My Approach to Helping
Most people start looking for a therapist or counselor when they have had difficulty identifying a problem, or they have not been successful in resolving one. It is my belief that when we face such circumstances, relational or individual, life is asking us to learn something from the experience that CAN really be for our personal growth, development, and ultimate benefit. Though challenges, problems, and unhappiness are part of the typical life experience, it is nevertheless difficult and frustrating at times. But we need not become discouraged at the necessity of engaging the process to rise above our challenges and problems. When we engage that process successfully, we feel happy, confident, and empowered. We feel a better sense of individual control over our own lives. Most of the time we do that without professional help. Occasionally, however, we feel overwhelmed by relationship and/or individual problems. As things appear to get worse, or at least don't change, we occasionally panic and get upset, and we often put increased effort into making changes by attempting the same or similar solutions, but with increased frequency and/or intensity. When that happens, But if the problem(s) get worse, in spite of our best efforts, or at least if they don't appear to resolve, we may start to lose confidence and hope. We begin to feel helpless. Some people describe it as feeling STUCK. When STUCK, most of us experience a variety of troubling emotional responses--symptoms that are associated with terms such as powerlessness, anxiety, resentment, depression, anger, grief, and countless others.
When we can't change something, we most often resort to coping. Acceptance and coping are healthy strategies when facing something that is not changeable. The weather is a rather superficial example. But if change is possible, and it is our lack of knowing how or what to do to effect change that is hindering us, coping can inadvertently keep us STUCK, as we unknowingly deny what we need to learn to do differently. When we discover what keeps us STUCK, however, new perspectives on our problem(s) emerge to our view, allowing us to make choices that we had not considered previously or that even occurred to us. When perspective changes, we are able employ new strategies to get UNSTUCK.
Since I have been trained and educated in a research-based clinical program, I employ scientifically reliable and valid counseling and therapy approaches that are recognized to help individuals, families, and couples experience real change. These include emotion focused therapy (EFT), cognitive therapy (CT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and brief solution focused therapy (BST). I additionally incorporate commitment, mindfulness, forgiveness, and acceptance ideals into therapy, recognized in the field of psychology to permit and encourage desirable change.
In MARRIAGE THERAPY, I take a pro-commitment, but balanced stance, meaning that staying with each other is desirable unless there is a convincing reason not to. Though each couple must face the process of deciding what is, for them, convincing, I can help you in that process. If you find yourself UNDECIDED about your commitment to a partner or spouse, I will help you to discover what keeps you trapped in indecision. If your family has gone through DIVORCE, I can help you and/or your children effectively adjust to the relationship changes that are demanded by the dissolution of the marriage.
As an INDIVIDUAL THERAPIST, I want to support you in understanding how to decrease obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors, stress, grief/loss, anxiety, PTSD, panic, anger, and depression, as well as other major emotions that restrict your ability to follow and achieve your aims in life. From both family, couple, and individual perspectives, if you are experiencing ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS, I want to help you identify ways of managing the addictive "pull" of gambling, drug/alcohol, pornography, sex, and other habits that hinder your ability to pursue and achieve what you want in your life.
Proven research illustrates that when choosing a therapist, your initial impressions of a therapist/counselor, and the relationship that you build with him/her in the initial few sessions, is the most important variable of all variables in determining the benefit of therapy. I therefore encourage you to follow your impressions when choosing a therapist.
I am pleased to spend a few minutes to go over any questions you may have. Please call the number listed on the right of the page for a FREE 10 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION, or you can send me an email at the address also listed on this page. I personally reply to all calls, and I DO REPLY. If I do not answer the phone when you call me, please leave your call-back number and name on my voice mail, along with the best time(s) for me to call you back. If I am not working with clients during the particular times you request, I will try to return your call in the later evening, or the next morning.