfunctional patterns of conflict instead of becoming caught up in the specifics of individual arguments. Both members come to see how they are pulled into the dysfunctional pattern and how they can act differently to promote connection and intimacy.

exposure response prevention (ERP)

Exposure therapy is a newer form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It was designed to help people with OCD-based compulsions (including avoidance behaviors) and phobia sufferers. ERP is a method in which people learn to gradually confront their fears and discontinue their compulsive escape or avoidant responses. While this typically causes some short-term anxiety, it facilitates a long-term reduction in OCD and phobia symptoms.


Through biofeedback, people become more attuned to their body’s responses to stress and relaxation. This attunement fosters the ability to alter automatic stress responses to reduce symptoms such as: migraines, tension headaches, chronic pain, bruxism, panic, anxiety, and poor impulse control. Biofeedback is also a useful form of pain management therapy, enabling people to function at a more comfortable level.

clinical hypnosis

Hypnosis is used to achieve deep relaxation and stress reduction for anxiety and phobias and can, if desired, also allow for self-exploration and the discovery of unconscious intentions and motivations that result in undesirable symptoms. Hypnosis works underneath conscious thought processes, allowing for better insight into the nature and origins of symptoms so that real change can occur.

copyright 2015 Michelle Schlief, PhD, PsyD – therapist working with conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD using mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), IFS, biofeedback, and hypnosis