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People come to therapy for all kinds of reasons. Some individuals have difficulty adjusting to a life event. Others come struggling with anxiety (worrying), phobias, obsessions followed by compulsions, trauma, and depression. Sometimes it is an array of all. I call it the perfect storm. All problems collide at one time and wreak havoc. No matter the reason for therapy, talking to someone always helps.
Therapists and clients call it several different things. Some call it therapy, my favorite term. It suggests a broad explanation of what occurs in our sessions like the process is the treatment. Others call it counseling, which denotes that we are consultants on your situation, which is also true.
Few call it psychotherapy, which suggests that you will be seeing someone for the rest of your life. Basically, the goal of my office is to work ourselves out of a job. We “treat” individuals by meeting with them on a regular basis. Through our meetings or discussions they will learn techniques to manage their bothersome symptoms:
We work with teens and adults to assist them in working through some of the following areas.
Anxiety consists of worrying several times daily, phobias (fears of bridges, vomiting, needles, flying, snakes, etc.), ruminating thoughts, (negative or catastrophic thoughts that get stuck in your head on repeat), or somatic sensations like racing heart, stomach aches, shacking, depersonalization, or derealization.
Trauma is a big or little event that has caused problems in your life due to the internal and external residue it leaves, (thinking of the event when you don’t want to, and emotionally feeling the event), re-experiencing of that event when both awake and/or asleep.
Obsessions and compulsions consist of obsessions that are followed by internal or external compulsions that individuals cannot stop repeating.
Depression consists of depressed mood most days, irritability, lack of excitement about things one used to get excited for, problems sleeping, decreased motivation, and sometimes contemplating dying.
Lastly, I call the worried well. These individuals just want someone to process life events with them. They function well in their lives but find relief in having someone outside of their circle to discuss life’s upsets.
No matter how big or small you think your problems are, therapy is a place to work through them.
Finding that trusted someone can be a daunting process. It is not one size fits all. Some factors are personality, education, and time. Building trust with a total stranger takes time and a lot of other needed ingredients to assist in this process. Do not settle on a therapist if something feels off. Keep trying different ones until you feel comfortable. This is especially an obstacle when therapists are working with teens.
Parents often bring their children to see my office because they (the adult) likes the therapist. This does not mean that their teen will. Some of us are very outgoing and goal-driven. This works for some but not for others. Some clients just like to talk and are not focused on a goal. So when I am working with teens I make sure they want to work with me, not just their parents wanting them to work with me.
My answer is nothing unless the client practices what is discussed between sessions. Just talking to someone can be helpful for the worried well whom I discussed earlier but for more severe symptoms, skills must be practiced between sessions for change to occur. Therapists in my office always check to see what are the barriers to practicing the skills. As a result, our clients along with our therapists can change course or work on smaller goals so that the barriers can be overcome.
Most people in therapy have barriers that they cannot overcome on their own. These barriers have been in place for a long time and typically are trying to protect them, however inconvenient they may be. Therapists in my office address these barriers with compassion. Avoidance just creates more hurdles.
Let my office be the space, safety, and compassion you need for change to occur.
Therapy is a process that assists individuals in changing internal and external patterns that are interfering with daily functioning. These patterns are sometimes diagnosable issues like:
Other times they are symptoms that do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis but are still bothersome.
Whatever the reason, let my office be your place to explore and work through it.
As a practicing therapist of 11, years I have worked with people who deal with anxiety, obsessions, compulsions, phobias, depression, and trauma. I use a mix of skills-building, desensitization, guided meditation, art, walking, nature, mindfulness, and presence to offer a unique personalized approach to your healing. My job is to assist you in finding the path that works best for you. We are all unique, and I let this perspective guide your therapy sessions. After you reach a state of balance I focus on authentic living and being true to yourself. This process facilitates changes deep within.