“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful
part of us.”
- David Richo
Why do people come to therapy?
therapy for different reasons and often with specific ideas about the causes of their struggles. Whatever the reason, there
is the realization that 'something' doesn't work the way it once did. This 'something' may be dealing with new relationships
and feelings in old and unhelpful ways or a recognition that old wounds can no longer be ignored without painful consequences.
These realizations, and the uncertainty of how to address them, often require a non-judgmental place to begin moving towards
the person we want to become. Below are listed some common issues seen in my practice.
Depression, anxiety, traumatic histories, and other painful experiences:
Everyone experiences 'the blues' from time to time, and who hasn't dealt with anxiety about an upcoming event, work
project, or school assignment? Complex and uncomfortable emotions come with the terrain of being human! However, when disturbances
in mood become overwhelming and undermine how we deal with life, work, and relationships it may be time to consider getting
help. Therapy to address these emotions may be as simple as sharing your concerns and being offered new tools to improve
your mood and functioning. In other situations, a combination of psychotherapy and medication may be suggested to provide
the relief you are seeking.
Adjustment difficulties refer to the challenges of life transitions.
Many of these transitions are normative experiences and may include births, a recent loss, a child leaving for college and
the challenge of returning to being a full time couple after focusing so heavily on being parents. Adjustment difficulties
often present with anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, and a host of other changes in mood and sense of self that impacts
the quality of your life. While normative, many people find that therapy has been helpful in adapting to these changes and
considering how to deal with new options for living.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender identity exploration:
Addressing the complexity of sexual orientation
or gender identity, let alone the possibility of sharing this information with others, can be overwhelming. A central theme
of self-acceptance is the ability to confront the myths and misinformation we have internalized about what it means to be
a gay, lesbian, bisexual, sexually fluid, or a transgender or gender non-conforming person. Having a supportive and affirming
environment to explore identity can greatly improve the process of self-acceptance.
Sexual difficulties and a desire to improve sexual pleasure:
There are no sexual issues, concerns,
problems or practices that cannot be discussed freely and openly in my office. Sometimes people come to sex therapy to address
issues of sexual desire, arousal, or pain during sexual activity or difficulties with orgasm. Individuals and couples also
enter sex therapy to discuss new ways of exploring pleasure with oneself, a committed partner or with multiple partners. Unfortunately,
our culture is steeped in conflicting messages related to eroticism, sexuality, and sexual pleasure. These messages often
reduce sex into simple “good” and “bad” boxes that leave people feeling uncomfortable with their sexuality.
While there are many ways to address and resolve concerns involving eroticism, sex and sexuality the first step is to acknowledge
that these concerns exist.
Family therapy focuses on working with the entire
family, or selected parts of the family, to assess, identify and resolve conflicts. A major focus of family therapy is to
change patterns of interaction and improve how family communicates and functions together.
Recovering from sexual violence:
Both women and men can be victims of sexual abuse
and assault. Learning to find ways to deal with this type of violation can be tremendously difficult. The emotions that follow
this type of violence and it's impact on ones sense of safety, relationships, and self-perception are at the core of the journey
towards feeling, healing, and learning to rebuild a new life.
Recovery from substance dependency and abuse:
Changing behaviors can be hard, particularly
if those behaviors have provided ways to escape from painful life events. Building on early recovery, and creating a supportive
environment, people learn to take stock of the damage done to their lives by substance abuse and dependency and learn to create
new ways of being in the world.
Not all therapy is about struggle. Sometimes people just need a place to
share thoughts, feelings and recollections in a supportive, non-judgemental, and confidential space. A place that is big and
safe enough to openly share new ways of seeing oneself and others. Through this process we come to realize that we are dynamic
and evolving beings, trying to make sense of aspects of self previously unrecognized or un-acknowledged. This growth
could be related to a desire to find deeper connection and community with others, a spiritual awakening, a sense of the sacred,
or some other subtle, but powerful, transition into the possibilities of a new way of being alive. What ever you may be looking for, or hoping to acheive in your journey, know that there is a place for you in the