Choosing the right counselor is important and taking the first step toward healing and growth can be anxiety-inducing all on its own. As your Licensed Professional Counselor, I can offer this promise: I will listen with empathy and compassion, explain the whys and hows of various therapy interventions, and empower you with meaningful tools at every step of your journey toward stronger emotional health.
Most therapists pursue counseling because of their gifts, but also because of their experiences. Mine have taught me what works and what doesn’t. I’ve personally experienced anxiety, grief, divorce, and infertility and so I have a heart for helping others with these challenges. I’ve watched loved ones endure trauma and PTSD and so pursued specialized training as a EMDR counselor. I’ve received the therapy myself to understand how it feels for my clients and to confirm its effectiveness in resolving my own issues.
As an ADHD patient myself, I am very in tune to seeing it in others, including children, adolescents, and adults who have not been diagnosed.
Counselors and ministers who counsel others need to care for themselves so they can care for others (similar to parents needing to take care of themselves and their marriage, and place the airline oxygen mask on themselves first before putting it on their children).
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps people learn how their perceptions, beliefs, and thought processes influence how they respond to specific situations. CBT works to dismantle a patient’s negative belief systems and focus on solutions. By adjusting distorted thinking patterns and assumptions, it’s easier to see the possibility for solutions and break cycles of destructive behavior.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
During the night we process and reconcile the previous day’s events during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase of sleep.
Some memories, however, go unreconciled. Upsetting, traumatic, or confusing memories remain stuck in our psyches, continually haunting and harming us with negative messages about ourselves or an event.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) uses the brain to reconcile the memory. Using eye movements similar to REM sleep, we can lower the disturbance level of a particular memory—from 10 (the most disturbing) to 0 (no disturbance). The therapy focuses on replacing the negative image and representative belief with positive ones.
EMDR is one of the most exciting and promising therapies for treating post-traumatic stress, but it has also proven successful in helping patients with:
Psychology Today’s description of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) aligns well with how I work with patients. It specifically focuses on four key areas, which we will address using a therapy workbook to improve “skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships.”
Mindfulness – the ability to accept and be present in the moment
Distress Tolerance – the capacity to withstand negative emotion without trying to escape from it
Emotion Regulation – strategies to manage and alter intense, problematic emotions
Interpersonal Effectiveness – communication techniques that convey self-respect and respect for others
When working with children and adolescents, I utilize play therapy geared toward the level of the child. Generally, I use self-directed play therapy, where the child or adolescent chooses what and how to play. According to The Handbook of Play Therapy, “Play is a child’s natural way of establishing relationships, communicating, and solving problems.”
I use play therapy to help children explore how certain life events may be impacting their emotions, conduct, learning, and more. My approach is non-intrusive, sensitive, and compassionate.
Internal Family Systems
Internal Family Systems is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based model of psychotherapy. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. Our inner parts contain valuable qualities and our core Self knows how to heal, allowing us to become integrated and whole. In IFS all parts are welcome.