When you enter individual counseling in my office, I provide a safe, private, and nurturing environment in which you can explore your feelings, including past pain. It’s an opportunity to take time to focus on yourself and what you need.
During our time together, you will be supported in working through your challenges, and will learn coping skills to manage difficult situations, stress, anger, depression, and anxiety. Many people find peace through focused and well-managed counseling. All that is required is that you’re willing to take a chance on success.
My philosophy is to work with you on specific goals, giving you direct feedback and assisting you to create lasting changes. I also help you develop concrete tools, using that help in decreasing anger, depression, and anxiety. You’ll learn behaviors that help you to feel joy and be more positive about life.
When working with adolescents, I seek to eliminate self-destructive behavior, such as cutting, suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol use, and bringing or purging. Then I bring in parents or other family members to work on increasing communication, rebuilding trust, and developing respect at home for everyone involved. With young children, I also work with the parents to help facilitate changes at home, school, and with peers. For young children the learning and expression of feelings is through play and art therapy while in session.
Family counseling allows your family to stop its destructive patterns and create new, healthy patterns of interaction. You’ll learn new ways to interact as a family that enhance your relationships and help you to resolve conflicts.
My philosophy is based on a structural approach to family therapy, in which we look at how the negative behavior or symptom is affecting your whole family system. We also look at the subsystems of sibling relationships, the parental relationship, and parent-child relationships.
My goal is to make your family more loving, functional, and successful. With well-crafted counseling, many people are able to revitalize their family lives and enjoy more healthy relationships.
Reunification counseling is often recommended when a child has been separated from a parent. The reasons for this separation can vary, from the child favoring one parent over another, an estrangement due to neglect or abuse, absence of one parent, or parental alienation. In these situations a child/adolescent may be resisting or refusing contact with one parent. This counseling is often ordered by the court or suggested by the Family Law Attorneys working with the family. The goal of reunification therapy is to help the child and parent reconcile their relationship in a safe atmosphere. My role is to focus on the child’s needs to build a relationship with the estranged parent and also work with the favored parent to help create the changes needed for the child to have a strong relationship with each parent.
A Co-parent Counselor works with families undergoing separation or divorce. Co-parenting is the most challenging process for parents because they have not resolved their past problems and to continue to work together to share the most important people in their lives. Often children are caught in the middle of the parents’ conflict. As a licensed mental health professional with special training, I consult with the parents to help them develop a parenting plan and procedures for post divorce communication. The parenting plan/ co-parenting agreements can include timeshare, transitions, health, school, consistent rules at each home, and cooperative decision making. This consulting role can help guide parents regarding what to say to the children when separating, as well as provide educational information on the effects of divorce on children, developmental expectations for children, and ways to navigate the changes occurring in the family. The children are supported in their adjustment to the rearranging family by improving communication between the parents, thereby decreasing the conflict. Children often feel so torn between their parents and we want to work on eliminating these feelings. The mutual goal in co-parenting is to minimize the negative impact of the separation on the children.
My role can be confidential or with permission from both parents I can provide information to Family Court Services and parents attorneys. The parents and the co-parent counselor will together define the terms of this working relationship. I find collaboration with other providers and professionals working with your family, can help to create a co-parenting relationship that has less tension and focuses on the children.
This process has the potential to decrease post divorce or separation conflict, thereby supporting the healthy growth and development of the children. There is extensive research that children thrive when parents model effective communication and conflict resolution. For an alternate co-parenting model with two Therapists please see; High Conflict Co-parent Counseling Project
In this type of family counseling session, I work alone with the parents (or single parent). I help you develop new skills for communication between you and your child. You’ll acquire the parenting skills to set up consistent structures, discipline effectively with natural and logical consequences, give your child positive rewards, and maintain positive relationships. I also work with divorced parents to build a co-parenting “business-relationship,” to create consistency for your children in both households. When there is an adolescent in the home, I work with the parents on how to build trust and foster independence with the teen.
Within counseling sessions, I teach you how to understand specific patterns of behavior and the dynamic of past feelings. This teaching process is called psycho-education. It can focus on communication, child development stages, parenting, loss and grief, depression and anxiety, and more.
I believe psycho-education is essential to understand feelings; trauma symptoms; and the cycles of domestic violence, family life, and child development. I often give handouts you can take home to help you understand what is happening with you and to not feel so alone in your feelings or symptoms.
In therapy it is important to work with the other professionals who are involved in the different aspects of your life. Therefore, with your permission, I work together with school teachers to create positive behavioral changes for your child, both at home and at school. I consult with psychiatrists and doctors, which can help if medication or medication management are needed to integrate mind and body. I collaborate with other providers, as necessary, to help your treatment progress. Basically, I am an advocate and champion for your mental and physical well-being, doing whatever is needed to help you attain your life goals.