Whether it's for a specific problem or a chronic mental health issue, counseling is a traditional, straightforward approach. It's what most people think of when they hear the term "talk therapy."
The goal is to identify what's causing your distress, as well as the underlying thoughts and beliefs that may be reinforcing the problem. The next step is learning to replace those unproductive thoughts and beliefs -- and the self-sabotaging behaviors that follow -- with new, healthy perspectives.
The process is targeted and can be short-term. You will know you're "done" when you have learned effective coping skills that you use consistently when a stressful situation pops up. Whatever symptoms were bothering you when you began therapy will no longer hold the same emotional charge. You won't be triggered as often or as intensely. And you will have the tools to deal with it when it does happen.
Be Not Afraid of Growing Slowly;
Be Afraid Only of Standing Still
If you want to dig a little deeper, we will use a psychodynamic approach. This involves exploring how your early upbringing, family life, any traumas you may have experienced or witnessed, and other environmental factors have shaped the way you participate in your life, for good or for bad.
This helps us identify patterns of thought and behavior that have developed and evolved over time, and how your "default setting" affects your relationships, family and social life, work, school and even your physical or spiritual well being.
We take a deeper look at the patterns that aren't working for you anymore, and then work together to create new, healthier perspectives that allow you to respond effectively to your triggers. In this way, you improve your self image, enjoy more meaningful relationships, and adopt a positive approach to all aspects of your life. Psychotherapy is personal-growth oriented and typically is long term.
Contrary to popular belief, hynotherapy does not involve swinging pocket watches or programming you to cluck like a chicken when a bell rings. That's carnival sideshow hypnotism. Hypnotherapy is a scientifically validated therapeutic technique that uses deep relaxation to tap into subconscious memory, thoughts and feelings so you can feel better, faster. Freud, the father of psychology, spoke of the healing power of "making the unconscious, conscious."
I use hypnotherapy as an occasional tool during regular counseling and psychotherapy for clients who are open to it. Sometimes, you may want to explore a particular issue in-depth during an entire session devoted to hypnotherapy. That's always an option. I am a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Click HERE to learn more about hypno.
Transgender Care: Therapy & "Letters"
In the last couple of years there has been an uptick in the number of transgender or gender-confused clients coming to my practice for therapy. Very few mental health professionals are trained to assist trans individuals, who face a unique set of challenges.
Fortunately, there are relatively new opportunities for extensive training. And so it is that I am a certified Transgender Care Therapist. That means I have cultivated a depth of knowledge and a frame of reference that will help me to help trans individuals navigate through the challenges they face mentally, emotionally, relationally, and logistically.
Additionally, for trans clients who seek mental health evaluation and clearance for medical treatments such as HRT (hormone replacement therapy), as well as gender affirming surgical procedures, I am qualified to provide the evaluation and, if appropriate, the appropriate documentation required by the medical professionals involved. For more information on services for transgender clients, click HERE.