Psychotherapy and Counseling Services Available
Services for developing personal and interpersonal competence
Responding to a desire for change
There comes a time in the lives of most people when we long for change. Much of the time, bringing about the desired change involves nothing more complex than a drive in the country, or contact with a friend, or a nap or a meal. We feel better, and that's enough.
Other times, something more serious is needed, but we don't know exactly what it might be. Perhaps we are having difficulty with persistent perceptions or thoughts that trouble us, perhaps disturbing our sleep, or distracting us during the day. Or we may be troubled by painful feelings that arise too often, or at awkward times, or in strange ways.
Perhaps we find ourselves behaving in ways that are self-defeating, or which simply do not bring us closer to those things we most want in our life. We discover that we are defeating ourselves, in daily life, and our prospects for a change in future don't look good. Our view of ourselves becomes discouraging.
People respond to this common experience in a wide range of ways, employing distractions (entertainment, travel, divorce and remarriage, etc.), drugs (prescription and otherwise) and other substances, compulsive behaviors (gambling, excessive work, inappropriate sex, etc.), or more profound psychological manipulations such as denial, dissociation, or emotional numbing.
In all cases, the problem is that we feel bad, and we can't seem to stop the bad feelings, much less produce enough good feelings to balance ourselves out emotionally. Management of our feelings and moods thus turns out often to be one of our biggest challenges.
In situations such as these, solutions that produce the most satisfactory results almost always involve changes in ourselves, in how how things happen in our brain - how we perceive, think, feel, and act. Changing ourselves, we find that we experience the world differently, and that our most frequent feelings change for the better.
This sort of change is not a new idea, but it often requires contact with a trained, skilled, experienced guide. When the change focuses on reorganizing the basic structure of our mind and personality, in association with a mental health professional, what is involved will most likely be either psychotherapy or counseling.
Personal change through Psychotherapy
The psychotherapy services that I provide focus on assisting individuals of all ages to regain the natural capacities of their original mind, before they encountered events and environments in their personal history that resulted in significant loss of ability to respond to life's challenges.
Few people appreciate the critical relationship of their memory to the quality of their daily lives. From birth, our mind has build up a vast network of associations in memory. This is the sum of our knowledge about ourselves and the world. Take this away and we would have to start building our mind again, as we did when we were very young.
Most people can recall specific painful events in their lives which, upon recall, still produce painful feelings. For some people, contact with these disturbing memories is only intermittent, while for others it is virtually constant. Activation ("triggering") of these memories is inherently destabilizing. Often, these memories involve early childhood. In these cases the "memory" will not be in the form of a story-like sequence of events, but will be more like a mood or a physical sensation. The effect can be pervasive and profoundly disturbing, and usually we will not know from where the disturbance is coming.
Activation of pleasant memory is central to our making good choices in daily life, and to the enriching of our experience. But activation of negative memory can involuntarily, and often unconsciously, distort our perception, thought, and behavior. This is the prime source of mental "dis-ease".
The solution - and this is the focus of my psychotherapy practice - is to finish with one's past. To do this we must convert painful memories to ordinary memories, to mere stories of events that were painful at the time but are no longer. This frees one's mind to react effectively to the challenges of one's present life.
When one's mind works productively again, one is ready to finish any incomplete developmental tasks that have been waiting for attention. One is also free to acquire skills essential to successful living. One's full, natural creativity is finally available.
Personal change through Counseling
If psychotherapy is about healing from the past, counseling is about learning. When I function as a counselor, I am a teacher and a coach, assisting my client in learning new ways of accomplishing tasks, and in exploring new values and clarifying new goals for their life.
Counseling produces RESULTS, real changes in our lives, and the satisfaction this produces is considerable. Life works better for us every day, and we find ourselves considering activities and goals that previously would have completely impossible. We finally realize our full active potential.
Other professional services
While I specialize in issues deriving from anxiety, depression, family-of-origin issues, and trauma-related disorders, I also provide a variety of briefer, limited-focus professional services:
Crisis interventions. When overwhelmed by immediate challenges, clients can receive prompt and effective solution-focused counseling interventions. The goal is stabilization of circumstance and reaction, so that normal life can be resumed.
Assessments. I do a variety of mental health assessments (general, diagnostic, trauma-issues focused, etc.), producing written reports for government and private agencies, parents and individuals seeking them.
Values clarification and goals formulation. Confused choice-making, and uncertainty about the future can be resolved by brief work to clarify values and goals, establishing a conscious, rational basis for effective decision making.
Decision-making and problem solving counseling. I have specialized training in facilitating problem-solving and decision-making in difficult and complex situations. Such methods, widely used by large corporations to deal with these situations, work just as well for individuals, and are often neither complex nor lengthy to employ. The results are typically satisfying and intuitively convincing.
Need more information?
I welcome inquiries about any of the services discussed in this publication, as well as any others you are needing that are not mentioned here. If I do not provide the service you are looking for, I will be pleased to provide you with a referral to a professional service provider who I believe can meet your need.
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