Our Counseling Services

In a supportive environment, our highly personalized approach will help you attain the personal growth you’re striving for.

 

 

We work with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues and provide therapy for depression and anxiety, in addition to counseling for work and family issues. In a supportive environment, our highly personalized approach will help you attain the personal growth you’re striving for.

Specializing in:

  • Addiction Recovery

    I have several years of experience with addiction recovery. Generally, there is an issue that started the addiction. I work with the client to resolve the underlying issue in addition to work on addiction recovery.

    Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) Traits in Recovery

    “Never before in the history of Twelve Step programs has a fellowship brought together such a diverse group of recovering people that includes adult children of alcoholics, codependents, and addicts of various sorts. The term “adult child” is used to describe adults who grew up in alcoholic or dysfunctional homes and who exhibit identifiable traits that reveal past abuse or neglect. The group includes adults raised in homes without the presence of alcohol or drugs. These ACA members have the trademark presence of abuse, shame, and abandonment found in alcoholic homes.” (Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization). I work with the client to help him/her understand these traits and lessen their effect on the client. www.adultchildren.org

  • Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety, and Phobias

    I love working with clients with anxiety, panic attacks and phobias. I use different types of talk therapy, i.e., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and also Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR).  Sometimes the client just needs to talk through his/her experiences and emotions until s/he can figure them out, but other times s/he gets stuck in talk therapy and we need to try something different to move us beyond that sticking point. See above for an explanation of EMDR. Coping skills to handle anxiety include:

     

    • Gratitude is tremendous in focusing on the positive (instead of the negative).
    • Having faith that we are not not in-charge, God is.
    • Being mindful of past successes reminds us that we are capable.
    • To not disqualify those past successes.
    • Remembering God gave us gifts to use. God wants us to use our gifts; not stay stuck in past mistakes, or worrying about future problems.
    • Learning not to isolate. Isolation leads to depression.
    • Learning how to take care of self, balancing work and rest. Many of us are better at taking care of others than our self, but we must put the airline mask on ourselves first.
    • Accepting help from others. We are all called to do different things. Allowing someone to use his/her gifts to bless us (allows us then to use our gifts to bless others).
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

    Inattention

    1. Are you smart, but make careless mistakes because you overlook or miss details?
    2. Do you have difficulty focusing during lectures, conversations, lengthy reading, or during play activities?
    3. Do you have trouble listening when spoken to (your mind wanders)?
    4. Do you struggle with following through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork or duties in the workplace (you start tasks but quickly lose focus and are easily sidetracked)?
    5. Do you have difficulty organizing tasks and activities, or have poor time management skills?
    6. Do you dislike or avoid tasks that require sustained mental effort (school work or lengthy papers/forms)?
    7. Do you often lose things that you need to complete your task?
    8. Are you often easily distracted by things that are unrelated to what you are focusing on?
    9. Are you often forgetful in daily activities (paying bills, doing chores, running errands)?

    Have these symptoms persisted for more than six months?

    If so and you have five or more of these characteristics as an adult or adolescent (age 17 and above); or six or more for under 17, then you may have the inattention side of ADHD.

    Hyperactive/Impulsive

    1. Do you often fidget, tap your hands or feet, or squirm in your seat?
    2. Do you often leave your seat in situations where remaining seated is expected?
    3. Do you often run about or climb in situations where it is inappropriate (for adults adolescents may be limited to feeling restless)?
    4. Do you often have difficulty remaining quiet while playing or engaging in leisure activities?
    5. Are you often on the go (as if driven by a motor) in places where sitting still is required
    6. Do you often talk excessively?
    7. Do you blurt out answers before a question has been completed or finish others’ sentences?
    8. Do you often have difficulty waiting your turn (in line)?
    9. Do you often interrupt or intrude on others (butt into conversations, start using other people’s things without asking, or intrude into or take over what others are doing?

    Have these symptoms persisted for more than six months?

    If so and you have five or more of these characteristics as an adult or adolescent (age 17 and above); or six or more for under 17, then you may have the hyperactive/impulsive side of ADHD.

    I enjoy working with children, teens and adults with ADHD. When I began diagnosing ADHD, I realized that my teenage son and I both have ADHD. As one who has been there and done that, I can assist you in reaching your potential. I recommend for parents: Answers to Distraction and Driven to Distraction, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

  • Behavioral Issues

    First, as in all counseling, we do a full assessment to be sure we’re not missing anything. When working with children and adolescents, we utilize play therapy geared to the level of the child. See Play Therapy below. We also use workbooks geared toward the underlying issues (i.e., ADHD, anxiety, anger) to teach the client about what he/she is dealing with. We also use talk therapy (CBT or DBT) if the client responds well to discussion. 

