Evidenced Based Modalities

Evidence-based therapy is just what the phrase suggests; therapies born out of and supported by research. Evidence-based therapies are normally part of an evidence-based practice or EBP. The National Alliance on Mental Illness defines EBPs as treatments that have been researched academically or scientifically, been proven effective, with the results replicated by multiple studies. At Avery Lane, we integrate evidence-based therapies with individual participant values and the clinical experience of our expert clinicians. Evidence-based treatment therapies have proven to be effective for more people because of the scientific research underlying them.

Women in a meeting

At Avery Lane, the Evidenced-Based Modalities we employ include but aren’t limited to:

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Summer Lan Franco
MA, MFT-t, Primary Therapist

Summer Lan Franco loves working with people to facilitate recovery from substance use disorders, disordered eating, mental health issues and complex trauma. She earned her BS in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University Chico and MS in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University of California. She has worked in community-based and private practice settings. Her approach is personable and sincere. Summer believes in helping people rediscover their true selves by uncovering barriers that stand in the way. Her warmth and earnest interest in others’ wellbeing are always present in the work she does with people seeking help. She has experience with trauma recovery, substance abuse recovery, codependency, family issues, disordered eating, treatment for anxiety and depression, and working with personality disorders.

Alaina Dunér
Office Manager, Sound Healing Group Facilitator, Reiki Master

Alaina Dunér is a Sonoma County native. She studied sociology and outdoor adventure programming for two years at Loyola University of New Orleans and Warren Wilson College. In 2016 Alaina was on a recreational skydive and had a crash landing that resulted in her fracturing multiple vertebrae in her spine. Since her accident, Alaina has emersed herself in understanding the nuances and complexities of health and spirituality. She is passionate about supporting clients through Reiki and Sound. Since taking a pause from university, Alaina has become a certified Reiki Master Teacher in the Tibetan Usui system, an Ayurvedic yoga instructor, a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a trauma informed sound facilitator. At the end of 2022 Alaina will attend Southern Utah University to complete her bachelor’s in aerospace and aviation with an emphasis on rotary flight.

Intensive Individual Psychotherapy

Through intensive, one-on-one psychotherapy, under the care of Licensed Clinical Therapists, participants of Avery Lane learn about and become aware of their personal experiences. They also become able to identify personal core beliefs associated with behaviors associated with their substance misuse and addiction. In a supportive and safe therapeutic “container”, our participants will be able to challenge these harmful beliefs and ultimately restructure them into a healthier and more adaptive way of living free from substances. Each participant’s treatment plan is highly individualized, closely monitored, modified when necessary, and evaluated by their Primary Therapist and the clinical treatment team.

Intensive Group Psychotherapy

Avery Lane offers the opportunity for women to see the progression of abuse and dependence in themselves and in others. Our Intensive Group Psychotherapy also gives our participants an opportunity to experience their success and the success of other group members in an atmosphere of support and hopefulness. In this therapeutic environment, we address issues such as the installation of hope, the universality experienced by group members as they see themselves in others, the opportunity to develop insight through relationships, and a variety of other concerns specific to the support of substance-abusing participants and their recovery. From these perspectives, our group psychotherapy offers potent opportunities to maximize the efficacy of treatment.

Our Process-Sensitive approach to group therapy finds its direction in the traditions of psychological theory and has significant range of expression. Through our interactional group process we provide individuals with significant information about how their behavior affects others. Our group facilitators focus energy on the relationships within the group. Attention is focused on the nature and growth of shared sober relationships manifested in the “here and now” as the group takes place.

Our second approach is referred to as a “Directive Approach”. We offer structured goals and therapist-directed interventions to enable change in ways consistent with ways that others have used to achieve long term sobriety. We address major issues of concern for participants in order to facilitate self-discovery and growth through appropriately sequential activities. We integrate cognitive-behavioral interventions and the participants’ growing awareness of their ability to control their own belief systems and self-talk and thus control their emotional states. Participants are asked to share treatment experiences with the group for exploration and examination. Our intention is that participants who perceive their emotional world as controllable will no longer need to use substances to exert “external” control.

Our groups:

  • Help reduce denial, process ambivalence, and facilitate acceptance of their addicted identity
  • Increase motivation for sobriety and other changes
  • Treat the emotional conditions that often accompany substance misuse (e.g. anxiety and depression)
  • Increase the capacity to recognize, anticipate, and cope with situations that may precipitate addictive behavior
  • Meet the intense needs of all participants for social acceptance and support

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is an extension of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Originally developed to treat people with borderline personality disorders, it has been shown to be effective in addressing a number of other disorders, including addiction to drugs and alcohol and substance abuse disorder. Its primary focus is the development of the skills necessary to maintain functionality and sobriety.

At Avery Lane, DBT starts by recognizing that people often come to addiction and substance misuse from backgrounds where they did not receive the love and acceptance necessary for them to learn to love and accept themselves. In fact, this is particularly true for women. Most women dealing with addiction report significant traumatic events in their past, often in the form of abusive relationships. The nonjudgmental acceptance promoted by DBT gives them the love and support needed to develop the skills necessary for long-term recovery.

