Counseling for Adults:
While there are a multitude of reasons why one would seek counseling, we are all essentially looking for a way to improve our lives and to grow into the best version of ourselves. Perhaps you are seeking to manage a life transition, reduce stress or unhappiness, clarify your goals, or improve your relationships. Through acceptance and supportive therapeutic skills, I can help you effectively express your experience, challenge your barriers (both real or imagined) and help you make the choices and changes necessary to enjoy your life in a more healthy and fulfilling way.
I respect that each of us are doing the best we can with the tools we possess at the time. Coming from a perspective that seeks to clarify your strengths rather than your deficits, I will help you build on what is already working well in your life and help you find your own best solutions to what challenges you. I will work as a partner with you, progressing at your pace, to release pain, gain insight, grow and change as you are ready. Through the work of identifying and challenging internal barriers and through the use of relaxation and "in the moment” focus, I will help you gain greater awareness of your feelings, thoughts, meaning and motivations.
There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
Counseling for Adolescents:
Teenagers face many of the same social stressors as adults but some aren't yet able to respond to them with healthy solutions. Teens may suffer emotional disorders (depression, anxiety, mood swings) or may exhibit their distress through unhealthy behaviors and choices (drugs/alcohol, oppositional behavior, stealing, failing classes or missing school, self-injury, suicidal gestures or attempts). Many parents find it very difficult to talk with their children at this age and feel rejected and defensive as their teens lash out at them with blame and anger. Teens, as well, are in the painful bind of wanting to be on their own/breaking free from parents and feeling abandoned if the parent complies. Adolescents often still want understanding and guidance but find it hard to communicate with parents due to their need to separate from them and become their own person. A therapist can help bridge that gap.
It's important for parents to understand that at age 13, children can authorize their own mental health treatment. What this means is that they can refuse therapy, or if they do participate they have confidentiality from their parents. Therefore, the therapist cannot disclose to the parents the discussion within session without a signed consent from the teen. This, of course, excludes the mandatory reporting of safety concerns (suicide, homicide or abuse). However, there are many gray areas that might arise between a teen client and therapist such as drug use, sexual activity, eating disorders or cutting. As a therapist, my choice is to assure the teen of my commitment to their privacy since their ability to trust me is key to being any help to them but I balance this with clearly stating my need to advocate for their safety and not collude with them against their parents. I clarify that we must, in time, include their parents in the solution and not maintain dangerous secrets..