Counseling in Austin & Westlake Hills

Professional Counseling Austin

You’re tired of feeling stuck, frustrated and stressed out. You want to feel better, understand how to prevent painful situations in the future, and get on with your life.

Finding the right professional counselor is extremely important. You want to feel supported, but you also want to know that your therapist won’t hesitate to challenge the thoughts and beliefs that contribute to your suffering.

Not to worry, while I’m relaxed and casual in my approach, I am not afraid to share the truth with you.

Trustworthy, relaxed

In Austin, we expect the very best when it comes to being healthy. This means that when it comes to seeking help, we need to trust the people we turn to; we need to feel at ease so that we will feel safe and comfortable while we talk about our lives.

If you’ve made it this far in your search for help, then rest assured that your time in my office will not feel clinical, nor will you feel “analyzed” or labeled with a diagnosis. I’m here to have a conversation with you, to learn about what works for your specific personality.

Free telephone consultation

Rather than having an answering service take your call, answer your questions and schedule your appointment, I will personally answer your call and spend up to 15-minutes answering any questions you may have, getting a little information about what you are looking for, and helping you decide if we are a good fit.

Because I respect you and your time, I want you to find the best person for your needs, as quickly as possible. When there is another provider that is a better fit, I am happy to make a referral to a trusted colleague.


Services

Individual Counseling

I work with adults and teens that are ready to change by taking ownership of their lives. Like most people, you probably want to understand your situation, and learn how to change it without spinning your wheels or being lectured. I work hard to make sure that you feel understood before we start building or fine-tuning your methods for dealing with life.

Successful clients in my practice deal with a variety of issues like relationship problems, stress management, anxiety, depression and grief, just to name a few. Regardless of how lost you may feel, please consider that by finding this website you have already begun the change process.

Read more . . .

Marriage & Couples Counseling

There are two types of relationship problems: Content and Process. Content are the topics we argue about: Money, sex and parenting being the top 3. Process is HOW we go about resolving the content. The most common process conflict is when both people are correct from their own perspective.

I help couples examine their assumptions, sharpen their communication skills, and learn how to recognize, and respond to warning signs that indicate a need to slow down, and understand better.

Read more . . .

Crisis & Trauma Response

Since 1998, I have responded to well over 300 onsite and telephonic Critical Incidents. These have ranged from traumatic death, to natural disasters and terrorism. You may be wondering if you are experiencing PTSD if you’ve been through a traumatic event; many people compare what they have been through to a soldier returning from battle, or somebody that survived 9-11. It is important to understand that PTSD is not just reserved for catastrophic trauma, but it can manifest after losing a job, a relationship breakup, a car accident, etc.

You may also be wondering if you’ll have to re-live your tragedy in order to get through it. The answer is No. As a matter of fact, re-telling the trauma too much actually causes makes things worse. You can tell me about your experience, and trust that I will know if it is making things worse and that I will slow you down, and show you other ways to process your pain.

Read more . . .

5-star Google reviews

“. . . he has a way to pinpoint a concern and delve straight into it. I owe quite a lot to Jonathan for the changed person I am today. I now have a gift of a toolbox to fight stress, anxiety, insomnia, anger, depression and fear. It’s hard to believe I can say this but with Jon’s help, that trauma event no longer owns me. . “

–J.R.

“. . . I never felt that I was by-myself. I will always appreciate Jonathan’s frankness, ability to [help] me to talk about things that had been buried my whole adult life as well as giving me the “tools” to sort things out and become a much happier, loving and better person to myself as well as others around me. . .”

–L.H. Engineer


 

“. . . My wife and I would like to thank Mr. Anderson for assisting us through some challenging moments. Jon quickly opened our eyes to different approaches and strategies to better communication. It’s amazing how you can get into a rut, or habit of the same negative communication patterns, but think you are being completely open minded. . .”

