Our children are our most precious commodity. As delightful, adorable, and awe-inspiring as they can be, you’ve heard it many times before; they do not come with a manual. Ever wonder…”But he’s so loving and then all of a sudden”…or, “I don’t know why she looks so sullen and sad all the time.” And then they turn into teenagers and seemingly become a WHOLE new person. You are not alone, parents if you sometimes feel like you just don’t know what to do and everything you say is the wrong thing. Raising children and adolescents can be challenging but not to worry; help is on the way. I offer various modalities of therapeutic services designed to assist you with communicating with you children, understanding their needs, identifying their currency, and helping to motivate them toward change. I work with the younger population with open ears and an equally open heart to build a strong rapport that sets the stage for trust and a positive therapeutic relationship conducive to growth, challenging your child or teen to step into the potential that is theirs. Using a holistic approach, I create an atmosphere that promotes safety paramount to healing. Each child has a unique personality, and in working with this population; we work to assist him or her with getting in touch with the best parts of his or herself and develop into healthy, well-rounded young adults and finally into “real” grown-ups. I specialize in working with children, adolescents, as well as adults with attachment issues, trauma, communication, developmental delays, anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
Couples may come into counseling for a plethora of reasons but I find that most want to leave with a better understanding of their partner. What I have learned is that when each member in the relationship puts in the work; both will leave with a better understanding of themselves. In couples/relational counseling one of the main objectives is to create a safe space for pure open communication. Many times couples are in turmoil due to bad communication habits. As we work to learn the dynamics of the relationship, we begin to see the areas which will benefit from a change. Part of the work includes developing skills to problem solve within the relationship, fight fairly, resolve conflict with dignity, forgive and move forward, identify relationship patterns that may have been repeated by one or both parties and continues to hinder growth and healing in the relationship. In most cases, the issues that often bring a couple into therapy are an indicator of deeper problems brewing underneath the surface of the relationship. We will work to dig deeper and unearth the core issues at the root of the dysfunction. Relational work offers a bonus… most couples find, following couples therapy; they experience positive results in other relationships in life; such as with co-workers, parents, in-laws, siblings, and friends.
I approach family therapy from a systemic approach. In doing so, I believe, the families benefits from learning how they interact with one another by identifying the systems at work with their specific family dynamic. Well versed in the various family therapy modalities, I treat each family as a unique entity and choose the interventions best suited for the family’s special needs. We will work together to determine where the disconnects are within the family unit and explore ways to create cohesive safe family relationships.
Ever get the feeling that your life is moving faster than you are and you cannot catch up. Or perhaps your experience is restlessness, fidgeting, panic attacks, or an overall feeling of discomfort; not feeling safe in your own body. These can all be symptoms of anxiety. You may not feel safe in a crowd or feel like you stick out like a sore thumb. Have you ever become paralyzed with fear and not know where it comes from? All symptoms of various forms of anxiety. You know longer need to feel trapped in your own body. My work with those who are managing anxiety issues ranges from exposure therapy to mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques including; grounding, meditation, and breathing/relaxation exercises to train your body to behave in a manner that leaves you feeling safe and secure in your space.
Depression/Bipolar Disorder/Adjustment Disorder
Sadness is a normal emotion and does not always mean a person is depressed but sometimes it does…and there is nothing wrong with that. I want to help my clients erase the stigma that can be related to mental, emotional, and sometimes spiritual disorders that may leave a person feeling out of sync. Sometimes that is what depression feels like; a low-grade pull that leaves one tired, irritable, discouraged, and even confused. I offer therapeutic interventions that help my clients to sort through the murky waters of sadness and explore the path to contentment and peace. The symptoms associated with depression, bipolar disorder, adjustment disorder can be managed with a commitment to healing by finding the best path back to one’s self.
Grief and Loss
Grief can be caused by so many losses; all devastating and life changing. I approach grief, using the “Four Tasks of Mourning” because I don’t believe grief comes in stages and moves to an end. I believe grief must be managed as a task toward healing and using this approach allows a person to revisit a task when the healing in that area is not complete. Grief is very personal and I encourage my clients to manage it in the way that works best for them; allowing me to act a support vessel when the waters become too difficult to navigate on their own. I have an extensive history of working with survivors of violent crime and homicide and those who have lost their loved ones to violence, drunk drivers, murder, suicide, domestic violence. The grief that stems from these incidents, so devastating, is called complex grief. In addition to experiencing a loss, one must also deal with the heightened nature of the loss through the tragic brutal complexities that accompany violent death. Using a step by step journey-like pace I will walk through the devastation with my clients on the way to the healing.
I really fell in love with mindfulness after working so hard to meditate, I was feeling dizzy; without an ounce of peace or tranquility in sight. Of course, I never spent more than 15 minutes in my quest for inner peace and solitude. Well, then along came mindfulness. Mindfulness gave someone like me permission to be. No longer did I have to focus so hard on being still that I could not be still. But instead, I could be mindful in the moment; no matter how fleeting. This freedom has brought me to a place of peace which allows me to not worry if I lose track of my “nothingness thinking.” I just must be mindful to bring my mind back when it wanders. This small lesson led me on a new path toward stillness that was possible for one of high energy. Mindfulness is a beautiful practice which teaches one to be in the moment and to choose to be there on purpose. I invite you to join me on this path to who knows where. You be your own guide.