How do I know when it is time to seek professional help? You are always the best judge of when you are getting to the point where your friends and family are not enough to help you get through a tough situation. You may realize it’s time for you to seek professional help if :
• Your sleep has become problematic
• Your eating habits have changed (gaining or losing weight)
• You are feeling uncharacteristically sad
• You find yourself wanting to isolate from others
• You find yourself becoming more angry and easily irritatated.
Seeking help for the first time may be a scary thing; however, you should be proud of yourself for reaching out and trying to improve how you are dealing with your challenges. There are many different types of mental health providers in the community, including psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed social workers. Sometimes a referral from a friend, co-worker, or your medical doctor will help you find the right match for you.
What would a first session be like? Because I understand that talking to a complete stranger about the most personal aspects of your life may be intimidating, my goal for our first session is to make you feel as relaxed as possible. I've even decorated my office to look just like my living room to help you feel more comfortable (you will quickly figure out that my favorite color is purple). I like to begin by just getting to know you and finding out a little bit about your background. After that, we will then talk about what led you to make an appointment with me.
What kind of therapy do you practice? Although my graduate program was cognitive behavioral based, after working with people for over 25 years, I’ve realized that no model of therapy is a one –size- fits -all scenario. I would consider what I do supportive therapy, directive therapy, positive psychology, or reality therapy. I work hard to match my style of treatment to my client’s personality and issues and have been very successful in helping individuals become happier and more fulfilled in their lives.
Are there a pre-determined number of sessions? No, not at all. I have had people come in for one or two sessions just to have an impartial party listen to their concerns. I also have clients who have been coming in to see me regularly as they feel it is very beneficial to have me as a support system in their life. Often people come in and out of treatment depending on their life circumstances. My goal is to never make you dependent on me but rather to help you learn more effective coping skills and better able to gain the strength you need from your friends and family.
What ages/gender clients do you see? I work with men, women and adolescents, ages 14 and older.
Do you see marital/relationship therapy cases? Yes. Having been happily married for over 21 years, I am a big proponent of marriage. I have helped many couples achieve greater happiness and fulfillment in their relationships and learn to communicate in ways that both partners are able to meet their needs. My advice about couples’ therapy is that it is usually an easier process if you seek help when you first notice your relationship is off track; however, coming in any time to receive guidance greatly increases your chance of success and improvement in your relationship.