    When working with adults, we first teach the client relaxation skills to assist the client with managing stress between sessions: i.e., Safe Place, Container Exercise, and breathing exercises. We usually do an EMDR worksheet to outline the client’s issues that we can use EMDR on and discuss EMDR with the client. We then generally use a combination of talk therapy—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)—and EMDR to address any issues that are disturbing the client.

    See CBT, DBT, and EMDR descriptions below.

  • Bipolar Disorder

    A client with Bipolar Disorder has a combination of mania and depression, which generally needs to be managed with medication prescribed by a psychiatrist. Life can be challenging with a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. We work with clients to assist them with the daily struggles of life.

    First, as in all counseling, we do a full assessment to be sure we’re not missing anything. We teach the client relaxation skills early in the counseling process to assist the client with managing stress between sessions: i.e., Safe Place, Container Exercise, and breathing exercises. We usually do an EMDR worksheet to outline the client’s issues that we can use EMDR on and discuss EMDR with the client.

    We then generally use a combination of talk therapy (generally Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and EMDR to address any issues that are disturbing the client. Sometimes we get sidetracked because the client needs to talk through his/her grief.  That’s ok. Grief is important to address until the client no longer needs to (discuss it). 

    See EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) below for further information. 

  • Christian/Spiritual Counseling

    I love to do Christian/Spiritual counseling. If my client is interested in having his/her spirituality included in our counseling sessions, I am happy to oblige because I believe there is nothing more powerful.

    Alternatively, I am happy to stick to secular counseling for those who do not want spiritual counseling included. My client is the leader in our sessions. I will guide the client but he/she will direct where he/she wants to go, and doesn’t.

  • Co-dependency

    “Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior.

    Do you expend all of your energy in meeting your partner’s needs? Do you feel trapped in your relationship? Are you the one that is constantly making sacrifices in your relationship? Then you may be in a codependent relationship.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/presence-mind/201307/are-you-in-codependent-relationship

    Symptoms of Co-dependency:

    • Low self-esteem
    • People-pleasing
    • Poor boundaries
    • Reactivity
    • Caretaking
    • Control
    • Dysfunctional communication
    • Obsessions
    • Dependency
    • Denial
    • Problems with intimacy
    • Painful emotions  

    https://psychcentral.com/lib/symptoms-of-codependency/

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    "Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and boosts happiness by modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Unlike traditional Freudian psychoanalysis, which probes childhood wounds to get at the root causes of conflict, CBT focuses on solutions, encouraging patients to challenge distorted cognitions and change destructive patterns of behavior.” 

    For further information on cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

  • Conflict Resolution/Relational Issues

    We love helping couples to resolve conflicts that keep coming up. It can be useful to have a professional guide you through this process (to avoid the pitfalls that we all fall into).

    “Do you sometimes think you’ve worked through a conflict with your partner, only to have it come up again and again? Are there times when you believe you’ve settled a disagreement, yet continue to experience negative emotional residue from it?”

    “If you address an issue with your partner in a rational manner, you’re engaged in problem solving. Assuming you’re not flooded with emotion during this process (which inevitably leads to distorted thinking), you’re ready to employ your best conflict-negotiation skills. You endeavor to make your position as emphatic, as easy to grasp, as possible. And your partner likely wants to do the same. But if you’re each stubbornly convinced that your viewpoint is the only valid one, the matter is unresolvable: You’re doomed to reach a stalemate, maybe feeling even more frustrated with each other than before.”

    Above is an excerpt from an excellent article on conflict resolution by Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. Click here for the complete article: 

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201610/6-steps-resolve-relationship-conflicts-once-and-all

  • Crisis Intervention

    I start Crisis Intervention by listening to the client explain the crisis in detail. The client may just need to talk through the crisis in order to develop a new normal, however, I also have different techniques I use depending on the situation, i.e., Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). See EMDR below.

  • Depression

    “Life isn't always pleasant or easy, but feeling constantly unhappy—or so unhappy you can't function—is a problem you can overcome. Depression can make you feel sad, mad, or empty and numb, but there's a lot you can do to change how you feel.”

    “The key to recovery is to start small and make daily investments in yourself. Full recovery can take time but you can lift the heavy weight of depression and start to feel more positive, happy, and energetic again.”

    https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/depression.htm

    I use both talk therapy (CBT, DBT) and EMDR to work with clients with depression. See below for explanations.

