Marriage / Couple's Counseling
My heart and passion is for marriage counseling. I have worked with many couples over the years and one of the most rewarding experiences for me is to see a relationship that was broken and desperate transformed into one that is thriving and vibrant. I believe that there is hope for any relationship where two people are willing to look at themselves and the parts they are playing in the destructive patterns and cycles EFT calls “the Dance”. I use a combination of principles gleaned from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and personal insights gained from my own marriage and in working with couples over the years. I have taught these principles in a variety of marriage workshops and would love to teach them to you.
Substance Abuse / Addiction
Problems with addiction are prevalent in this day and age. We live in a generation increasingly prone to various addictions from alcohol and drugs to video games and smartphones. As a specialist in addiction who has worked in the field for the past eight years I can help evaluate where you are at in your process and what is needed to help recover. There are five stages of change that each person cycles through, often over and over before they are able to make any long term change. They include precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and relapse or maintenance. Cycling through this process is often discouraging for all involved and working within the unconditional positive regard of a therapist who understands the challenges associated with this process can aid and support one’s growth. Having worked in the substance abuse treatment field for years I can help evaluate what treatment is needed, from residential detox and treatment to Intensive Outpatient (IOP) or individual counseling and make the appropriate referrals.
Sexual Addiction / Infidelity
If your life has been impacted by sexual addiction or infidelity I understand the destructive toxic shame associated with this type of addiction and the struggle with coming out of hiding and into the light. We will work together to find freedom from shame and hiding through exploring the wounds that led to unhealthy and destructive coping skills. We all long for intimacy and are hard wired with the need for connection and if we cannot connect in healthy ways because of past hurts we will bond and connect through unhealthy ways. This leads to more shame and an inability to accept ourselves as human on a deep level. This is particularly challenging when you have a significant other hurt by the behavior. Healing and recovery are possible and relationships can be restored when we are willing to embrace courage and seek help.
Trauma actually rewires the brain resulting in long term impact to one’s ability to manage and cope with day to day tasks. I have a number of tools to help address this issue including mindfulness and EMDR. I teach skills for coping through the day to day challenge while using EMDR to process through painful memories, lessen the current impact they are having and reprocess the messages associated with these memories that are leading to destructive thoughts and behaviors in the here and now. These techniques have led to long term healing and improved quality of life for those who have suffered for years with limited or no relief.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety is described by many as a buildup of negative energy. Much of the time the source of the anxiety alludes as the energy builds up on itself until the sensation is crippling. Using Mindfulness techniques and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) it is possible to alleviate the majority of these symptoms over time.
Feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness and the growing belief that “I have always felt this way and am always going to feel this way” are characteristic of depression. Depression is also characterized by an overwhelming loss of self-esteem. The overwhelming leads to a destructive thought which leads to a negative emotion and the cycle goes on an on. I understand how difficult it can be to break this cycle on your own and will provide support and skills to reframe your thoughts and adjust behaviors to lead to long term freedom from this cycle.
I have developed a series of workshops for marriage retreats or conferences and have been delivering these in various church settings. I am available to speak on the topic of marriage and healthy relationship skills. Please call to discuss more information.