My Approach to Helping
Managing life's stressors can be challenging. There are many times in our life when we find ourselves stuck or overwhelmed, not knowing how to move forward. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues, low self-esteem, or other life issues can seem daunting and leave us feeling like a victim of life's circumstances. As a counselor, I will encourage, support, and assist you in moving beyond your current situation by helping identify those beliefs or areas of your life - your blind spots - that keep you stuck repeating patterns that often are at the core of the issue. Using theories or techniques of cognitive psychology, I help identify the distorted thought patterns that no longer work for you and teach you the tools necessary to grow and move beyond your current challenge. Counseling can help you move beyond a state of helplessness by examining new possibilities and helping you make the changes necessary to create the life you want.
More Info About My Practice
I offer sessions online (Teletherapy) via Doxy.me, a HIPAA compliant video platform. With doxy.me you can use your computer, tablet, mobile phone, or any device that has a webcam and microphone. No downloads, No apps necessary. You can have your session literally anywhere you feel comfortable. You can have the comfort and convenience of your home or office, sit down with a cup of tea or music or anything else that contributes to your sense of well-being. Online counseling has been found to be equally effective and offers privacy, convenience and flexible counseling times that are appealing to many. The counseling boutique is a boutique practice and chooses clients carefully in order to provide the most specialized and individualized counseling and improve the chances for success and life change. *Christian based counseling is available upon request.
My Role as a Therapist
Through cognitive, Adlerian and person-centered therapeutic techniques, my role as a counselor is to assist you to regain a sense of control, to improve your mental functioning and to improve your reality adjustment. As you deal with the repercussions of past events, your situation may seem overwhelming. You may describe the situation as hopeless or resign yourself to the idea that your current misery will continue indefinitely. These negative expectations tend to be fulfilled as you situations in order to validate your beliefs. These beliefs or thoughts become automatic and contribute and maintain the feelings of helplessness. These thoughts become patterns that are repeated time and time again. My job is to have an objective eye and help you identify these automatic thoughts and the role they play in your current situation.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
In the broadest terms, the essential elements for me to know about you are the critical life events that you feel have shaped you into who you are. While we certainly will discuss your past, the focus is more on how you perceived or interpreted past events and how those interpretations and your responses to those events shape your present and dictate your future. I will be able to get a sense of your general outlook on the world and identify patterns of thought and behavior that are consistent throughout your life. Generally speaking, the details of your story aren't as important as the way you have interpreted and responded to the life events and let them shape your outlook on life.
My Guiding Ethical Principles
I follow or adhere to the APA or ACA code of ethics as dictated by state licensure. I act on your behalf and my underlying ethic is to do you no harm. Any particular questions you might have, I am happy to address in as much detail as you would like.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Therapy doesn't have to be daunting and miserable. The therapy process can be fun and empowering because it allows you to take an active role in your own life and create new possibilities. It's normal for people to feel vulnerable opening up with a counselor. However, it's important to remember that as a counselor, I'm not here to judge you but rather to support, encourage, and guide you as you navigate through a troubled area of your life. If you are contemplating therapy yet ambivalent about it, I would challenge you to give it a try. Get the most out of your life. You have nothing to lose.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
There are bad therapists and bad therapy experiences, just as bad doctors and bad medical experiences. It's prudent, however not to generalize one bad experience to the entire therapy process. The success of therapy depends on you, your commitment to the process, and on the skills and style of the therapist. If you've had a bad experience with counseling, it is essential to discuss your experience with a new counselor. Discuss what made it a bad experience. It's important for you and your counselor to establish goals and clarify what you are hoping to accomplish through counseling. It's beneficial to know what both you and your counselor expect from the process and periodically assess whether those goals and expectations are being met. My advice is, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater because of a bad therapy experience. Find a new therapist just as you would find a new doctor. Counseling can be highly successful and be just the thing you need at this time. Take the time to find the right counselor for you.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
In general, knowing myself, the struggles of my own life, and my own experiences with therapy have made me a more effective counselor. The more self-insight a counselor has, the more effective he or she can be in helping you. There have been several key moments in my life that have been traumatic, and while I would not choose to repeat them, they ultimately have made me stronger and a better counselor.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The counseling relationship is important to the successful outcome of therapy. By building a relational foundation you can begin to lessen your defenses and open yourself to the possibilities for change. This foundation enables you to explore yourself and your situation, to gain a clearer understanding of any self-defeating behaviors, and to make the steps necessary for change. You are an active participant in the counseling process. My approach is warm and empathetic, yet also direct and authentic. It is my goal to help you, the client, identify the blind spots that have you stuck, to challenge you, support and encourage you as you make the steps necessary toward the change you want.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
In the beginning sessions, you and I will establish goals and a time frame for counseling. You and I will periodically assess if the goals are being met. It is my goal to move you through the counseling process in the most efficient manner. I have no desire to have you as a life long client. I'm If I am doing my job well, I will teach you the skills to mange your life more effectively. You will get to the place where you feel confident and able to move forward. While each person and their situation requires an individualized treatment plan and may vary in the amount of time required in counseling, I recommend assessing whether the goals of therapy are being met approximately every 6-8 sessions.