I spent the first 11 years of my career in the field of chemical addictions, doing counseling, group therapy and as the Executive Director of a comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Treatment facility. I have carried that expertise into my private practice, and although I will only work with individuals who are clean and sober for at least 6 months, allowing for the complete detoxification from the substance. Any addictive substance feels good because it stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. Continued stimulation can result in habitual use and then eventually to addiction. I am VERY familiar and comfortable with all addictive chemicals, and strive to help the individual not only understand the full scope of their behavior, but also to learn how to repair the problems that have arisen along the way.
Process addictions are conditions in which a person becomes dependent upon some form of behavior rather than a substance. Process addictions can become as problematic as chemical addictions, and they act exactly the same way in the brain. Process addictions can include:
-Gambling -Sex including pornography -Food -Work -Spending -Relationship (codependence)
Recovery from ANY addiction can be difficult, and include many similar compulsive behaviors, so I employ a variety of techniques to address them. The MOST IMPORTANT element to recovery is full and complete understanding of how and why they work as they do, and how they rob us of CHOICE.
ANXIETY AND STRESS
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious when they are faced with problems at work, when driving, flying or test-taking, or at home facing an important decision. Anxiety disorders, however are different, because they limit and debilitate individuals, preventing them from moving forward in life.
I work with a number of different anxiety problems:
-Generalized Anxiety Disorder -Anxiety attacks (Panic Disorder) -Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder -Phobias (irrational fears) -Social anxiety -PTSD
I employ a number of different techniques, some of which calm and soothe and some of which face the fear to change our response, and am very diverse in my approach. I individualize my approach to each individual, and teach techniques that can be employed away from the counseling office so that individuals can continue moving forward in their recovery.
As with anxiety, everyone experiences depression. We get depressed when we have experienced particular life changes such as loss of job, relationship, or death of a loved one. In most cases, the mood eventually passes and we go about our life relatively normally. For some, however, the depressive mood is persistently ever-present. Sometimes it developes for no particular reason, but we just find ourselves unable to pull out of it. Symptoms can include irritability, tearfulness, cognitive impairment, sleep and eating disruption, lowered energy and libido, and social isolation. When these persist, help may be needed
I work with a number of different depression problems:
-Major Depressive Disorder -Situational depression -Bipolar I and Bipolar II Disorder -Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) -Grief & loss
I utilize the full range of treatment options, and have found success in helping individuals come to grips with their losses and resume normal functioning. All of the treatment approaches that I use are evidence-based and proven to be of help.
If you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But with the right treatment, self-help strategies, and support, you can speed your recovery. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on.
An event will most likely lead to emotional or psychological trauma if:
-It happened unexpectedly. -You were unprepared for it. -You felt powerless to prevent it. -It happened repeatedly. -Someone was intentionally cruel. -It happened in childhood.
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by single-blow, one-time events, such as a horrible accident, a natural disaster, or a violent attack. Trauma can also stem from ongoing, relentless stress, such as living in a crime-ridden neighborhood or struggling with cancer.
Because of the risk of retraumatization, it is important to find a professional who is skilled in treatment for trauma. I utilize a number of different treatment options, some experiential and some knowledge-based, but all fit to the specific needs of the client. I teach techniques that can be employed away from the counseling office to maintain forward momentum.
ADULT ASPERGER’S SYNDROME
I specialize in adult individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s is on the Autism Spectrum and is described as a developmental disorder related to autism and as being characterized by higher than average intellectual abilities coupled with impaired social skills and restrictive, repetitive patterns of interest and activities.
I help individuals develop strategies to accommodate the various symptoms. I also help individuals find the “positive gifts” in this very unique syndrome, and learn how to enhance the qualities of life that it provides.
GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT
Grief is the normal process of reacting to loss. But even though it is a normal human reaction, many people do not know how to deal with it in a way that is both productive and positive. Grief happens whenever we become attached to something and then suffer loss of it. It can be in response to a physical loss (such as a death or illness), or a symbolic or social loss (such as divorce, loss of job or pet, or ending of a friendship). Our response to loss can be mental, psychological, emotional or physical and those responses can be multi-faceted.
I employ a full range of techniques to help individual actualize their loss, and work their way through it. I teach tools and techniques that can be employed away from the counseling office.