I believe the counseling experience needs to be based on a relationship of trust, authenticity and cooperation. While I may offer advice, suggestions or observations, you are the one coming out of a desire to experience change in your life. I work alongside my clients – not out in front. Together we will explore your story, the issues and obstacles that bring you to counseling and creatively problem solve as a team. I utilize a Cognitive Behavioral approach combined with features of Family Systems, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Narrative Therapy. This involves:
Exploring your story In order to understand your current situation we need to understand how you got here. What are the relationships and experiences that have shaped you?
Understanding core beliefs Each and every story has highs and lows, protagonists and antagonists, hopes and disappointments. Throughout the arc of your story you have developed beliefs about yourself and the world we live in to help you cope with these. Some of these are accurate and some serve to protect yourself. We will identify these in order to help us understand your current situation.
Coping strategies Out of these core beliefs develop coping strategies, some of which are now causing problems in your life. Some of these strategies are apparent, such as eating disorders, addictions and things you avoid. Others are not so clear, such as relational strategies and beliefs you tell yourself. Together we will work to identify healthier ways to cope.
Building trust, wisdom and hope Change requires trust; trust in the counseling process as well as trust in yourself. Learning new ways to live life may be uncomfortable and distressing. In order to persevere through the discomfort we will work to instill hope that change is possible.