Psychotherapy and Me
I have a Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in Families and Groups. While I love the theoretical perspective of family therapy, the majority of my work is with individuals using a combination of several therapies that I've learned over the years. Problems that I've helped people with include:
-phobias and fears
-anxiety and stress
-adjustment to changes in life
-coping with a difficult partner
-low self esteem
-addictions, especially quitting smoking
-grief and loss
-uncontrolled emotional reactions to people and things
-changes in work, transition to a new career
-coping with aging
-coping with chronic issues
-spiritual issues in coping with life
-general issues of adult living
While many people know that Social Worker's are in adoption agencies, social services agencies and hospitals, as psychotherapists and counselors, our perspective takes in the whole person and the world that they live in. We notice the people that are important in your life, the circumstances of your family as well as the internal processes that happen with you.
About "Talk Therapy" and why I don't do it.
While talking about your situation is important, I don't do traditional "talk therapy". These therapies are often focused on an understanding of your process, with the change in your life coming as a result of that. While that's admirable, its often too slow of a process for most people who have particular concerns and topics that need change more quickly. The various trainings that I have had focus largely on the processes that keep you stuck and, most importantly, how to break out of them. When that is understood, often change can happen rapidly. As an example, a remembered incident may cause pain and confusion and anger but there is a process that can actually take out the feelings from the remembered incident, often causing great relief for the person who is bothered by it. This is just one example of the various interventions that are possible when a multiple therapy perspective is used.
Why Your Spirituality is Important
The things you value the highest are often the source of your strength. These "highly valued ideas" are found even with atheists and agnostics (who often value relationships or discovery about the world highly). By making use of what you naturally believe to be important, change can be made in conformity with your real path in life, the direction that you yourself want to carve out. I keep those values in the background of everything that I do, to make sure that you are tied into the important things in your life and can feel good about living out of your beliefs and values. See my tag on working with spiritual creatives for more information.
Your first session
It's been said that a person comes to a therapist with a complaint, but the therapist tells them what the problem is! Obviously expertise is important in helping people, but many times, therapists make the problems seem so large, that it can be difficult to have hope. I discourage labeling people, instead focusing on what they are doing and how they can do something different. That's a lot easier to change than "who you are"! I will listen to your situation, ask questions about your circumstances and often find out what you are doing in your head that "helps" the complaint continue. I also spend some time introducing myself and talking about the things that I do. We then agree on a course of action for the next few weeks to work as rapidly as possible. Sometimes people need further work or simply a supportive ear to keep them on their path and I also enjoy working in that supportive capacity also.
AstrotherapyAstrotherapy has its own reasoning and formatting, please see that section for a full explanation.