On-on-one, I guide clients through the process of healing their sadness, anger, general ‘stuckness’ or depression. Often the pain lingers from unmet emotional needs in childhood. Parents rarely hurt their kids intentionally but most of my work with clients deals with correcting hurtful messages received by well-intentioned parents. I offer knowledge and insight, unconditional support, affection and plenty of time to resolve the issues and brighten the outlook. Individual therapy includes older kids, teens and adults from early adulthood thru the senior years.
Couples run into trouble for a variety of reasons. Together we sort out the problem areas, negotiate solutions and determine the best way to move forward. Topics that often come up include: (lack of) communication, finances, parenting, substances, time management and sex. Sometimes the counseling leads to ‘conscious un-coupling’ in a way that supports both the partners and kids (if applicable).
Kids usually don’t know or can’t explain in words what is making them sad or angry so we ‘play it out’ with toys, games, sand and art. With parents very much apart of the ongoing process, play therapy helps heal problems (old and new) that are causing the kids to be unhappy and/or unsettled in the family, at school or with friends.
Family therapy is often an adjunct to this work!
It’s no secret that many different substances are overused these days. Alcohol, drugs (including prescription meds and opioids), marijuana and even food, when abused, can mask feelings and hinder true healing. I offer compassionate support to gently bring these complicated issues into focus and help heal them in a more valid and lasting way.
Grief Counseling (including pet loss)
Losses are simply a part of our lives. Unfortunately, there is very little true support offered to deal with these losses. The ‘current thinking’ on dealing with loss (death, divorce, end of job, family transitions) is to simply move past it quickly…get busier, exercise more, do yoga. My belief is that we actually need to slow down, find a compassionate listener who will honor the process of grieving. There is no time limit on grieving, it takes as long as it takes and studies show that with proper grief counseling, we actually recover more quickly and can function somewhat effectively after all.
Pet loss is often overlooked but many of my clients report that losing their pets is as bad or worse that ‘human’ losses they have suffered.
Many folks are responsible for the care of others: aging parents, sick kids, ailing animals, addicts trying to get sober. Caring for others can be a rewarding and satisfying thing. It feels great to help others IF our needs are getting met too. When we fly, we are instructed to 'place the oxygen mask over our mouths FIRST before seeing to our kids. This is important "on the ground" too: address your own needs first so that you are truly able to be of service to others. I help clients look at ways to improve the balance in caring for themselves as well as the people in their lives. It's a win-win!