Sometimes life just takes a wrong turn.
All the wheels come off.
Maybe the problems have been going on for a very long time.
You may have reached a point of doubting that anything can help.
When this is true in your life, it’s important to know where you can turn for HELP and HOPE.
A Path for Healing and Growth
People come to counseling for many different reasons. Everyone is different and has unique needs. My approach to therapy has been developed during almost 30 years of practice. I combine thorough assessment and caring, wise expertise to assist you in getting back on track. Together, we will explore both the symptoms and the underlying issues—and then develop a plan of action for healing and growth. I offer an individualized approach because I recognize that each person has unique struggles and brings a unique perspective with them when they come through the door.
Sometimes the cause of our pain is obvious…an unexpected death, a spouse that walks out, the loss of a job, or the crushing news of a serious health problem. We need someone to walk with us through these struggles until we regain our bearings and become stronger.
“Is This Just My LIFE??”
Other times the struggles we deal with--depression, anxiety, addictions, relational conflicts, and the like—may seem like they happen, or keeping happening, out of the blue with no rhyme or reason. But rarely are these just random events. You may have even gotten used to a certain level of pain or dysfunction, believing “that’s just my life.” The reality is there are often very good reasons why we are struggling and “coping” in the ways that we do. We simply are not conscious of what these reasons are.
Choosing Awareness, Choosing Growth
That’s where investing in therapy for your healing and growth can really pay off. With little conscious awareness, we all construct our own truths about life and come up with our own best set of coping strategies. But it is important to identify what these strategies and beliefs are which have developed over time, because we can’t change what we aren’t aware of. What we believe shapes our life…whether we realize it or not. Better to choose a philosophy of life that leads you in a desired direction, than to live unconsciously without realizing that your beliefs are forming your future.
In order to set a direction for healthier living, it is important to choose our truths intentionally, because CHOICE allows us to determine what we really believe (not just what we feel or have experienced) and what direction we really want to go. In therapy, we can learn together the reasons why you do what you do and feel what you feel…and then choose some healthier ways to think, cope, and relate to others.
Role of Medication
Some struggles are indicative of disorders which may require medication for ongoing management, such as major depression, bipolar illness, or severe anxiety. When medication may be helpful, I will refer you to your primary care physician or psychiatrist for a medication evaluation. Medications can improve or relieve symptoms and stabilize functioning, so that new learning can occur. In therapy, we will address the cognitive, behavioral, relational, and even spiritual aspects of these mental and emotional illnesses and learn effective tools for healthy self-care and improved health.
In the first 1-3 sessions, we will focus on assessing the problem—its symptoms, severity, and impact on your daily life—and then determine a plan for our work together with specific treatment goals. Often, I will recommend activities (e.g. homework assignments, journaling, yoga or exercise, etc.) or helpful readings to do in between sessions to maximize the effectiveness of therapy. I will utilize proven strategies in an atmosphere of safety and acceptance to equip, empower, and encourage you in the growth process.
Change is possible!
Recent findings in neural science assure us that no matter how long a problem has been going on, healing and growth is possible, because our brains are capable of developing new pathways. We can change! When we gain new insight, apply this new learning to specific situations, and then through intentional practice, repeated over and over, begin to do something different…eventually, in time, we BECOME someone different.