Psychotherapy is not just about resolving past issues and changing negative patterns, it is also about recognizing and actively pursuing the healthy people, places, and things which bring happiness, fulfillment, and joy. Becoming empowered with self awareness allows us to stop people-pleasing and to build a meaningful life based on values, goals, and balanced relationships. Saying, "No!" to dysfunctional, draining people and bad habits allows us to pursue our true goals in life and to grow into our best selves. It is more than acceptable to stop scurrying around aimlessly, to relish peaceful moments, to be alone, doing sometimes do absolutely nothing, and to be happy. Such moments are necessary to introspect, refresh, and to attract and pursue dreams, passions, and find love of ourselves and of others. Be brave, make mistakes, and find the humor in the process. Ask for what you need. If you avoid getting needs met out of fear of losing love, friendship, or family, then it is time for empowering change.
I work with individuals, couples, and families struggling with romantic partners, relatives, friends, and co-workers. Many of my clients have anxiety, depression, addictions, and/or trauma, and these issues have caused tremendous dysfunction in their own lives and in the lives of those they love. In addition, a large portion of my clients are in unhealthy relationships, suffering from or reeling after emotional abuse and neglect, to the point that clients feel exhausted, depressed, and have completely lost their sense of self and purpose.
Some clients seek trauma resolution while still being in love with a partner, or still wanting a parent-child bond, or continuing a tumultuous friendship, needing support in staying strong and true to their healthy choice of leaving a partner, parent, or friend who can not respect boundaries or can not refrain from controlling, explosive, angry outbursts.
Sometimes a person with relationship problems participates first in individual therapy to work on specific issues leading to relationship stress. Many times relationship issues improve when one person makes positive changes in communication, boundaries, and mental health. Underlying psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse cause stress in a relationship, creating difficult barriers to communication and intimacy. I provide logical, concrete coping skills for psychological stressors, always emphasizing self-awareness and accountability for positive change.
When a couple seeks counseling together, I utilize a psychodynamic, family systems perspective in order to gather important information assessing combined family histories, marital expectations, as well as individual issues. Couples counseling is not easy. However, the work a couple does in therapy will help clarify a couple's commitment to change and will also provide insight and awareness for all future relationships. A couple's treatment goal might vary. For example, one partner might want to "fix the marriage" while the other partner might not be sure he or she even wants to stay married. In any case, counseling will provide couples with a professional, objective, supportive ear to clarify choices and insights for future plans.