I’m a master’s prepared, licensed professional counselor who utilizes a variety of therapy techniques in my treatment approach, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, motivational interviewing, guided meditation and mindfulness training.
My work experience includes working at treatment centers supporting those suffering from addiction and co-occurring issues like chronic pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, self-harm, relationship conflicts and other life stressors. I also have previous experience in an acute psychiatric setting, which allows for a unique approach to care coordination and resource direction for my clients.
People often develop unhealthy thought patterns that can contribute to symptoms of depression, anxiety, or physical pain. Continual self-criticism or a tendency to put pressure on yourself to succeed can, over time, have a significant impact on the way you feel. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves altering your thought patterns, positively changing the way you see yourself, and improving self-esteem. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be used to decrease anxiety, break addictive patterns, and treat phobias.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a treatment originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD). Research has shown it to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance abuse, anger, and interpersonal difficulties. It involves learning skilling to analyze your own behavior and identify and change precipitating factors to dangerous situations. It also utilizes self-soothing coping skills tailored to each person’s preference, including the last two items mentioned here (relaxation and mindfulness training).
As children, we take the messages that we receive from caretakers as gospel. If they criticize us, our little brains think it is because we deserve it. If we aren’t paid very much attention, we think it must be because we don’t matter very much. We internalize these messages and as we get older they shape the way we see ourselves and experience the world.
Psychodynamic therapy involves making the connection between our experiences growing up and the way those experiences affect the way we currently think, feel, and act. Often, exploring the events that led to the way we presently think and feel, can bring a new kind of clarity to the way we see ourselves, and can free us to experience life in a more positive and fulfilling way.
Guided Meditation/Relaxation Training
Relaxation exercises can help slow down the breathing and reduce heart rate. With practice, the body can actually be retrained to live in a calmer state. This can be a big relief to those who currently carry around tension on a daily basis.
According to John Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness means paying attention: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. Buddhists have been practicing this technique for thousands of years, but only recently has western science shown the profound ways that mindfulness practice can quite literally change the structure of the brain in a very positive way. Mindfulness skills are proven to help decrease stress and anxiety, improve focus and attention, promote a non-judgmental view, and increase overall physical, emotional and spiritual health.