My Approach to Helping
People come to therapy for many reasons. Life happens. Maybe there's a long-standing problem, or maybe you're just currently overwhelmed. I specialize in behavioral addictions (such as video game addiction), trauma and anxiety. But I work with people on many other concerns. Perhaps you're not even sure what the problem is. That's fine--our minds and bodies have incredible capacity for healing. We just need to pack the right equipment for the journey. I'll work with you to address your individual goals.
There are many kinds of therapy. I don't just have one approach--we tailor what we are doing to meet your needs. We do work on thoughts and actions, but I also like to focus a bit on the deeper parts of us--our feelings and the history of our lives that we carry with us. These are the places where more complete healing can often be found.
More Info About My Practice
The most important aspect of therapy is the collaborative connection that we make. We work as a team to accomplish the goals that brought you to therapy. Exactly how that happens is a bit different for each person. And it takes some time, depending on your goals. But if you haven't been to therapy before (or if you have been and found it unhelpful), let me suggest this--if it doesn't feel helpful in some way by the end of the second session, then you should start asking questions. My goal is for us to begin doing things right away that you will find helpful, and to provide you with tools that you can use every day.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I have experience working with concerns of anxiety, addiction (particularly behavioral addictions, like video game addiction) and depression as well as overstress and relationship challenges. I work with trauma, including childhood trauma, and have specialized training for that.
However, you don't need a diagnosis to come in for counseling, and I often don't provide one, unless you need/want it. A diagnosis is only a label--sometimes helpful, sometimes not. You deserve to be treated as a person, not a collection of problems; so we'll use whatever tools are most helpful for you in moving toward your goals. Good therapy is a collaboration, so us working as a team is essential.
A special word about addiction: It's a very challenging problem, but there are tools we can use in therapy. I also encourage all my clients to get support from other places (recovery groups, your church or other organization, groups of friends, family members), because once a week with a therapist is sometimes not enough for fully addressing this issue. The key is for us to find and/or create the support you need both inside and outside of the therapy room.
I am a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and I constantly seek to keep my skills current and upgrade them.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I get to meet wonderful, interesting people, who I am often able to help. I like the collaboration involved in therapy: Sometimes it's encouragement or finding ways to work through a current problem, sometimes it's finding relief from suffering and deeper healing. Supporting your progress is my objective and I love having the opportunity to help people work toward their goals.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
If you're still reading, then I will hazard a guess that there's a good reason for that. There are a lot of myths about counseling. Here are a few: Therapy is for people who are weak or can't solve their own problems, just talking with someone can't help my situation, why pay when I can just talk with a friend? Let's briefly address them.
1. Therapy is for the weak. Well, anyone can be put in a physical situation they can't handle (think tornado), and likewise, anyone can find themselves in an emotional'/psychological situation that is too much for them. It happens to almost everyone at some point. My clients are strong people who have taken action to help themselves by coming in.
2. Just talking can't help my situation. Of course not--situations are things we find ourselves in. But how we deal with them depends on the tools we have available to use. Every problem I have ever solved involved my using things I learned from other people at some point, and also some things I learned for myself. Counseling can help by providing new tools and supporting you to develop your own as well.
3. Why pay when I can get advice from a friend? Research shows that people in therapy say that it is more helpful to them than talking to friends. Just saying. Friends are very important and very helpful, but sometimes we also need something more specialized. Is it worth it? You have to decide. If problems are interfering with your ability to function in life, isn't that something that's pretty valuable? Your call. I'm here.
I'm taking new clients and I'm happy to answer any questions. I look forward to meeting you.