How can counseling help me?
Counseling helps you be more “real.” This means that you become more aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. The more real you are, the more self-aware you can be. This sets the stage for lasting change.
Because many of the dynamics that cause our suffering are related to our own issues that are sitting in our blind spot, people often wonder how counseling can help them if they aren’t even sure what’s “wrong.” Part of the point is that by focusing on what is “right” about you, we are able to see more clearly (mindfulness) what is actually leading to your suffering. You learn how to help yourself so you no longer need therapy. Of course, you’re always welcomed to return for any reason.
Counseling helps you help yourself
You deserve to know how to adapt to life and its inevitable curveballs. When you feel stuck though, it is important to know where to go to get what you need. Whether you just need some insight from a neutral 3rd party or a deeper exploration of your circumstances, I’ll help you:
- See what your discomfort is trying to tell you
- Develop a plan that resolves the discomfort
- Apply that plan in changing circumstances
Because we will be focusing on where you want to go (rather than on where you’ve been), we will not get bogged down in the past; I will help you learn from your past experiences so that you can apply the lessons learned moving forward. Allowing therapy to ‘help you help yourself’ means facing towards what you want, not what you don’t want. Remember, you’ll go where you’re looking.
Improving communication skills
Couples counseling is one of the most common reasons people start counseling. You probably feel frustrated and hurt when you feel that your thoughts and feelings are dismissed (dismissal is often called the worst kind of insult). I have worked very hard to develop an approach where both of you can feel heard and understood, even when you disagree with each other.
Think better, feel better
Our emotions are the physiological expression of our thoughts; this is why they are called ‘feelings’ . . . we physically feel them. We can all relate to having a stressful thought (“I have 10 things to do in the next 5 minutes!”), then feeling our shoulders and neck tense up; or perhaps we have an anxious thought (“Will my boss approve of my project?”) followed by a swirling ball of tar in our belly. And when you stop and consider that our emotions/feelings are processed in our brain, which is a slab of meat between our ears, the idea begins to make sense!
I also bring mindfulness practice into our work to help you see things from a less cloudy place. In stressful times, most people get caught in a negative cycle of judgment and “borrowing trouble” that only adds to the confusion. When we strip away judgment and assumptions, we cut through the clutter and are able to see efficient solutions.
Your mind is your body
If you have ever wondered how on earth the mind and body are the same thing, I’ll explain it very simply: Your mind is a function of the gray matter between your ears . . . in other words, your “thoughts” are, at the most basic level, chemo-electrical pulses flying around the neurons (the gray matter) in your brain. Think of the neurons as the wires that carry electricity. And these wires extend all the way down to your fingers and toes; they control what your muscles do, that is, how you move the rest of your body around. This is why exercise is so helpful for mental health: the better you care for your body, the better you are caring for your physical brain.