DBT Skills

DBT is provided through a mixture of individual and group therapy sessions. Four primary groups of skills are taught that help people address their addiction:

Mindfulness: Learning to be mindful involves a focus on the present moment. Women dealing with addiction are often burdened by guilt from the past and anxiety about the future. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy teaches women how to set aside these concerns that are beyond their control. This allows them to focus on the present moment and, in doing so, they learn to step back and analyze their feelings in a nonjudgmental manner.

DBTDistress Tolerance: Learning to tolerate distress helps women cope with uncomfortable emotions. Many women have become addicted because they use drugs and alcohol to squelch emotional pain. Distress tolerance training helps them learn to deal with distress without resorting to substances. They discover how to accept uncomfortable situations and feelings in a nonjudgmental way instead of immediately trying to escape them. This is often accomplished by learning to discover meaning in the present moment.

Emotional Self-regulation: DBT helps women at Avery Lane develop the skills needed to regulate their own emotions. It is the dialectical counterpart to distress tolerance. While distress tolerance helps women with addiction cope with their emotions, self-regulation allows them to acknowledge, label, and change those emotions. By deconstructing emotional pathways, women at Avery Lane learn to recognize the root cause of each individual emotion, which in turn helps them change their emotional state in the present and prevent destructive emotional responses in the future.

Interpersonal Effectiveness: A final set of skills developed in DBT are those relating to interpersonal relationships. Women in treatment at Avery Lane learn how to set boundaries, how to say “no,” and how to ask for what they need from their family and friends.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was developed in the 1960s and is used as part of a larger program of treatment at Avery Lane to treat women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. CBT has since been shown to be effective in treating other types of substance and process addictions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on helping people understand their thought processes, thereby reducing the impact of “automatic thoughts” that lead them toward certain emotions. Once these emotions and their related thoughts are addressed, the patient is able to change those thoughts, which allows them to change related behaviors as well.

Automatic thoughts are emotion-filled thoughts that enter the brain without the patient being fully aware of them. As these thoughts are often unrealistic or inaccurate, they prevent people from being able to respond to events properly. For example, someone may believe—perhaps unconsciously—that she must always perform at her best so people will accept her. This thought is disassociated from reality because most people don’t demand perfection from others. These thoughts, which are known as dysfunctional assumptions, lead the person to feel that others are rejecting her.

At Avery Lane, CBT focuses on helping women identify automatic thoughts and assess whether they are realistic. Once participants begin to recognize these thoughts, they are able to step back and analyze them to determine if they are accurate reflections of reality. Becoming more aware of feelings and their causes can have an large impact on a patient’s behavior, often helping them to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.

Sunnie Skillman
Energy Worker

Sunnie has worked within the field of Energy Psychology for over 20 years and has been trained in a number of healing modalities, including EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Access Consciousness. She has been using the tools of Access Consciousness for 23 years, teaching classes and working with clients using various hands-on energy body work techniques. She specializes working with clients who have symptoms of PTSD and assisting in clearing where trauma is stored in the body.
Sunnie brings her personal experience with trauma healing as well as her kind and
caring energy to support the ladies interested in working with other healing modalities
at Avery Lane.

Nicole Collins,
AMFT, Primary Therapist

Nicole Collins entered the field of healing after receiving her BA from Colorado State University
in Human Services, which led her to work in domestic violence. Following her beliefs and
passion in the body-mind-spirit connection and the Intelligence of the Self-healing power, she
got her MS from Touro University in Vallejo. She believes that addiction, alcoholism,
depression, the things that push against your joy, calm, serenity, and sense of security, are
powerful and baffling. Still, there is something unique inside of you that is ready to push back
against it all. The fear, anxiety, depression, and trauma that press against your head and chest
are real, but they should not define you. She feels her role is to help you find the resources
within to overcome the challenges and suffering that life may bring. She specializes in trauma,
substance abuse, LGBTQIA+ community, matters of belonging, helping individuals heal in their
relationships within themselves. In your work together, she will meet you where you are and
support you in reacquainting you, with all parts of yourself, including your inherent wisdom.

Erin Miller, RADT
Recovery Counselor

Erin is a Registered Alcohol Drug Technician, Certified Recovery Coach, and Certified Clinical
Trauma Specialist-A (Trauma and Addiction). She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in
Psychology and Addiction Studies at Aspen University. Through her personal experience with
alcohol addiction and recovery, Erin was inspired to support others on their recovery journeys.
She brings kindness, compassion, and encouragement to her work at Avery Lane. Erin lives in
Sonoma County with her husband and their two adventurous children.

Laurel LeMohn
Recovery Counselor

is a Mendocino County native. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in 2014 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Dominican University. She has been a Recovery Counselor at Avery Lane since October, 2021, and works from a trauma-informed, psychodynamic, and humanistic lens. She has had a desire towards helping others since she was young and looks forward to working with you as you transition your life into one where you are thriving and proud to be living.