This setting allows for a personal, indepth examination of the individual in order to increase understanding and personal awareness. It is an opportunity to explore in a safe, non-judgmental environment one's feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences that are affecting the individual's present life.
Sessions typically begin with exploring the problems/concerns you are experiencing that led you to seek therapy. Our time together will include discussing the past and present challenges you face while also identifying your hopes and goals for the future. Often in just a few sessions, patterns are identified, insight is gained, and a sense of relief is felt.
Couples seek therapy for ....
• Conflicts that never get resolved
• Feeling like they don't get "heard" or understood
• Boundaries that have been crossed
• Sexual and intimacy problems
• Loss of love and/or drifting apart
Most couples begin their relationships with excitement and hopeful expectations. No couple plans to have problems that they can't manage on their own. Sometimes though, there are challenges and conflicts that come up between two people that can't get worked through with the skills and tools the couple currently has available. It may require that an outside professional - a therapist - who is trained to listen carefully to each person without taking sides and who can help sort out the individual experiences from the couple experiences and understand the dynamic taking place in the couple is needed to bring harmony and mutual respect back into the relationship. It is my experience that most couples don't want to stay locked in the battle they find themselves in but want to return to the love and positive regard they once felt for each other.
Couples therapy usually begins with clearly defining the problem(s) in the relationship by listening carefully and respectively to each other's experiences and perceptions. Each person is helped to deal with their area of conflict and unhappiness while confronting deeply rooted and sometimes hidden belief systems. Often these beliefs are from family histories left over from the past and carried into the present. Shedding light on these historical beliefs often brings with it a sense of relief and renewed aliveness and hope that the relationship can grow. Throughout the therapy, couples are assisted with verbal and emotional communications and encouraged to practice both in the therapy setting as well as outside of therapy.
Couples often report that after experiencing this form of therapy they feel a renewed sense of hope and excitement about their relationship that includes feeling closer and more intimate as well as having increased love and respect for their partner.
Therapy for Adolescents
Adolescence is a time of much inner and outer turmoil for both parent and adolescent. It represents a time of individuation and self-discovery that for many adolescents can be overwhelming and problematic. I treat adolescents that are experiencing anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors, poor self-esteem, negative self-image, eating disorders, self-destructive behaviors, and gender and sexual identity issues. A central point of importance in treating adolescents in psychotherapy is that they feel safe and respected for their experiences.
Treatment for an adolescent usually begins with meeting with the parents to collect background information and to discuss the concerns and expectations they have for their child and the therapy. A meeting with the adolescent is then conducted to collect more information and to discuss treatment options. Following the completion of these meetings, another meeting is conducted with all parties (parents, adolescent, and therapist) to discuss the treatment plan and address any additional questions or concerns. If there is agreement from all parties to proceed, then the treatment will begin with meetings just with the adolescent. It's important that adolescents have significant rights to confidentiality and that parents try to support this. It's also important that parents share their concerns and questions to the therapist who is treating their child throughout the treatment. Parental input and support is encouraged.