Individual counseling helps an adult better understand him/herself and then transform this awareness into better intrapersonal and interpersonal living. There exists a myriad of clinical areas that can cause an individual to experience pain, struggles, confusion and ultimately dissatisfaction with aspects of his/her life.
Clinical issues for which I routinely provide therapy to individuals include relationship difficulties, sex and sexuality, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, phobias, OCD, grief/loss, stage of life struggles and trauma recovery.
Children as young as 4 years-old can benefit from a combination of individual and family counseling. Whether through play therapy, talk therapy or a mix of these, children can address underlying struggles through the safety and stability of the counseling session, along with the supporting work that is done at home. Young children today experience substantial stress at school, with friends and in their extracurricular activities. While a nurturing home environment and strong identity development can help children navigate these typical stressors, some children have compounding difficulties that make management hard. In therapy with children I help address issues such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, OCD, phobias, grief/loss, adjustment to divorce or blended family, traumatic experiences, social difficulties, poor self-confidence, learning and attention difficulties and behavioral problems.
Just as parenting a teenager takes an abundance of art, skill, patience and empathy, so too does helping a teen through therapy. Some teens are initially reticent when it comes to counseling while others are eager from the start. Either way, it’s critical that a teen be able to connect and feel comfortable with his/her therapist, as well as experience the therapist as trustworthy and credible. Adolescent and teenage behavioral health issues are very specific to this developmental time of life.
Additionally, many teens feel misunderstood by their well-intending parents and will benefit from a therapist who can provide unbiased observation and reflection, along with understanding of the teen’s perspective. In such a relationship a teenager is more likely to explore healthier management of difficult life experiences and how to make improved choices for his/her life. As a result, counseling can be pivotal to a teen’s smooth transition into young adulthood. It is also for this reason that I find providing therapy for teens to be an exciting, engaging and very fulfilling venture. I routinely work with teens in areas of family relationships, social struggles, school issues, self-esteem, body image and disordered eating, identity formation, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, phobias, OCD, trauma, grief/loss experiences, romantic relationships and sexuality.
It is no surprise that seeking professional help for relationship struggles is something that many couples avoid—not out of indifference, but because they are afraid it might make things worse or they remain hopeful that improvement will eventually occur without intervention. But with the current US divorce rate remaining between 40 and 50 percent, and even higher among couples who are in their second or third marriage, avoidance of support may be detrimental. Whether you are a new couple seeking to address issues before they take root, a long established couple experiencing distance in your relationship or a couple in the midst of acute stress/crisis, couple’s counseling can be of great value to you and your relationship.
Our family should be a sanctuary and an anchor in life for all its members. While this may or may not be the case in our own families of origin, it is certainly what we strive for in our current family environments. Yet complexities are the norm in families and the difficulties we experience in our family relationships have a rippling effect throughout our lives. A tumultuous or detached relationship between a child and parent, whether the child is still at home or grown, has a significant impact on everyone’s well-being. Sibling relationships characterized by significant rivalry, cruelty, ambivalence or distain can have an equally problematic and potentially life-long impact. Blending families, maintaining a healthy extended family network and incorporating relationships with in-laws all bring their own unique set of challenges to the family unit. Family counseling can help a family understand and respond to the needs of each member, learn how to reduce strife, and work together to regain peace in the family unit.
Parenting is a complex, ever-evolving, highly satisfying and forever challenging experience. And this is true in the easiest of times. Experiencing high-level daily parenting challenges without an effective strategy can put a tremendous strain on each parent, the marital relationship and the entire family. Parents who are able to collaborate and overcome parenting challenges gain strength and connection in their relationship. Yet, there are many obstacles that can make this collaboration difficult. Career demands, the needs of multiple children, differences in parenting styles, unmet expectations, scheduling and time constraints are all common pitfalls to harmonious parenting. Single-parenting and co-parenting challenges are other common areas of concern. With the professional support of a psychotherapist, these obstacles can be identified and addressed, paving the way for a more satisfying parenting experience.