My Approach to Helping
Balance for the Present - Hope for the Future
There are real reasons why you feel and act the way you do. Most times, you don't recognize or know what those reasons are. You may not find out the answer to why; but counseling may help you understand and recognize what is triggering feelings and behaviors. You can better understand who, what, when, and where feelings and behaviors began, and why they remain in your life even though you don't want them to be there anymore.
Often these reasons begin in childhood family issues or trauma. Sometimes there is a "pancake effect" of multiple situations, overwhelming work conditions, family tension, stressful relationships, jealousy, abandonment or rejection issues, and the list goes on and on.
As a licensed mental health counselor, certified addictions professional, and certified trauma facilitator, I am eager to help you recognize irrational thoughts of blame, shame, or guilt that overwhelm you, by using techniques focused on your specific needs.
Do you long to improve your self esteem, coping skills, motivation, and relationship skills? Counseling may help you make the changes to be better balanced, happy, healthy, and whole. I look forward to helping you or someone you love.
More Info About My Practice
Counseling sessions by appointment.
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Most counselors either start out or acquire a niche in the counseling field. Before I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, I was in classes and training to work in the field of addictions. My interest was to better understand my mother's childhood as she was growing up in an alcoholic family. She died in 1995; it was not until 18 months later, in 1997, that I learned that she was what was called an "ACOA" - Adult Child of an Alcoholic - Currently, many years later the "ACOA" term changed and it relates to "abuse" or dysfunction of any sort rather than only alcoholic. There is a pattern of dysfunctional families no matter what begins the cycle.
I started out working with addictions, and through the past 20 years, my niche has grown to encompass much more. I work not only with family of origin issues, co-dependency, and 12 step work, but also with survivors of childhood trauma (emotional, physical, and sexual abuse), , domestic abuse and violence, and post traumatic stress disorder - PTSD.
I find not all but that much depression, anxiety, self harm, suicidal thoughts/ attempts, victimization of above mentioned childhood and adult traumas build and pancake on top of each other.
When choosing a counselor, look for someone who is skilled and passionate to assist you with the niche for which you need assistance.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
Quite often, near the end of a first session, which I call "meet and greet",the question is posed, "Well, am I crazy?" Or just as equally, "I am told that I'm the one with the problem and 'this' is all my fault!"
I assure immediately that in my office, we don't look at: right - wrong; white - black; good - bad; or saint - sinner with pointing fingers. What we do look at is: healthy - unhealthy. When "things" are put into a different perspective of comparison without the pre-loaded adjectives and judgments, one can look, compare, and make choices that can be healthy for oneself and the benefit of others.
I congratulate each new arrival for the choice of bravery to attend a counseling session with a first time stranger and be vulnerable. That does not equate to weak or flawed.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
Unfortunately with insurance, sometimes there are both duration and frequency of session limits. Notwithstanding those restrictions, my guidelines for sessions are focused to match best with your intended goal(s) for initiating counseling.
First, and foremost, I don't have an agenda for you. Once the goal(s) have been recognized and expressed, the case plan will address the prioritized item(s) you want to work on.
Quite often, a specific need, problem, or goal, is identified with a time frame established. Such as: There is a family member's wedding coming up in 6 weeks; and, I don't want to have to talk to the person who touched me inappropriately when I was a child. Or, I'm going to a business event, and I don't want to have a panic attack, if I'm called on to speak about a project, like I did last year.
Equally, or more often, a pervasive sense of depression, anxiety, fear, or other dreaded feelings which seem to be an ever present sensation in life can not be shaken off. The statement goal could be as vague as, "I just want to feel better." or "I just don't want to be so angry all the time." Frequently, earlier childhood, adolescent, and adult issues of neglect, relationship betrayal, trauma, or PTSD issues can cloud like a fog otherwise clear cut goals. These types of issues need some peeling back layers like an onion or what I call "going down the rabbit hole," until a better precise goal is realized.