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Psychotherapy & Counseling

Psychotherapy

 

  • Strong relationships
  • A sense of purpose
  • Becoming whole again

These are the rewards of a successful course of therapy, and the best way to enjoy inhabiting yourself.

yay therapy!I hope you’ll meet with several therapists before deciding on one, but obviously that can be time-consuming. Reading web pages like this one should help you get a sense of who you’re dealing with for starters.

You can whittle your list down to 2 or 3 therapists, then make your appointments for an initial meeting.

I offer a free initial consultation in person in Denver, Colorado to facilitate your shopping for the right fit. After the in-person meeting, if you’d like to work with me, sessions can be in person, by phone, or online.

My greatest strength as a therapist and consultant is my ability to get to the root of a problem quickly.

The questions I ask are designed to direct your attention to areas you may not have fully explored, giving you a clear view of what was previously in the shadows.

Once we’ve identified exactly what’s going on, we can begin the work of healing the emotional wounds that usually accompany

  • relationship trouble
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • low self-esteem
  • complicated grief 

and many other common problems.

Below are some of the concerns that bring people into my office, and how I work with them.

Relationship problems between parents and adult children

I offer compassion, healing, and practical tools for parents rejected by adult children, and anyone walking on eggshells in relationships. My approach to family conflict is, above all, non-blaming and non-shaming.

Estrangement from a son or daughter can severely disrupt a person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Sometimes the best thing you can do is hunker down for a while and catch your breath before taking any new steps.

For many parents, improving the relationship eventually requires setting the stage through personal growth and  individual healing first. I’ve seen parents succeed in reconnecting with an estranged son or daughter by approaching the problem with a full emotional “bucket” rather than feeling fragile, vulnerable, or under-equipped.

Therapy can help fill that emotional bucket and add new tools to your tool belt. Parent-adult child estrangement is an area of specialty for me; I’ve sat with hundreds of people in this painful situation. (Happily, I can also say that I hear from people regularly who have succeeded in breaking through the impasse.)

To get a sense of my approach with parents, have a look at my Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children. As a program that comes with a private newsletter and a monthly group Q&A call, it’s a good place to start.

Other Relationship Problems

Relationships are everywhere; we can’t avoid them. Fortunately, they provide fertile soil for personal growth. This is true for relationships in the family, at work, with friends and in love.

I’ve worked with many people who are navigating unconventional relationships, or feeling stuck in repeating relationship patterns. These often include attachment to people who don’t feel healthy to them. 

Making changes in relationships takes not only courage but patience and understanding. Separating, for example, is not usually an event but a process. (For a quick DIY resource about separation, see the Good Breakup Guide.)

I help people let go of self-judgment, and find clarity and compassion in dealing with their most pressing relationship issues. 

Low Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is not a feeling or even a policy; it’s a relationship you have with yourself.

Being hard on yourself might have been an adaptive response when you were younger. Maybe you weren’t sure you were acceptable. But self-criticism is no longer serving you. Now it’s holding you back.

A different way of relating to yourself, including more positive and forgiving self-talk, can help you thrive in work, love, and life.

My relationship with you is marked by respect and compassion, to serve as a model for a kinder relationship you can have with yourself. Healthy self-esteem, once developed, will inspire and support you for the rest of your life.

Depending on your current self-image, rebuilding your relationship with yourself might not be a quick process, but once you come to value yourself at a deep level, that change is permanent.

Sadness/Loneliness/Grief

You wouldn’t know it from watching television, but it’s perfectly normal to feel low sometimes. Life has ups and downs; we respond to them emotionally because we’re human.

Feeling sad or lonely is an authentic response to a loss of connection to yourself and/or others. And grief – in all its forms, including just feeling numb – is a natural response to loss.

Too often, we don’t have the support we need to move through life’s inevitable dark passages. We feel freakish in our pain, or worse, a burden on others.

I’m privileged to provide you with some of the support we all deserve when we experience loss or disconnection. I can also hold a flashlight to brighten the path that leads through the pain and out the other side.

A good DIY resource is my book, Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them.

Feeling stuck

Samuel Johnson said, “The business of life is to move forward.” When you feel paralyzed, unable to get on with the business of life, therapy can help.

I think of mental/emotional paralysis as a natural way station. Something inside you is saying, “Wait! I’m not ready yet.”

That voice may be drowned out temporarily by things you do to try to force yourself to get going. But it won’t go away completely, nor give up its hold on you, until you listen to the important message you have for yourself.

It’s a paradox: In order to move forward, you must, for a time, stop moving altogether and be still. 

Therapy can help you do that in a purposeful way. But for some DIY ideas, check out my article on how to move forward when you’re stuck.

Identity crisis / “Midlife Crisis”

Sometimes you just need to hear that you won’t always feel the way you do now. I’m confident in that claim because I’ve felt lost and confused myself, many times. Feeling empty inside, not knowing who you are or where you’re headed, is one of the most uncomfortable states we can experience. It seems, however, to be part of life for many people.

It doesn’t matter how much wealth you have, or how high-powered you are at work, or how many people admire you. No one is immune to life crises and other rites of passage. If you’re paying attention, you’re vulnerable. 

Therapy is well suited to helping you get to know and become the unique, capable and lovable You who may be full of confusion or despair, but is no less unique, capable and lovable at the core. 

In counseling people with feelings of emptiness or identity confusion, I focus on using our relationship to help you experience, accept and harness the potential in life’s moments of uncertainty.

Curious about therapy

Many people move along their life path feeling generally successful and content… Then along comes a life transition. You find yourself turning 30, 40, or 50, etc. – and suddenly there are questions. Who am I? Is this all there is to life? Why do all my relationships follow the same pattern? Is it too late to change?

Therapy can help you

  • find your purpose/values/goals,
  • disrupt patterns, and
  • make conscious choices going forward.

Just about anyone can benefit from working with a trained counselor or therapist. My questions will encourage you to open doors within you that may have had “No Entry” signs on them for years. Behind them, there are often unexpected treasures.

Relationship patterns are a wonderful thing to bring to therapy. How you relate to anyone is, to some degree, how you relate to everyone. 

How much do you trust? How do you deal with conflict? What kind of treatment do you anticipate or expect from others? We’ll find out together and look at ways to change the picture, if you want to do that.

Psychotherapy is not for the faint of heart. The gold is sometimes buried under what feels a lot like muck. But the rewards can be exhilarating.

Next Steps…

You can check out my office, my style, and my tea selection with no obligation. If you live in the Denver/Boulder area, come in for a free consultation of up to 50 minutes.

Not in the Denver area? I offer online therapy and telephone therapy throughout Colorado, Oregon, and Montana

Just call me at the number below, or use my Contact page to send me a message. I look forward to meeting you!
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If You’re Not In Colorado, Montana, or Oregon

I recommend searching for a local mental health professional using the directory at www.GoodTherapy.org.

If you’ve read the Guide for Parents of Estranged Children or one of my other publications, and have questions about implementation, I’m available for short-term consultation only (e.g., 1 to 5 meetings) by distance.

Such consultations are not psychotherapy, nor are they intended to replace in-person counseling with a local professional, which I strongly recommend.

 

Psychotherapy