What I Do
I council both individuals and couples, and facilitate groups. A group setting is very healing in a supportive process. I am an advocate of the 12-step programs or any other additional support clients may need.
My overall practice is to work with clients to help them find balance in their lives. Being a client-centered counselor, I create a safe, collaborative and respectful relationship. My focus is to help people recognize how their ineffective behaviors are hurtful to themselves and others. I use a variety of therapeutic tools to help clients achieve sensitivity and awareness of themselves and others, and to become aware of their potential and make healthy choices both personally and professionally.
Pamela Levin’s book, “Cycles of Power,” is the foundation to the therapy I do. I encourage clients to purchase this book, which can be found in secondhand bookstores or on her website. It’s a great educational tool to help our awareness and connection to why we continue to have unhealthy behaviors (scripts) that we keep repeating over and over in our life. Our understanding of ourselves can help with compassion for us instead of self-judgment.
I also specialize in what I call “Stage II Recovery.” Earnie Larsen has been a leader and author, writing on this subject now for over 20 years. What he would say is that Stage II recovery is the rebuilding of our life to change self-defeating behaviors, helping clients heal past and current relationships with themselves and others.
I believe (and it is supported) that our first families give us our sense of self and scripts we live out of for the rest of our lives. These families modeled for us how to be in relationships with ourselves and others. If they were not able to give us what we needed as children, we tend to continue to look for those needs to be met in our other relationships as adults. This can be a very painful way of life and may lead to addictions and other obsessive/compulsive behaviors, which limit our ability to experience joy and fulfillment. Therefore, if we want to be able to function and be healthy in our lives, we must first arrest our addictions, whether we have a chemical or process addiction. Any behaviors we do, for example: busyness, avoidance, procrastinating, passive, etc. keeps us disconnected from our feelings. When we cover up our feelings we disconnect from emotional, social, and spiritual growth, which prevents us from having a whole and healthy existence.
I believe that by using a variety of techniques, along with client’s own “knowing” about what works for them and their willingness, that progress can be made.
A primary goal of my therapeutic style is allowing clients to speak up for themselves, to remind them that they know what they need and how that helps them step into their own personal power. In the group setting, nurturing is also important and becomes the basis for learning healthy and unhealthy boundaries.
The educational process is based on Eric Berne’s work in transactional analysis: Parent, adult and child, and Pamela Levin’s and Erick Erickson’s work in the developmental stages.
There are many other addictions and behaviors other than chemicals that keep us stuck in our lives, and the affects often show up in our relationships. In my practice, philosophy and approach, I utilize a variety of techniques with individuals, couples, and groups.
Some of these may include:
- Education with suggested readings and resources
- Encourage active behavior changes
- Give assignments to accomplish and achieve clients intentions
- Accountability work
- A variety of communication tools
- Help people become more aware of their feelings
- Referrals as needed
- Explore Family of Origin history through intake information and sessions
- Connect how we continue to carry our past into the present using transactional analysis understanding (Parent, adult, child).
I use the same techniques with both individual and couples counseling.
I use the same process for clients who choose to do the group process as well, and I also include the following processes:
- Energy Release Work
- And, a variety of other active pieces of work
The intent of the group process is to release past repressed experiences and have a corrective experience. My hope is to guide clients, allowing them to learn to trust themselves and to ask for what they need and want, to learn how to make healthy choices and to empower themselves to have healthier relationships with themselves and others.
I work with all addictions: food, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, spending, work, process addictions, behaviors (scripts), you name it. There is a process and support through all of our survival skills.
My intent is to help people who are looking for deeper levels of healing. Some of the areas I address are:
- Family of Origin
- Self defeating behaviors
- Developmental scripts and misbeliefs
- The difference between conscious and unconscious
- Stages of Development
We have a right to live life…fully!
There is a quote from Earnie Larsen,
“We get stuck in the company of other people, and we get well in the company of other people…
there is no other way it can be done.”