Services

SERVICES

Providing individual, couples and family counseling.

I work with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues providing services that span from therapy for depression and grief counseling to parenting support, couples counseling and beyond. In a comfortable and supportive atmosphere, I offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each of my clients individual needs to help attain the personal growth they’re striving for.

Treatment specialization includes:

ADDICTION AND RECOVERY

An addiction is a chronic disorder in which an individual is blinded by a substance, or engages in an activity, that gives them an immense amount of pleasure but has become detrimental to their everyday life. Compulsive behaviors and addictions can temporarily provide confidence, control, validation, or other emotions lacking in one’s life, but the behavior may not stop until the root of the problem is addressed.
Addiction changes the brain through the limbic system, also known as the “brain reward system.” This part of the brain is responsible for producing feelings of pleasure and will manifest thoughts such as, “I deserve this,” or “Let’s do that again.” The abuse of addictive substances and behaviors triggers this system which can prolong a continuous cycle of destructive behavior.

Common addictions include but are not limited to:
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Gambling
  • Internet
  • Shopping

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

We all have moments of frustration whether they be associated with a friend, a family member, or a disagreement in your everyday life, but there are several positive strategies to utilize when it comes to dealing with conflict.

What qualifies as a conflict?

According to the Office of Human Resource Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conflict is understood by analyzing various behaviors and the consequences each behavior produces on individuals living the dilemma.

COUPLES COUNSELING

Factors of everyday life can put an abundant strain on a relationship. Severe stressors may include resentment, infidelity, intimacy issues, lack of trust, and miscommunication. When problems go unresolved, or a partner is suffering from mental illness or health complications, one can feel helpless or have feelings of guilt or shame. Communicating effectively on both parts can alleviate emotional anxiety from subjects of all kinds.
Couples often seek couples or marriage counseling when the relationship is at a standstill, or if they are unsure whether the relationship is worth salvaging. This type of therapy can benefit families with children who have been affected by relationship issues such as divorce and confront the source of the conflict.

Treatment techniques may include the following depending on the therapist:
  • Gottman Method
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Imago Relationship Therapy
  • Analyzing Your Communication
  • Getting to the root of the problem
  • Enhancing Intimacy
  • Individual Counseling
  • Couple Retreat

When a relationship is showing signs of addiction, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and/or severe depression, seek guidance from a counselor immediately, for your safety and your partner.

Seek Professional Assistance

People who have developed an addiction may be unaware that it is out of control, which is why counseling is an essential part of working through and managing this condition. An addiction of any sort can be exhausting, and one should never go through the recovery process alone.
Many treatment plans focus on talk therapy and behavior therapy and can be performed in a group or through one-on-one sessions. During these sessions, patients analyze the reasons behind their addiction(s), what their triggers are and what helped them control impulses in the past. Patients also learn coping skills so they can manage the compulsions without relapsing.

 

 

INTIMACY AND RELATIONSHIP ISSUES

Intimacy problems widely occur behind a variety of closed doors. Conflicts may include a loss of harmony between the sheets, a lack of sexual desire between either partners or failure in communication. There are often psychological factors that may contribute to a sexual disorder such as erectile dysfunction, or a lowered desire after a new mother has given birth. Intimacy issues are common, but if one or more become severe and there is no resolution in sight, it may be time to seek therapy for guidance.

What Makes a Satisfactory Relationship?

• Trust
• Mindfulness
• Mutual Respect
• Communication

Some of the signs that sex problems are affecting a relationship include:

• Disappointment in oneself or the relationship
• One or both partners are feeling dissatisfied
• Couples lack communication and disconnect from one another
• One or both partners feel neglected or unwanted
• A feeling of sexual boredom or unhappiness.

Steps to take for treating intimacy issues begin with:

• Psychosexual Therapy: this technique allows couples to express themselves in a safe environment with a trusted and supportive professional.
• Relationship Counseling: healthy relationships require strong connections and time to build trust. Whatever the issue may be, a counselor can work with individuals together or separate to overcome the problem.

PANIC ATTACKS AND PANIC DISORDER

Panic attacks are brief episodes of extreme fear. They may be mistaken for heart attacks or strokes, but are actually psychological rather than physical. Panic attacks can occur suddenly and usually peak within ten minutes. Most panic attacks end within 20 to 30 minutes.

Some symptoms include:
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of suffocation

Sometimes panic attacks are isolated incidents, but if a person has had at least two panic attacks and lives in fear of having another, they may have panic disorder. A panic attack can happen without an obvious cause, but people with panic disorder may develop phobias related to something they associate with panic attacks, including open spaces, and large crowds.

