Providing individual, couples and group therapy.
Treatment specialization includes:
Relationship counseling sounds frightening, at first. Many people fear that it’s the beginning of the end. In fact, the focus and the goal are to learn ways to do better with one another. Even if the relationship has run its course, there are better (and worse) choices to make in how it ends. One important thing to keep in mind is that in couples therapy there is no room for pathology. We don’t spend time trying to figure out who is "wrong." We’re here to deal with what is between you, not what’s "deeply flawed" within either of you.
Couples counseling deals with problems in all stages of relationship: dating, premarital, marriage, separation, and divorce.
Problems with dating can sometimes be an individual treatment: how do I find the right person? why can’t I keep a relationship going? how do I know if this IS the right person?
Premarital counseling is about getting to know the partner you are planning to "go into business" with: Do we agree on the important things? Have we explored our "deal-busters"? Can we at least tolerate each others’ families?
Marital counseling is often about untangling assumptions, exploring the changing dynamics caused by work life, or children… learning to have dialogue together, rather than taking "at" one another.
Separation: sometimes a relationship runs its course. Can we de-tangle our lives respectfully, and leave one another with a sense of completion?
Divorce: Can we end this union with an understanding that, while it may not have lasted so long as we’d hoped, while in it we learned about ourselves and one another, and gave it our best?
Individual therapy is, of course, what everyone pictures when they hear the word "psychotherapy." However, you should know that it’s still the go-to treatment for most emotional struggles. It’s well-documented that depression, for example, is best treated by a combination of medication and talk therapy. Anxiety can be more safely managed by developing mechanisms to deal with scary thoughts, as opposed to taking addictive medications. Problems involving self-esteem are particularly responsive to interpersonal talk therapy.
We call it stress "management" because stress is actually an important part of a full life. As idyllic as a stress-less life may sound, few of us could tolerate it for long. And those who could tolerate it would probably laze themselves into an dearly death.
Stress is only a problem when it seems to be taking over your life. If you feel the need to do everything, and by yourself. If you worry constantly about what remains undone. If you obsess about what your friend thinks of you. And yes, if you have a bullying boss.
Unhealthy stress is behind many conditions, both mental and physical. It creates a tension in your body, turns on cortisol in your brain, highjacks your thought processes. People may develop addictions as a mode of dealing with stress. When you find yourself "too busy" for self-care and pleasure, your stress is eating you alive.
That’s what we want to deal with. We want to identify and alter the behaviors you use, without realizing it, that are pushing your stress to an unsafe level.
ADDICTION AND RECOVERY:
"Addiction" is almost a buzz-word today. It describes a condition that is likely both genetic and cultural. It’s best described as a cycle, from wanting to get rid of uncomfortable feelings, to doing the act (because there are more than just substance addictions), to feeling regret, and trying to "make up" for the act, to feeling even worse, maybe shamed, and then wanting to get rid of that feeling, to doing the act….
Successful recovery involves interrupting that cycle, finding ways to stay away from the act, learning other ways of dealing with the uncomfortable feelings, developing healthier pleasures…
It’s described as a "family disease," because there are long-standing behavior patterns that create the culture in which addiction flourishes. Actual addiction may skip generations, but the family traditions carry forward. Therapy is a powerful adjunct to any recovery program, helping the person, and their family, change the dynamics that lock the addictive cycle in place.
This might seem like a subheading for addiction and recovery, but it is in fact a condition unto itself. While many people discover their co-dependent tendencies whil in relationship with an addict, those traits can show up anywhere, in any relationship. The co-dependent is one who loses contact with him/herself by a hyper focus on others. Recovery from this is difficult, especially because of our societal assumption that taking care of others is "good."
But a much happier, more fulfilling life awaits the "co-dependent" who learns to care for him/herself. Contrary to the fear that one might lose relationships by becoming "selfish," the goal is actually for the individual to be just that much more him/herself in relationships, ultimately bringing more life and enjoyment for everyone involved.
PARENTING AND STEP-PARENTING SUPPORT:
How do we learn to parent? Most of us simply use the template we grew up with. Unless we were very lucky, we could do better. And we WANT to do better. Parenting, and especially step-parenting, is a difficult, complicated job.
If you want to be a doctor, you go to medical school. If you want to be a lawyer, you go to law school. You spend years studying the attitudes and skills you need for your career. So why do we assume that we can do arguably the most important job of our lives without any training? Is it any wonder we find ourselves doing to our kids exactly the things we promised ourselves we wouldn’t ever do?
This is not about changing you, but rather about helping you be more effective, more supportive, (and generally happier!) with your kids.