My Approach to Helping
Getting started with therapy, whether "assessment" (initial visit) or "treatment" (coming to sessions) can feel pretty intimidating. Knowing a few things may make it a bit easier, and can even help you to look forward to getting started on reaching your wellness goals.
Here are a few things about therapy that I provide, which you may find encouraging:
1. You come first. Not the therapist, not a diagnosis, not something in a book.
2. I never, ever, try to force anything. That is NOT good therapy, and it's not happening here.
3. You can share what you want to, when you need to. (Please tell me enough so I know what you're struggling with, and can begin to help.)
4. Questions are always welcome. Please ask.
5. You are not a diagnosis; you are a human being. Diagnosis lets insurers know you need services (see information in next sections), and can help you and me to know what areas are bothering you most.
Whether you call to ask questions or to schedule a first visit/assessment, I think you will find that I am professional, as well as friendly and empathetic. I look forward to hearing from you!
Elizabeth E Miller, LPCC/Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor
More Info About My Practice
I use an Integrative approach to treatment, meaning that I use interventions selected from a number of theoretical orientations specifically for your treatment needs. Interventions (ways of approaching a problem or need) may include CBT (Cognitive Behavioral), TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral), psychodynamic, person-centered, psychoeducation, play therapy and sand tray/ sand play, and more. Please ask about these or others.
I enjoy working with individuals (children/ adolescents/ adults), families, couples, and parents, and provide mental health and addictions treatment, including what is called "dual diagnosis" or "co-occurring disorder" treatment. This simply means that if a client is struggling with a combination of trauma issues, mental/emotional/behavioral issues, addiction issues, these concerns are addressed in treatment, rather than separating them. Often, help given for an issue in one area will benefit other areas--encouraging!
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
You're not crazy; LIFE IS!
I see therapy largely as a developmental process, a way of working creatively (I hate drudgery) on problems and obstacles that get in the way of a person's growth and fulfillment.
I don't ask "what's wrong with you." Rather, we work together to look at what's happened along life's road--things we've done, or been given, or not received; things we were born into or got into over time.
No matter what a person has been dealt by birth or circumstance or experience, or what a person has gotten into by choice or accident, there are doable things that can bring relief and encouragement.
Don't give up. Things change. Let's start!
What Makes up a Problem?
A problem that could be eased by way of therapy is not always easy to pinpoint. Usually it's when something about life--your outlook, your daily experience in relationships, family or work--you name it, has you struggling to move forward or to even feel hopeful. Some issues come and go, but the ones that get you down, hold you back, or even what drive your partner up a wall, these are often areas that respond well to counseling.
You will be the judge of how your counseling experience works for you. Your commitment (coming to sessions, challenging old patterns and exploring new ideas) as well as the way you connect with your clinician (Do they hear you? Do they help you recognize stuck points and develop ways to get relief? Do they respect you as a capable human being and believe you have potential to overcome challenges?) will make the difference in treatment effectiveness.
We all have problems, but they don't have to remain barriers that continue to inflict pain and discouragement.
Things can change. You can do this. Go for it!