Panic disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder, and like other forms of anxiety, it is commonly treated with a combination of therapy, medications, and healthy lifestyle changes. Anxiety patients are also encouraged to do breathing exercises, get regular exercise, and to avoid stimulants.

PARENTING AND FAMILY ISSUES

The number of situations associated with parenting and families is endless, but common conflicts can include in-laws sticking their nose your relationship, difference in opinion when it comes to raising children, and even trauma, such as domestic violence, or alcohol and drug abuse. It can be challenging to watch family members struggle, and in most cases, you may not know how to resolve the problem. Seeking support from a mental health professional can help parents and families develop acceptance and skills to repair relationships that may seem unsalvageable.

Other parenting and family issues may include:
  • Being a single parent
  • Divorce
  • Infidelity
  • Problems caused by divorced parents entering new relationships
  • Fewer opportunities for parents and children to spend time together
  • Deployment

Parenting and family issues are oftentimes intertwined. Treatment methods vary and will depend on an individual or family situation. The healing process may focus on improving communication between family members, as well as finding healthy ways of resolving a conflict. Setting clear boundaries and communicating effectively as a parental unit can set a good example for your children and/or your spouse. If a child is suffering from a genetic disorder or a mental health condition, these are topics that can be addressed with family or individual counseling. Couples counseling is effective at supporting parents in child-rearing.

You don’t have to face parenting and family challenges alone. Seek help from a qualified therapist or a professional support group to gain some much-needed perspective that will allow you to effectively work through the problems at hand.

PARENTING SUPPORT

Being a parent carries a lot of responsibility, and the process can be difficult at times. Whether you are married or single, you may have feelings as though you are on your own, especially if you are dealing with a difficult situation or behavior issues with your child. It’s important to address these problems and seeking the help of a therapist and/or parent support group can alleviate the stress.

Why is parenting support necessary?

Sometimes a parent needs guidance when reinforcing rules and setting boundaries for a child. If a person is going through a divorce, this can affect a child or children involved. Each of these issues can affect a family unit, and it’s important that you don’t weather the storm alone. Parent support groups can assist with improving parenting skills, as well as relationships between the parent and child.

What does parenting support look like?

Therapy can be in the form of a support group with other parents, one-on-one sessions with a therapist, or may involve family counseling. Support can be helpful if you have a young child who is going through developmental or genetic disorder.
Parenting support can take the form of group therapy which involves meeting with other parents to discuss your child’s behaviors and offer advice to one another.
⦁ Avoidance: This is the person who wishes to ignore the problem and will allow it to dissipate or squander. Unfortunately, quite the contrary is happening in this situation. The problem then swells under the surface until it’s no longer avoidable and will need to be addressed.
⦁ Standing your Ground: People who use this technique may appear controlling and aggressive in their means of communication. They fear not having their needs met if they don’t set the rules and direct the conversation.
⦁ Surrendering: Often perceived as the diplomat, the person using this tactic concedes to the needs of others. They place the needs and opinions of others on their own because preserving the relationship(s) is the goal.
⦁ Compromise/Sacrifice: This method is a sort of concession and, while it seems to be a good route to take, it’s not the best approach. People in this category make a sequence of tradeoffs which means they are focusing on what they want as opposed to understanding the other’s viewpoint.
⦁ Collaborate: People who practice collaboration care about win-win solutions. This simply means that they scout common aspirations and needs, to where every party knows their opinions and feelings are important and are going to be heard. This style needs a lot of cooperation, assertiveness, and communication among the parties.
Ultimately, understanding your wants and needs as well as your behavior patterns will establish internal insight. You will have a better understanding for not just yourself, but for others around you and how situations may or may not unfold. This knowledge will give you the preliminary tools for conflict resolution.
Everyone encounters stress during their lives at one point—never-ending bills, demanding schedules, work, and family responsibilities—and that can make stress seem inescapable and uncontrollable. Stress management skills are designed to help a person take control of their lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions and teach them healthy ways to cope with their problems.

Find the Cause

The first step in stress management is identifying your stressors. While this sounds fairly easy—it’s not hard to point to major changes or a lot of work piling up—chronic stress can be complicated, and most people don’t realize how their habits contribute to their stress. Maybe work piling up isn’t from the actual demands of your job, but more so from your procrastination. You must claim responsibility for the role you play in creating your stress or you won’t be able to control it.

PHOBIAS

Encountering certain obstacles or situations may leave one frightened, such as being afraid of the dark, high heights, or animals. Most of us can remain calm, rationalize the situation, and find a way around it, but this doesn’t work everyone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 10 million adults live with some kind of phobia.

