I am a Certified Anger Management Specialist. If you are having problems because your anger is out of control, you are not alone. An estimated 20% of Americans share this problem. Anger is a natural response to a threat or not getting your needs met. Needs include the desire for safety, success, or love. In a way, anger cares about you and your desire and comes out with the intention of helping you. Unfortunately, anger is often not the best method to get our needs met. In fact, anger at times can completely sabotage our ability to achieve our goals. It may take us down the road of missing job promotions and other opportunities, job loss, divorce, substance abuse, car accidents, violence, jail, or even death. No one wants to take those paths deliberately, but aggressive anger that grows more problematic can do just that.
Using evidence-based therapies, I can help you better tolerate those things that previously enraged you. With my assistance, you’ll learn to swap old anger habits with more healthy responses. These therapies can also help you to learn new skills to prevent out-of-control aggression or anger, such as self-care of one’s emotions, assertive communication about one’s needs, and realistic attitudes and expectations of others.
Anxiety is one of the most prevalent concerns in our society. We commonly worry about money, work, or social situations. Sometimes the anxiety can be paralyzing or even produce physical symptoms like ulcers or chest pains. Other times anxiety prevents us from enjoying things in life, such as birthday parties, work, or relationships. Anxiety is rarely helpful – it eats up precious mental resources and interferes with our sleep. Some people believe that anxiety a fact of life. I believe that it can be successfully treated. I use evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat a variety of anxiety conditions.
Addictions & Compulsions
Addictions are behaviors that we continue to engage in despite negative consequences to ourselves and others. Whether you are just starting to suspect you have a problem or you are ready for help quitting, I am here to show you the path to health. I view addictions from a compulsion model, which means that I see it as a bad habit rather than a lifelong disease. Even deeply ingrained habits can be changed with the right strategies. How do you know if you have a problem? It is time for a change when the behavior interferes with work, friendships, mental health, or physical well-being.
I have experience assisting clients in the following areas:
- Internet Usage
- Attraction to Minors
Treatment involves investigating the root need to engage in these behaviors. I will help you to explore these needs and plan more healthy avenues for getting them met.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD) can have a variety of causes, such as anxiety, metabolic issues, allergies, and genetics. It is helpful to get an understanding of the cause, such as may be determined with assessment and neurofeedback. (Neurofeedback can also be an effective treatment for it if done properly.) Regardless of the cause, there are a number of great coping strategies that can be learned to cope with ADHD. As people learn better coping skills and the brain matures, most people will outgrow ADHD. Very few people meet clinical ADHD criteria as adults, despite the widespread use of medication.
Asperger’s Syndrome & High Functioning Autism (HFA)
I provide therapy for both adults and children with High Functioning Autism and the disorder formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome. People with HFA can have a wide variety of behaviors, so I view each client as a unique person with unique strengths and challenges. I help them utilize their strengths to overcome areas of weakness. Frequent issues include social skills, anger/meltdowns, anxiety, repetitive behaviors, and over-reliance on video games.
For children, treatment for Autism will be dependent on the client’s level of social and psychological development. Parents may have already tried to modify behavior through “best practices” rewards and punishments only to find that they had no effect or made the problem behaviors worse. When this is the case, the child simply does not have the skills to maintain appropriate behaviors; and the rewards/punishments have served to erode the child’s self-esteem and self-efficacy. These clients may be locked-down, defensive, aggressive, or withdrawn. Treatment begins with establishing trust, safety, and a comfortable sensory environment. The “problem behaviors”, such as “meltdowns”and “defiance”, are typically just skills for coping with overwhelming feelings and sensations. When a safe and comfortable environment has been established, more adaptive coping skills can be explored. Once the walls are down, skills like adaptability, flexibility, and frustration tolerance become the focus of treatment. Trying to teach these skills while the defenses are still up will probably not lead to much success.
Adults with Asperger’s often come in due to work or social issues. Perhaps coworkers have complained about “disruptive” or “inappropriate” behavior. There may also be difficulty in communicating with members of the opposite sex or problems in romantic relationships. Here, my goal is first to explore client’s logical framework. Then, we collaboratively look for ways to expand and adapt the framework so that personal and professional relationships can prosper. I see it as building a bridge. The client is at Point A and wants to get to Point B. We start building where the client is at Point A. We put every piece in as we go so that the bridge is structurally sound. Eventually, we get to Point B. The bridge is strong, allowing the client to cross over to Point B as needed. It does take some effort, but eventually Point B feels as natural as Point A did before.
Depression is the common cold of the mind. Nearly 1 in 10 people in the U.S. meet the criteria for depression at any given time. People who are depressed may feel hopeless, worthless, or they may feel nothing. Frequently, getting motivation or energy to do anything becomes a monumental task. Fortunately, depression is one of the most treatable disorders. Recovery can take weeks, but with the right treatment approach, you can completely recover from depression and return to a happy and satisfied life.
I am a Certified Depression Specialist and use the latest evidenced-based approaches to help you get your life back.
Fears and Phobias
Fear is a normal part of the human experience. Sometimes, however, it can be excessive take over our lives. I frequently see clients with a range of intrusive fears, such as fear of driving/highways, social situations, open spaces, tight spaces, public speaking, and animals. Phobias are one of the more straightforward concerns to treat. I can work with you to design a personal treatment plan to aid in your overcoming the fear.
I am also seeing more and more fears in children, which often manifest in nightmares, night terrors, clingyness, fear of the dark, and social withdrawal. I believe much of this is caused by exposure to scary/graphic computer games and television. Other cases are caused by bullying or insensitive teachers. No matter the fear or cause, I find that children respond well to standard treatments when the prescribed exercises are followed.
I really enjoy working with couples. Whether you are coming in for a tuneup, constant fighting, or infidelity, I am here to help you replace unhealthy patterns with new, healthy ones. I don’t take sides and I don’t predict the future. I simply observe what’s happening, help you break the pattern in the office, and send you home with a plan to follow for success. The biggest predictor of success is that each partner is willing to put some effort in, even if he/she thinks the other person is totally to blame.
One of the tools I use is Prepare-Enrich. As a Certified Prepare/Enrich Relationship Facilitator, I have the tools to help with:
- Pre-Marital Counseling
- Relationship Tune-Up
- Pornography Compulsion
- Scientifically proven to improve your relationship dynamics , relationship skills, and relationship satisfaction.
- Studies have shown couples who complete the PREPARE/ENRICH program prior to marriage have the potential to reduce their chances of divorce by as much as 30%.
Self-Esteem & Confidence
It’s hard to be successful or happy in the world when self-esteem is low. Fortunately, there are lots of tried and true ways of building self-esteem. We can work together to figure out the source of these negative thoughts and feelings, then implement a plan to improve your confidence.
For clients who are interested in exploring their spiritual journey, I support them in discovering their path. I find that most people are questioning what they believe and feel a bit lost. Many have given up on figuring it out. I believe that the question of our relationship to the universe is always a relevant question, and how we answer it in many ways guides our way. I am widely educated in eastern religions, western religions, and science. I do not impose my personal beliefs. My support may come in the form of presence, reflections, and thought-provoking inquiry.
In many ways, stress is a hallmark of the American way of life. Often, we have been living with stress for so long that we no longer notice it directly, but seek help for the side effects (trouble sleeping, chest pains, smoking, alcohol, etc). I’ll work with you to uncover and explore the roots of the issue, and develop a plan of action for changing it.