About me: my approach, philosophy, and specialties
There seems to be a misconception about counseling and what type of person would go to counseling. I've had many clients apologize for telling me about their reasons for coming to see me or they minimize their problems by saying something like 'oh, I'm sure that's stupid compared to what you usually hear.' I tell them all the same thing: we are all human. Thoughts, emotions, joy, pain, sadness, anger, etc...these are all normal parts of being human. Yes, there are varying degrees of issues I have worked with but we are all climbing our own mountains here. Some are tougher than others but they are still mountains. My clients, whether homeless or wealthy, uneducated or have doctoral degrees..they all have at least one thing in common: they are all humans who experience difficult thoughts and feelings.
I know the decision to come to counseling can be very difficult for many individuals. Taking that leap into the unknown can be scary (coming into counseling for the first time or seeing a new counselor if you have had counseling before). I believe an individual decides to come to therapy because they have tried everything they can think of to improve their situation but have become stuck. The goal in therapy is to assist the client in becoming ‘unstuck’ and taking steps towards a more rich and meaningful life. I will do this from a down to earth, non judgmental, and accepting stance.
My approach is a behavior therapy (like CBT) called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) although I also use techniques and ideas from other therapies based on what the individual needs. In ACT, I will work with you on getting your life going in the direction you want it to be going while also helping you to better handle the obstacles along the way. I do have some areas I consider my "specialties" and list them below.
I have been practicing counseling as a licensed mental health therapist for 9 years and have been working in the field of mental health for 14 years. In addition to working as a therapist, I have worked on a crisis unit, a psychiatric hospital, group homes, and as an emergency services clinician. While all of those past jobs have been mostly very stressful, I am grateful to have a well rounded background as I feel this has helped me as a therapist.
Specialty: OCD, Phobias, Panic Disorder
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is the gold standard for treatment of OCD and phobias (including social phobia previously termed “social anxiety disorder”). There are numerous clinical trials that show how effective ERP can be to treat OCD (you can look online to verify this claim). I’ve had trainings in using ERP to treat OCD and other anxiety disorders and offer this to my clients. It does require hard work, commitment, and stepping out of your comfort zone but we will work on this together and move at your pace.
If you are interested in taking that ‘leap’ into counseling or you have any questions or concerns before you do decide, please feel free to contact me by email. I look forward to working with you and it would be my honor to help guide you to a more rich and meaningful life where you are able to live your life despite whatever it is that has you stuck at the moment.