What is a phobia?

Phobias, according to the American Psychological Association, are intense fears that result in distress and can be intrusive. Individuals with this anxiety disorder have an irrational fear of things that don’t pose any real threat.

Here are a few examples of common phobias:

⦁ Arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders
⦁ Acrophobia, this is the fear of heights
⦁ Agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in a situation you can’t escape from
⦁ The American Psychiatric Association simplified the symptoms into two points:
⦁ An out-of-proportion reaction, as well as the age playing a role in being inappropriate
⦁ The individual’s capability to behave normally is compromised

Treatment options

Unlike anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, there isn’t extensive research that has been completed on phobias, but that hasn’t stopped mental health professionals from finding ways to help patients.
Therapists help treat phobias by using psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. The patients receive CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), where they can learn how to think, react, and behave to whatever it is that they fear. It is meant to reduce the feeling of overwhelming anxiety.
Medications, on the other hand, aren’t a cure but they help patients deal with symptoms.
Individuals can also learn stress-management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or other holistic approaches.
While one of these methods may work for some, professionals may provide their patients with a combination of these treatments and remedies. Unfortunately, the cause of anxiety disorder is unknown. It may be due to genetics, the environment, or even developmental. But until then, people dealing with phobias should seek help.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Everyone encounters stress during their lives at one point—never-ending bills, demanding schedules, work, and family responsibilities—and that can make stress seem inescapable and uncontrollable. Stress management skills are designed to help a person take control of their lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions and teach them healthy ways to cope with their problems.

Find the Cause

The first step in stress management is identifying your stressors. While this sounds fairly easy—it’s not hard to point to major changes or a lot of work piling up—chronic stress can be complicated, and most people don’t realize how their habits contribute to their stress. Maybe work piling up isn’t from the actual demands of your job, but more so from your procrastination. You have to claim responsibility for the role you play in creating your stress or you won’t be able to control it.

Strategies for Stress Management

Once you’ve found what causes your stress, focus on what you can control. Eliminate the realistic stressors and develop consistent de-stressing habits. Instead of watching TV or responding to texts in bed after work, take a walk or read a book instead. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough quality sleep, will ease feelings of stress and help you relax.
Also, make a conscious effort to set aside time for yourself and for relaxation. Alone time can be whatever you need it to be. Some people like doing activities such as tai chi, yoga, or meditation, but you can also treat yourself to something simple, like taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or watching a funny movie.
Finally, don’t feel like you must solve your stress on your own. Reach out to your family and friends. Whether you need help with a problem or just need someone to listen, find a person who will be there to positively reinforce and support you. If stress becomes chronic, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a therapist.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Is your family going through a rough patch? Whether the issue itself, stems from a lack of understanding between those involved, sibling conflict, or developmental disagreements with a child, a difficult situation can influence the entire family. Family counseling, or family therapy, can be helpful when problems arise and can help restore and improve communication.
Some situations that may benefit from family counseling include:

  • If a family is going through a loss.
  • If a family member is suffering from substance abuse
  • Issues between parents (parenting issues or going through a divorce)
  • If a teenager is experiencing behavior issues such as anger outbursts
  • Sibling conflict
  • How can family counseling help?

Family counseling can help open up a line of dialogue and communication and can help family members understand each other’s perspectives. This makes it easier to resolve disputes. During the counseling sessions, each member has the ability to learn ways of communicating better, as well as developing techniques to de-escalate arguments while making sure that everybody is getting heard. This can also help with parenting problems such as conflicting parenting styles, rule enforcement and remaining consistent with your child once the rules are established.

How is it accomplished?

Family therapy or counseling can be used in addition to individual treatment. The goal is to improve relationships and improve methods of communication and conflict resolution. Families are a unique ecosystem, and issues affecting one member of a family can reverberate and affect the whole unit. Additional benefits of this type of counseling are that in some instances, the sessions can heal emotional wounds in a short period of time.

WORK AND CAREER ISSUES

Most of us spend more time at work than at home, therefore the workplace should be an environment where we feel safe and comfortable. However, because work is where a bunch of different personalities, communication styles, and worldviews gather around, things don’t always go smoothly. In fact, workplace bullying is on the rise and though statistics vary, some studies reveal that nearly half of all American workers have been affected by this problem, either as a target or as a witness to abusive behavior against a co-worker.

Examples of common workplace issues include:

⦁ Poor job fit
⦁ Mental anguish
⦁ Sexual or verbal harassment
⦁ Discrimination
⦁ Low motivation and job dissatisfaction

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