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

    “Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) provides clients with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. DBT specifically focuses on providing therapeutic skills in four key areas.” 

    “First, mindfulness focuses on improving an individual's ability to accept and be present in the current moment.” 

    “Second, distress tolerance is geared toward increasing a person’s tolerance of negative emotion, rather than trying to escape from it.” 

    “Third, emotion regulation covers strategies to manage and change intense emotions that are causing problems in a person’s life.” 

    “Fourth, interpersonal effectiveness consists of techniques that allow a person to communicate with others in a way that is assertive, maintains self-respect, and strengthens relationships.” 

    For further information on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), click here: https:/www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/dialectical-behavior-therapy

    A workbook we like to use with clients is The Dialectical Behavior Skills Therapy Workbook, https://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Behavior-Therapy-Skills-Workbook/dp/1572245131

  • Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)

    Nightly we process our day during our rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. However, some of our memories get stuck because we are too young to understand them, or they are upsetting; possibly even traumatizing. They carry a negative message about ourselves that haunts us at times.

    EMDR uses the brain to reprocess the memory. Using eye movements, the image that represents the incident, and the negative belief you have about yourself because of the incident, we lower the disturbance level you are feeling from a high of ten (the most disturbing) to zero (no disturbance; just a memory). We then install the positive belief you want to have about yourself. Populations that have been successfully treated with EMDR Therapy include:

    • Phobias
    • Panic Disorder
    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    • Depression
    • Attachment Disorder
    • Conduct Problems and Self-Esteem
    • Grief and Mourning
    • Body Dysmorphic Disorder
    • Sexual Dysfunction
    • Pedophilia
    • Psychotic Disorders
    • Chronic pain
    • Migraine Headaches
    • Phantom Limb Pain
    • Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms

    Disclaimer: Please don’t try to do this yourself, although the founder of EMDR, Francine Shapiro, wrote a self-help book, Getting Past Your Past, that can help you take control of your life.

  • Grief and Loss

    The most important thing for a grieving person to do is to talk about his/her grief. I am passionate about helping my client to verbalize his/her grief/loss. I assist the client to establish a new normal.

    This is how I started in counseling. I began as a volunteer in grief support. This was my night out each week. There are stages to grief that can be helpful to the client to understand.

  • Infertility

    I have assisted clients in working through the grief of miscarriage and the grief of remaining childless with different types of talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and also with Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)—see description of EMDR separately.

  • Medical and Health Concerns

    When a client is experiencing medical and health concerns, there is a grief for the loss of health. I usually employ basic grief therapy, allowing the client to talk through what they are experiencing and find a new normal.

     

  • Parenting and Family Issues

    I use and recommend The Love and Logic parenting method by Charles Fay, Ph.D. and Jim Fay. I assist parents in finding the best answers to their questions. See Play Therapy also.

    www.loveandlogic.com

  • Play Therapy

    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. “Play is a child’s natural way of establishing relationships, communicating, and solving problems. . . Play is how children rehearse for the challenges of life and refresh themselves after taking on those challenges. . . Play is an integral part of how we connect with our loved ones, our world, and ourselves.” I use play therapy as a “way to engage, assess, communicate, and positively impact my client. The therapeutic powers of play are the therapeutic powers of life and renewal.” (Handbook of Play Therapy/(edited by) Kevin O’Connor, Charles Schaefer, Lisa D. Braverman)

    Association for Play Therapy   www.a4pt.org/

  • Self-Esteem

    Possessing little self-regard can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships. Too much self-love, on the other hand, results in an off-putting sense of entitlement and an inability to learn from failures. (It can also be a sign of clinical narcissism.) Perhaps no other self-help topic has spawned so much advice and so many (often conflicting) theories.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/self-esteem

  • Stress Management

    “Everyone experiences stress differently and it can affect your mental and physical health in many different ways. Stress that you can tolerate helps you to stay focused, energetic, and alert. But when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life. There are plenty of healthy, positive ways to find relief and reduce the harmful effects of stress.”

    https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/stress.htm

    I use both talk therapy (CBT, DBT) and EMDR to work with clients to help them manage stress.

  • Trauma/PTSD

    I begin counseling sessions by performing a thorough Intake using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy to determine the client’s goals, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  We then determine together which path to take. I love including Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) because it is so powerful and much faster than other methods of therapy, however, I am open to meeting the client’s needs with whichever therapy works for the best for them. Different types of talk therapy are also very powerful. See description of EMDR therapy above.