Therapy Services - Who do I help and what can I help you with?
We all have periods where we feel stuck, alone or overwhelmed. When life has taken a difficult turn and we are faced with a big change or transition that causes much distress. Sometimes we feel as if we’ve lost our way: going through the motions with little direction, getting through each passing day. We may realize we don’t feel good and think we should be coping better but don’t know how to make changes. A relationship break up, job loss, illness, career transition, relocation, responsibility of a sick loved one, a transition into retirement or forced retirement are all examples of transitions that can throw us off course, out of our comfort zone and into a mode of distress. We may grapple with different ways of coping but continue to feel overwhelmed. We want to get back on course or identify a new, more satisfying direction but don’t know which way to go or how to get there.
If you are still reading, welcome. Creating a therapeutic alliance is fundamental to your progress in therapy. Your active participation in our sessions and commitment to the therapeutic process is essential for our time together to be meaningful. I accept clients in my practice whom I believe, with my support and guidance, have the capacity and willingness to work through and solve their own problems. Working together in this way can foster deeper learning and more enduring change.
Are you someone who has a strong commitment to life, doing what you can, determined to get through it all but continue to struggle? You may have taken some hard hits lately and feel overwhelmed, but remain hopeful that life can be good and want to get to a better place. Despite these strengths, you may still answer in the affirmative to some of the following questions:
- Do you feel more “disconnected” from your life and others in it?
- Has the occasional unhealthy habit or “treat” become a behavioral pattern that you use regularly to make you feel better?
- Do you have less energy, more frequent irritability, or increased feelings of anxiety?
- Are you toiling through the daily motions or asking yourself, “What’s next?” “What now?” “Is this it!?” and wondering if your life could be more meaningful?
- Are you over committed with daily responsibilities but not sure how you got there or how to change it?
- Do you have a nagging empty feeling of drudgery or trepidation?
- Are you struggling with making decisions or being productive?
- Do you feel like you are surviving but want to get back to a place where you feel better and are thriving?
If some of the statements above resonate with you, it may be a good time to seek therapeutic assistance (if you’re still unsure click on the “Common Counseling Questions” link on the website menu). For many, life stressors can eventually lead to or exaggerate patterns of negative thinking and feeling; when not dealt with these can result in unhealthy behaviors.
I can help you work through self-limiting beliefs and adjust subsequent behaviors that hold you back and maintain difficult feelings. When we are informed and understand how our behaviors, thoughts and experiences impact us, we can make better decisions and design better actions.
I can help you recognize what is possible, and make personal choices that have purpose and direction. Replace fear driven actions and transform emotional disturbance into opportunities for growth and success. Experience relief by identifying and recognizing personal resources and strengths; realize what is within your control, what can be changed, and find peace and acceptance with that which cannot.
Finding a “good fit” therapist and agency for your needs is very important. If the statements and issues described above do not resonate with you, it is possible another counselor may be a better fit for you (if so, feel free to visit the “Links and Resources” page on this site to help continue your search). As an example, for individuals who experience ongoing suicidal tendencies, it is advisable to seek treatment in a larger agency with greater resources and a 24/7 on-call crisis line service, a service I cannot reasonably provide as a single practitioner. Similarly, individuals with severe addictions may be best served by engaging in an inpatient rehabilitation treatment program.
Below are some aspects of counseling and therapy I believe and practice. This may provide more clarity about some of the ways we might work together and allow you to consider this in your decisions for finding a “good fit” therapist.
More about my approach to Therapy
As indicated, for counseling to be effective and meaningful, it is essential that our sessions include your active participation and commitment to the therapeutic process. This involves acknowledging difficulties and concerns and having the willingness to work on building awareness and modifying distressing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Certainly, this is not an easy task but I provide a safe, respectful, supportive place to help encourage this process. If the thought of facing those difficulties sounds intimidating, M. Scott Peck, M.D. offers some encouraging words about the challenge of taking responsibility for our lives and the significant payoffs in working to solving life’s problems:
…it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguished between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. When we desire to encourage the growth of the human spirit, we challenge and encourage the human capacity to solve problems, just as in school we deliberately set problems for our children to solve. It is through the pain of confronting and resolving problems that we learn. (M. Scott Peck, 1978)
While you will have my full support during your sessions, it is realistic to expect you will have to work both in and out of the counseling sessions to address your concerns in order for positive change and growth to occur. There are rarely immediate, effortless or passive cures; rather, an honest exploration of your problems and the ways in which you have responded to those problems need to take place. Some changes may come more easily and be more rapid, while others may take longer and efforts may need to be repeated and require perseverance.
I provide an integrative theoretical approach to therapy, drawing upon various aspects of cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, solution-focused, and humanistic theories. I work to adapt techniques that address your particular challenges and guide you in finding the best direction for you; helping you see a situation in new ways and encouraging you to make a positive change. I offer warm, compassionate understanding so that you have the opportunity to openly express yourself, gain personal awareness and can embrace opportunities to grow as an individual.
Some Areas of Specialization
Personal growth – changing attitudes and patterns for positive growth
Mindfulness and Acceptance
Work and Career
Grief and Loss