My Approach to Helping
Holding on to "baggage" from childhood can rob you of vitality, purpose, and pleasure in living. Chronic bickering and fighting can kill off love and respect, destroying marriages and parent/child relationships. A divorce or affair can leave you feeling disillusioned, bitter, and afraid to trust again. Frequent crying spells or blowing up "for no reason" are important messages from your wounded spirit and should be heard. There can be healing. There is help out of pain and confusion. During difficult times, talking with an impartial person not related to your family or friends in a confidential setting can be a relief and provide new perspective. Few of us grew up in "perfect" families that taught us everything we need to know about love, relationships, dealing with strong negative emotions, or negotiating compromise. When we're unhappy or under stress, we forget the "right" things to do, or can't imagine new ways to handle old problems. I have helped people like you work through struggles such as hopelessness and suicidal thoughts, anger, parent/child conflict, anxiety and mood disturbance, marital and workplace discord, infidelity and broken trust, adjustment to divorce, death of loved one, or job loss, ineffective communication, processing rape and other traumas, parenting challenges, maintaining sobriety, and re-entering marriage and family after military deployment. I will help you discover how familiar coping strategies like withdrawal, aggression, or substance use that have become obsolete, were developed originally as way to cope. Armed with new understanding, you will replace these old attitudes and behaviors. Together we will face painful fears or memories, increase tolerance for vulnerable emotions, and help you emerge stronger and more whole. We will identify and build on your strengths. I will teach you to observe and honor your "inner voice", listen more effectively to other people, set clear boundaries, say what you want and need with confidence, and express anger in healthy and productive ways. My style is relaxed, interested, and respectful. My approach is collaborative consultant, not "the expert". I believe all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. When given the opportunity to be seen and heard, I trust that people know what they want and need, and have the power to solve many of their own problems.