I provide counseling or psychotherapy for a wide range of concerns working with individuals, couples and families.
Often when there are long term problems or even sudden crises, there is more than one problem involved For example, if you are having a problem in a relationship, there may be an underlying problem with alcohol or with attachment difficulties, as well. Although I am providing a list of types of problems I treat, no individual fits any category completely and no individual's problems will either. Again, what is most important is the rapport you feel with the therapist and the sense of relative comfort. If that is there, then any problem you may be experiencing can be addressed even if it is not listed here.
Some symptoms or circumstances that can be helped by therapy.
Depression: Signs of depression are not only sadness but an inability to function well--keep up with tasks like cleaning, bill paying, studying, going to work, seeing friends. In general, depression tends to make you withdraw and feel insecure about being in contact with the outside world.
Anxiety: Anxiety can exist as a generalized feeling of being scared of little and big things, a general sense of butterflies in the stomach or a kind of jumpiness, inability to relax, etc. Anxiety can also be more extreme, as in panic disorder, where a fear triggers physiological reactions which in turn causes more anxiety.
Trauma: Trauma is often sequestered, that is, safely pushed away so that the individual does not have to fall apart but can continue to function. But sometimes the memory of the trauma or even feelings that one is not aware are connected to the trauma persist and can be confusing and interfere with the better functioning abilities that have evolved.
Grief: Grieving is an extremely difficult but natural process we go through when someone or something dear to us has departed. Often the complexity of the relationship in question or the complexity of the grieving person’s life situation makes the natural grieving process too difficult and then it is important to get help. Sometimes we grieve over things that we believe others might not consider serious enough to evoke grief. Then one has to grieve alone and this also interferes with the healthy process of adjusting to one's loss and finding ways to still reach out to others for sustenance.
Parenting: It's about the toughest job out there. These little people aren't computers or toys. They are complex creatures with minds and needs of their own and wild, as yet uncivilized, natures. People need lots and lots of support from family and community and in fact from the society one lives in to be good parents. Therapy can help provide some of that support, and help sort through the amazingly complex psychological eruptions that becoming a parent and raising children can trigger. Therapy can also be a wonderful resource for simply learning your own parenting style and for helping your child through the rapidly changing developmental tasks that childhood brings. Difficult-to-parent children can be helped enormously when the parents get the support they need to do the job lovingly and productively.
Family Building: Deciding to have a baby is like turning oneself upside down and staying there. Everything will be different, forever. It is the most thrilling undertaking but it is also one that makes tremendous demands on ones psychological resources. If there are other things pressing and demanding your attention and energy, the needs of the child and of yourself as a parent can become obscured. Or if one’s own childhood was difficult and there has been no opportunity to integrate some of those difficulties, becoming a parent can feel particularly stressful. Therapy can help sort through the often complex layering of past and present realities that affect us all, so that you and your child can experience your profound and loving connection as well as your inevitible and necessary frustrations with each other comfortably and productively.
LGBT Counseling, Family Building: Additional stresses accompany parenthood if you are planning to parent within a lesbian or gay relationship. Or if there are fertility questions or if you have used technological assistance for conception or if you have decided to adopt. Again therapy can help sort through the sometimes surprising emotions and thoughts that accompany any situation where one's identity must encompass difference.
Placing a Child for Adoption: If the time is not right to raise a child, placing one's child in a loving adoptive home can be a wonderful solution. Therapy can help sort through real and/or imagined difficulties involved in all options available.
Adoption: Bringing a baby home that you have adopted is an overwhelmingly exciting and thrilling experience. Though parenthood is difficult, your connection with your child will be profound and powerful Research has shown that the problems adoptive families face involve universal conflicts and feelings that all families face, such as identity needs, attachment needs, feelings of difference, etc. But the fantasies of the adoptive parent and child about the meanings of adoption can sometimes interfere with an open exploration and elaboration of these universal needs and dilemmas. Therapy can be particularly useful, for this reason, when one’s family has been created, or is going to be created through adoption It can help adoptive families sort through the feelings that all families have but which can become more complex and need some special consideration in an adoptive family as the child grows and develops. If one is adopting a child of a different race or from difficult circumstances or with special needs, therapy can help with the real and imagined challenges that may be involved and can often strengthen one's resolve to create a family that is right for ou.
Arts and Career Counseling: I am committed to the idea that creativity is at the heart of a sense of freedom and of happiness. Joyce McDougall, a famous psychoanalyst, describes her patiient discovering that creativity is not an aspect of life but rather that when one is living, one is automatically creating. I am also convinced that the creative impulse is to be found everywhere, that it is usually in the service of connection with the self and with others and that where it is has been stifled by outside forces such as an unempathic upbringing, it has not died but is waiting for acceptance. If you are having difficulty with creative, flexible and spontaneous functioning, if you are working in the arts or on an arts project or are having difficulty on a job, therapy can provide support and help with anxieties around procrastination and distress with one's performance--difficulties which are often related to early experiences one may or may not remember.
Please feel free to contact me if you did not see your specific concern listed here or if you have any questions or comments.
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