Services

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a practice which focuses on the achievement of optimal psychological/emotional health and wholeness. I employ a variety of treatment methods aimed at relieving the symptoms of emotional/behavioral disturbance, strengthening and enhancing coping skills and developing strategies for maintaining an ongoing sense of well-being. These methods often include cognitive-behavioral strategies (such as challenging and changing unhelpful beliefs and perceptions, setting and achieving specific behavioral goals, home work, etc.), EMDR (see section on EMDR),  relaxation training and psychosocial education (such as communication skills, methods of conflict resolution and life-style/self-care issues). Psychotherapy can be short-term and solution-focused often taking fewer than ten sessions or it can be more in-depth. The decisions regarding length of treatment, focus of treatment and methods used are made collaboratively between the client and therapist. The best psychotherapy takes place within the context of a professional relationship characterized by a genuine interest and concern for the welfare of the client. I work with adults of all ages, couples and families, as well as children and adolescents.


Why Psychotherapy?

Individuals, couples and families usually seek or are referred for psychotherapy when there is some aspect of their life which is not working the way they would like it to. Some of these difficulties are in the form distressing feelings or thoughts (such as sadness, depression, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, nightmares, etc.).  Sometimes they are habits of behavior which are getting in the way of other important parts of life (such as addictions, excessive outbursts of anger, procrastination, eating or sleep disorders). Sometimes the difficulties are in relationship to another person (such as a spouse, partner, relative, friend or co-worker). There are even some physical problems which have a connection to emotional/psychological struggles. Children and adolescents are often seen when difficulties have arisen at school or their relationships at home.


Trauma

 It is also quite common for adults and children alike to experience after-effects from traumatic or distressing life events, large and small. We have influence over how these events impact us but cannot really control how they are stored in our memories. Many disturbing life experiences might bother us for a while, but then become less disturbing with time and the old memories don’t bother us much if we see or experience similar events again. Events which have been stored dysfunctionally and have not been fully processed and resolved may linger and even grow worse with time. Recalling the event even years later may be disturbing and similar events will often bring up painful feelings, nightmares or flashbacks. It is important to realize that all normal, healthy, strong individuals are susceptible to the after effects of distressing events. It is similar to catching a cold. We have influence over how we manage our health, but none of us is ALWAYS able to avoid getting sick.

There is good news, however. There are a variety of treatments which can provide effective and sometimes even quick relief from these after-shocks, whether the events occurred last week or thirty years ago. Even though time alone does not heal ALL wounds, you don’t have to go through life with the events of the past continuing to inhibit your pleasure and productivity. It is possible to come to meaningful resolutions to these events in ways that can even leave you feeling triumphant.


Marital/Relationship Therapy

When our closest relationships are working well, they are one of the greatest resources for growth and encouragement. When they are not working well, they can be one of the greatest sources of suffering. But even when they are not working well, they can point us in the direction of areas for growth and change within ourselves and our ability to relate to others. My approach to working with couples includes identifying the needs, preferences and sensitivities of each individual and developing ways that each partner can take this information into conscious consideration when relating to the other. I believe that most people want to be considerate of their partner's interests and concerns, but don't always know how, or even what they are. In addition, sensitivities developed from past experiences can make it very difficult to discuss these and can interfere with achieving productive resolutions. I often suggest EMDR as a way of reducing these unwanted sensitivities. Reducing these sensitivities often  makes it easier for couples to develop the knowledge and skills necessary within their unique relationship to communicate, resolve differences and foster loving companionship.


Relationship Intensives

There are times where couples can benefit from intensive work in therapy. This work might take place for several hours each day over a weekend or over the course of a week. This is often usefull in situations where couples have difficulty finding the time during their regular life schedule for weekly therapy appointments and want to make quicker progress than they might make with appointments widely spread. Intensive work can provide a level of focus on the relationship without distraction that might not otherwise be possible in the routine of daily life. It also allows me to meet with couples who come from out of town. Evergreen is a wonderful, peaceful destination with many options for mountain-style lodging and outdoors activities.