Are you looking for solutions to the challenges life throws your way?
Do you feel like stress is taking over your life?
Are you overwhelmed with work/life responsibilities?
Want to change your relationship, but your partner won’t go to therapy?
Do you wonder if you’ve lost your purpose or direction in life?
When people think of psychotherapy, more often than not they will imagine lying on a leather couch while an intimidating psychologist takes notes on everything they say in order to dig up “repressed” childhood experiences that will provide insight into their present psychological condition.
I’m not about that…
A wise man once said…
No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care…
I care, very much, about my clients.
With me, psychotherapy offers an opportunity for clients to speak openly and authentically about challenges which are preventing them from living the life they desire. I strive to validate my clients. I consistently listen and seek confirmation by summarizing client stories. Primarily, my goal is to understand the clients worldview through the lenses of their experiences.
My interventions are eclectic. I actively seek complex patterns and themes in the lives of my clients (many of which my clients are oblivious to) which contradict with my clients stated goals.
Validation is one of my primary tools in therapy, as no one knows your story better than you. Therefore, I implement a variety of techniques such as paraphrasing, active listening, and summarization, which provide me with opportunities to frequently check in with my clients to be sure that I understand their stories from their perspective.
I use my own experiences, only as it relates to providing additional opportunities to connect and relate to my clients.
Because many of my clients often have patterns of unhealthy relationships with significant others and family members, it is often very useful to employ dialectical behavioral techniques which were created to assist clients with understanding how to exist in a world that is not black-and-white. By residing in the gray areas, clients are more likely to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression that interfere with happiness.
A summary of the skills that I teach are as follows:
Mindfulness is implemented in an effort to assist clients with remaining present in their experiences and not focusing on historical or future dynamics;
Distress tolerance is applied when clients are dealing with things that are stressful and require assistance with managing their feelings;
Interpersonal effectiveness skills are applied in an effort to assist clients with improving their relationships with others;
Emotional regulation skills are taught in an effort to assist clients with being able to manage emotions in various stages of duress.
Often times, clients have inaccurate negative perceptions of themselves, the world around them, and their futures. This negatively affects their self esteem and relationships. These negative perceptions often exist through their own experiences and observations of the behaviors of others. But most of these faulty perceptions can be attributed to human error as no one thinks perfectly… For clients presenting with these challenges, I find that cognitive behavior therapy along with trauma focused, cognitive behavior therapeutic approaches are helpful. CBT/TF-CBT is most useful as a tool to teach clients new ways of thinking about patterns in behavior in a way that brings meaning and value to their lives.
Finally, creative art therapeutic interventions are implemented for those who desire creative expression. For many, their stories have never been able to be freely expressed in the way in which they want to. By engaging in the creative arts, clients are invited to fully experience their stories in a way that is unique to them. In doing this, people are also often freed from their own inhibitions and learn to re-create/revise their own stories and interventions in a way that brings meaning and value to their lives.
By design, I am a Christian and that makes me a Christian counselor. Thus, I do see my clients that I serve and others through Christian lenses, and that means that I love everybody. For those with whom Judeo Christian values are important, I will be happy to implement relevant scripture as needed.
A point to keep in mind is that the more you believe you can change and that therapy can make a difference, the more positive and successful your treatment will be. This is called self efficacy and serves as the motivating force behind successful treatment.
To be of the most support, I offer unlimited access to me through a HIPPA secure platform that makes it easy for clients to make contact in between sessions. This is necessary as sometimes things come up in between sessions, and I want my clients to be able to contact me when needed. I see therapy as a process that includes our entire longevity of our work together, not just the time that we are meeting directly. I also offer homework interventions that are designed to help clients practice what we learned in session, even when they are not in session, Studies show that when clients do homework in between sessions it leads to a better relationship, clients feel heard, and they prioritize the therapeutic work that we’ve done in session. Additionally, clients get better faster with the added accountability of homework.
What is involved in individual therapy?
The overall length of time taken for individual therapy varies widely. Usually a minimum of sixteen sessions are needed to thoroughly address your challenges, but I see most clients for at least six months. After four months, however, we often consider titration from weekly to bi-weekly sessions if clinically appropriate. I have served clients for more than a year but that is a decision that is mutually agreed upon between the therapist and client. The agreement considers the clients progress, potential, and motivation/preparation for termination. Additionally, I often work with clients over a span of several years, with many terminations in between for various reasons.
The first session will usually involve us “getting to know” one another. I will ask questions about you and your past experiences, current situation, family, job and friends. I will not push you to delve into private matters, but I do need to obtain enough information about your individual needs in order to determine a course of treatment. In some cases, the problem will be quite evident to both you and I (e.g. if you are not sleeping and are seeking help to improve sleeping habits). However, in some cases there may be an underlying issue you are not aware of (e.g. you may be depressed, anxious or angry without knowing why).
The first step is to determine what the problem is. Once we have both developed an awareness of the situation, we can start to work together to determine why the problem is present.
Remember that, although your I may be directing the sessions, you are the one in control. If you feel that the therapy should take a different direction, please express this with me as I will still be very responsive to any feedback that you have.
By using the aforementioned skills and techniques, I will help you to:
Identify coping strategies: These may be coping strategies that have helped you in the past. I will teach you to adapt these strategies to your current situation. If your coping strategies have been unsuccessful in the past, I will guide you in the development of new ones.
Rearrange life priorities: Sometimes people have psychological problems because they have an irrational expectation of themselves and others. This increases the pressure on everyone and can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. I help to reduce this outcome by rearranging your expectations and priorities so that you may be able to avoid unnecessary stress.
Identify personal strengths: Sometimes during times of psychological crisis it is easy to focus on your weaknesses and what you do not have, instead of your strengths and the wonderful things you do have. I will draw your attention to positive aspects about yourself, and help you rediscover and bring them out again. This will help you to believe in yourself.