Our lives are formed within the context of our relationships. It is these relationships that have had the greatest impact on who we are and what we believe about ourselves and others. It is our relationships that bring us our greatest joy and our most profound heartache. Our mood, health and emotional well being are grounded in our past and present relationships. It is these relationships that have the greatest influence on how we relate to the world beyond ourselves.
Counseling addresses specific issues relating to your external world and focuses on how you are managing the people, events and challenges in the “here and now”. Counseling is insight oriented and helps individuals gain skills in how they interact with others, overcome crisis and manage stress. Marital and family problems, parenting, crisis, loss, difficult people, career challenges, and stress are some of the issues that can be addressed in order to gain insight, increase skills and develop strategies for coping and/or strengthening relationships.
Counseling also addresses the internal world of the individual and how you function and relate to those around you. Emotional difficulties such as depression, anxiety, phobias, destructive behaviors, fears, compulsions and addictions are issues needing an in-depth therapy approach. Personality problems that can be treated in therapy include anger issues, paranoia, excessive blaming, domineering, jealously, emotional aloofness, and other relationship destructive behaviors. In addition, traumatic experiences, growing up in dysfunctional environments, and abuse experiences all have a profound impact on emotional well being and are often the focus of therapy.
I have the reputation of being very straight forward in couples counseling. Because I believe you are paying for a service and not a social relationship I speak my mind in terms of what I am observing. I pay close attention to what is going on between a couple and what I believe the motivations, beliefs and emotions are that are influencing the couple and what choices are being made as evidenced by the couple’s interactions. Understanding and appreciating the differences due to personality and gender are also key factors in my work with couples.