Life has many events that surprise us unexpectedly – the ending of a valued relationship or job, death of a loved one, or general "life" challenges. There are many reasons people choose to invest in counseling. The following are a few of the issues I address assisting clients to manage life's surprises:
Grief and Loss: Involves working through such losses as death (sudden and unexpected or natural death), end of a relationship or loss of a job, or an unexpected health challenge. This work can involve reevaluating where one is currently, and making the necessary adjustments to create where one wants to be in the future. Working with the client to move forward "one step at a time" and viewing the situation from a higher perspective, can bring the ability to recreate a rich and fulfilling life in spite of setbacks.
Recreating Life after Divorce: Working through how best to resolve relationship loss, by choosing how you wish to heal and recreate your life for yourself. This can also involve exploring healthy ways to continue a stable relationship with your ex-partner, especially when children are involved.
Self Esteem: A person's belief system and self-image can influence their actions and capabilities. Feelings of inadequacy, rejection, helplessness and hopelessness as well as harsh criticism can block a person's ability to take risks and make changes that can bring about a more fulfilling life. I work to challenge the individual's belief system/reality, while reflecting on ways things can be better. Affirmations and hypnosis can also strengthen the individual, enhancing healing of erroneous beliefs.
Spirituality and Search for Meaning: It is natural to wonder “Why me?” when a tragedy occurs. In therapy we will explore the loss and “find the gold” in the experience, which will bring you a deeper connection and understanding of what it means to be “fully human.”
Working from a strength-based, systemic perspective, I provide services for individuals, couples and families. I also hold groups addressing life transitions as an opportunity to explore new avenues like making a new life after children leave home, developing social skills by working with a peer group, and other issues identified through my involvement with clients that can bring enlightenment, personal growth and development.
Panic/anxiety/depression: Dr. Michael Yapko, Ph.D., has pointed out that in many cases, client's have been kept in a state of depression because they have kept their focus in the past, which can prevent individuals from moving through "what has been" and creating new experiences involving a "new vision/outlook" involving challenge and risk. Additionally, individuals can reduce such things as panic, depression and anxiety by developing healthy coping skills such as deep breathing, thought-stopping, hypnosis and other relaxation techniques, calling on their ability to enlist "calming, inner resources." These therapeutic techniques can be enhanced using the client's positive imaginal skills as well. This promotes the client's continued desired changes while promoting self-confidence and self-reliance.
Types of Counseling
Individual: Counseling sessions for adolescents and/or adults are normally 45-50 minutes in length. During the initial session, I will review your completed intake form, clarify information and ask questions that can give me a better understanding of your reason for coming to counseling. I will also explore the goals you may wish to set for yourself before we move further into the counseling session.
Couples: There are several options available to individuals seeking couples counseling. I have training in the Prepare/Enrich work of Dr. David Olson, Ph.D., and his "Empowering Couples" program based on 20 years of research. This is a structured program, involving an assessment addressing the most important areas of a couple's relationship, and identifies couple strengths and areas for growth. It affords the couple, through the weekly sessions, to turn potential stumbling blocks into stepping stones. lt also empowers the couple to develop a plan for a stronger, more satisfying relationship.
Additional info can be found on the "Prepare/Enrich" Link:
Another option for "couple's work" is the use of Hedy and Yumi Schleiffer's "Adventures in Intimacy" Couples work implementing rituals that can bring a couple to connect and "cross the bridge" into the world of their partner.
More information on this couple work can be seen at Hedy and Yumi's Link:
An alternative to these programs is an integrative program for couples counseling, which is more focused on working with couples in the areas of effective and respectful communication, bringing a sense of warmth and connection with their partner, even in trying times. This incorporates rituals which can be "connectors" for them.
These counseling sessions are generally 45-50 minutes. Number of sessions are dependent on couples motivation/integration of materials and their taking individual responsibility in integrating healthy changes in their interactions with their partner.
Family Counseling sessions are available for families who wish to develop a better understanding of the dynamics of creating healthier more respectful relationships, harmony, clearer boundaries, and caring. Sessions are usually 45-50 minutes. The session may involve providing education and practice, and may also incorporate homework to be completed by the family during the week.
Group: Groups are offered periodically for adolescents and adults. Sessions are 90 minutes in length, limited in the number of weeks, and are often specific to a particular issue/concern (i.e. self-esteem, trauma recovery, grief and loss, social skills/relationships, etc.) On the Home Page, click on “Upcoming Groups and Events."
Importance of Goal Setting
Goal setting involves a commitment and partnership we create together as therapist and client. Though each client's goals are different, here are a few examples of goals my clients have chosen to pursue:
- Developing clearer decision-making abilities
- Creating better work and family balance
- Understanding, accepting and working through emotions, fear, and pain
- Setting stronger personal boundaries
- Enjoying life more - incorporating play time
- Appreciating social events and being relaxed in any social setting
- Self-discovery – developing new passions and hobbies
- Learning “healthy parenting” skills
- Developing intimacy and healthy support systems
Call me and we will discuss your counseling needs.