–A.D. High Tech Ops Manager

“. . . [He] has been very instrumental during a difficult time in my life. He allows the conversation to follow the path of my needs, and is quite capable to keeping me focused during our discussions. His experience in marriage counseling has been valuable during the last couple of years. . .”

–M.P.


Recently published articles

How discomfort is trying to help you

Counseling in AustinWhen you put your hand on a hot stove, it is the obnoxious pain that is helping motivate you to pull your hand away in order to stop doing damage. When you have a bruise, it is the pain that happens when you touch it that helps you leave it alone so your body can do what it knows how to do: heal.

Discomfort exists to eradicate itself. It wants to resolve, to go away, to let you return to a state of balance. This includes emotional discomfort like grief, anger, fear and sadness. Anger always arises from hurt; it wants to give you the energy and motivation to deal with the perceived or real threat that has hurt you.

Read more to learn how to make sure your discomfort helps you rather than making things worse.

Family

Counseling in AustinOur families are the people that we are supposed to trust the most; who we are supposed turn to for comfort and guidance. We tend to take out or worst moods on them. They are the most important players in our early development, and since this is what we build on to become adults, they are also crucial to our adult development.

Growing up in a healthy home has a lot to do with our success in all parts of life. So, if things feel difficult, perhaps you see your kids acting out in ways that are concerning, it may be time to pay attention to those red-flags rather than assuming that it’ll just pass.

Read More. . .

Co-parenting: Best Practices for divorced parents

Counseling in Austin

Take a close look at this picture. See the problem? The parents have forgotten how their relationship impacts their little girl. Perhaps they are divorced, and the father has just brought their daughter back after a great weekend with him. . . and this is what she will come to expect from visitation: a fight upon her return. To her, it must be her fault.

Of course you didn’t get married expecting to split up, but it happened; and now you have a kid, or a couple of them to care for. When a 2-parent household cannot be held together for whatever reason, it is critical that you and your ex- be able effectively co-parent so your kids don’t get caught in the crossfire. Handling yourselves with the dignity and integrity that you would hope your kids would show will help you to model if for them, and keep things healthier and peaceful.

Read about ground rules, tips, reminders and best practices here.

Trouble getting your husband or wife to agree to couples counseling?

This is by far one of the most common barriers to getting started in couples counseling. Typically, it is the husband or boyfriend that is opposed to “getting help” for the relationship. It is important to understand that this may not simply be laziness or defensiveness; rather, men often are concerned that they have already been judged as “wrong” or “broken” and that couples counseling will only be the counselor and their wife/girlfriend ganging up on them and telling them just how wrong they are and that they need to change. In addition, many men are raised in this society (perhaps both in their families and by society itself) to think that asking for help is a weakness; comedians often use the example of men refusing to ask for directions as comedic fodder (it’s funny because it’s often true!). Furthermore, they way the male brain works (Read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) is that it wants to “fix” things, and if it has failed to fix something, then they may feel emasculated (less of a man). This is how a brain marinated in testosterone works. Finally, (and this is related to the last point in Men are from Mars) while men are wired to “fix things,” women tend to be wired to “process” or discuss things and look into them (this is how a brain marinated in estrogen and progesterone works). Of course, there are exceptions, but these generalizations tend to hold true. So, while women will usually be wired to know that processing things is the answer, men are often just not wired that way and have a difficult time understanding this (just as many women have a difficult time understanding why men find it so difficult to just listen instead of trying to fix everything).

This is where I can help. I can help you find a way to talk to your husband/boyfriend in a way that helps them hear what couples work is really about. I will help you know how to clearly let them know that you are aware that there are things that you do that annoy them, and that you are willing to work on these things as well. We will discuss how to tell him that I will not take sides, and that I will call you (wife/girlfriend) out just as quickly as I will him. Typically, once men see this in action, and they know that they have an ally that will help their concerns be heard as well, they are more likely to engage in couples work.

Read more about Marital and Couples therapy. . .