I Can Help
I provide therapeutic services to individuals, couples and families to address a wide range of challenges, including: anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, eating disorders, grief and loss, personality concerns, and relationship struggles between romantic partners, parent and child, siblings, extended family members, and blended families.
While the above lists a snapshot of my focus areas, I’ve included a more detailed description of each to provide a better understanding of these mental health issues.
A Better Understanding Of...
People who struggle with anxiety often report similar internal experiences. Thoughts are typically future-oriented, repetitive, rooted in worry and apprehension, and focused on planning, preparation and impression management. Emotionally speaking, one can feel fearful, nervous, uneasy, or inadequate. Physiologically, a person might experience an accelerated heart beat or become nauseated, sweaty, tense and jittery.
When it comes to a person’s external behavior, it can be quite varied. Some people describe a sense of paralysis when having to perform a task; a lack of concentration; fogginess in the brain; or the mind going blank. Others might describe pressure to act, feel or be a certain way (i.e. be perfect; be the pleaser, fit in) or make excessive attempts to avoid judgment from others. Behaviors might also manifest in repetitive or compulsive actions.
Internally, depression can feel many different ways. One person could describe it as a feeling of being trapped or stuck in a dark hole with no way out; another might say he or she feels stifled, unheard, invisible or dismissed. Someone else might share ongoing feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt; or a person could experience a marked period of apathy, indifference, and a lack of motivation.
Most notably, these feelings are persistent over a significant length of time wherein a person is at a loss of how to find relief on his or her own. Like anxiety, the behaviors that accompany depression can be very different depending on the person and his or her age. Teens tend to exhibit impulsive, reckless or rebellious conduct mixed with irritability and changes in academic performance and peer relationships. Adults note feeling sad, empty, or numb; finding less pleasure out of activities, work, and relationships; difficulty sleeping; changes in eating habits; frequent mood fluctuations; decreased functioning; and problems with physical health.
Eating and Related Disorders
The blanket term of “eating disorders” encompasses a large spectrum of issues that are related to under- and overeating, rumination behavior, exercising, weight, body image, rigid thinking, food rules, and shame. While the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) denotes specific diagnoses and symptomatology around eating issues such as Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED), it is very common for people to struggle with food related challenges and also not fit within these strict set of parameters.
Anyone who experiences distress, a significant change in mood, reduced functioning, or unfavorable changes in important areas of life (work, relationships, physical health, etc.) due to his or her eating behaviors or body image might be at risk for some type of disordered eating.
Family and Relationship Distress
Families and friendships come in all forms. Most relationships, whether parent-child, romantic partners, or friends, experience some level of conflict and distress at various points throughout the life of the relationship. Sometimes, it’s difficult to navigate through these strained times, especially when there are unintended established patterns of behavior that are working against the betterment of the relationship. The distress level might be therapeutically significant when individuals within the relationship start to feel defeated, overly defensive, stuck, and repeatedly emotionally wounded without sufficient repair.
In other instances, distress can come from contemplating or choosing to end a relationship in its current form or begin a new one, with additional suffering resulting from the unknown of how to manage things moving forward. Some examples of this would be divorce, co-parenting, and newly blended families.
Interpersonal and Personality Struggles
Everyone has their own unique style of relating to others along with ways of coping with the hardships of life. People who struggle with interpersonal and personality challenges might find themselves in a pattern of thinking, feeling, and operating in the world that causes marked problems and limitations in most, if not all, contexts of their lives including: work, social encounters, intimate relationships, and school.
For these people, constructive feedback can be very difficult to hear or integrate into their lives in meaningful and productive ways. These individuals often feel as though their responses are appropriate, which contributes to the difficulty of breaking free from their typical way of perceiving as well as relating to situations and people, even though the individual’s behavior has significant negative impacts.
Difficult Life Transitions, Grief and Loss
A life transition refers to any change that requires or results in significant adjustment. This could include a change in physical appearance, a change in developmental stage (i.e. adolescence to young adulthood), the loss of a loved one, the formation of a new partnership (i.e. business, romantic, marriage), becoming a parent, entering college or a change in careers. Everyone going through such events will experience gains and losses along the way. Sometimes the adjustment and grieving process isn’t easy and can impact other areas of life in unfavorable ways. When there is difficulty coping with the transition via constructive means, therapy can be a helpful outlet to sort through the change.
Personal Exploration and Growth
There may be times in a person’s life when he or she doesn’t necessarily feel like there is “a problem” but has interest in learning more about one’s self and wants space for personal exploration and growth. While such exploration can be done outside of therapy, it’s sometimes advantageous to have a safe, comfortable, consistent and dedicated time period for self-care.