My Approach to Helping
My approach to helping clients comes from my Christian beliefs on how people should be treated. I take a collaborative approach to help them decide on appropriate and realistic goals for themselves and give them guidance and ideas to help them reach those goals. I challenge faulty thinking patterns and provide positive alternatives. I believe in engaging with my clients and developing a good therapeutic relationship so that their experience of counseling is a positive one. Many people come into counseling expecting me to "fix" them or their problems. I cannot "fix" things. I can help to guide, support, and encourage my clients. It is up to each person to put newly learned skills in place to make changes in their lives. I do give outside homework assignments, use journaling, bibliotherapy, worksheets, etc to help with making changes more quickly. I also help in connecting and/or setting up community resources if a client needs help with finances, housing, etc.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Over the years, I have worked with many people on a variety of issues. I started out working with children and adolescents with behavioral or mental health issues. I am good at helping parents and children developing new skills and ways of relating to one another to make their relationship and the household better. I have done much work on parenting skills and helping parents change their own behaviors in order to help their children. For the last seven years, I have spent most of my counseling time working with individuals/couples on depression and anxiety, affairs, sex addictions, pornography addictions, marriage issues, etc.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
As a human being, we all have struggles or larger problematic patterns of behavior, myself included. I have thought about my own struggles over the course of my life and taken what I have learned about myself and other people and used that to help my clients. I believe that the things I have learned have helped me to be less judgmental and critical and more accepting, forgiving, validating, undertsanding, etc than I would have been if I had never dealt with my own issues. I even use my own struggles as examples with my clients, when appropriate, to help them see that they can do things differently, be a more positive person on the other side of it, and know that they are not alone in their issues. I use my past as a way to strengthen, encourage, support, and give hope to my clients.