Individual Counseling for adults and teens
Video: What is Counseling?
Adults and teens (ages 14 and up, and mature 12- to 13-year-olds) turn to Gate Healing, PLLC regularly for help with issues ranging from parenting, to how to get parents off teenagers’ backs. Trust me, both sides walk away happier and feeling understood. Continue reading to see other areas that we work with.
Our therapy offices are located in West-Central Austin in West Lake Hills. We are five-minutes from both downtown and Barton Creek mall, about halfway between Mopac (loop 1) and Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) on Bee Caves Rd. For directions and a map, please visit our Map & Directions page.
Common Individual Counseling Services
Individual Counseling FAQ’s
What can I expect from therapy?
- Privacy: I interpret all LPC Board laws and Ethical Codes to provide the maximum safety of your private information.
- Honesty without judgment: You are coming in for insight and answers, and while my goal is to help you find your own way, I will certainly provide you with honest feedback in a tone that is not judgmental or condescending.
- Professionalism balanced with a casual, approachable style.
- Referrals: Should you need a referral for any reason, I am always happy to help you find what you are looking for.
What if I want to bring my spouse or partner?
As a Gottman Method couples counselor, I can do both individual and couples counseling with a couple. Some therapists prefer to only do one or the other (individual or couples counseling), and this is fine. It is simply a matter of training and preference. I do not require couples to see me as an individual therapist though.
Can I have more than one counselor at a time?
Because there are different ways to approach a variety of life issues it’s usually a good idea to stick with one counselor so things don’t get confusing, but there are times when concurrent therapy can be helpful. In that case, both counselors will usually want to check in with each other to coordinate your care.
Does getting counseling or therapy mean I’m mentally ill?
Not at all! Most people that seek counseling and therapy don’t have any mental health issues at all. They are simply looking for support and guidance with challenging situations. Even when there is a diagnosable depression or anxiety etc., those are usually very manageable with counseling and lifestyle changes. Please be aware that I do not provide diagnostic evaluations, so assigning labels is not something you’ll need to be concerned with.
The cognitive-behavioral approach to counseling means that we look at your thought patterns and what kind of behaviors they lead to. Then we assess the results of these behaviors, either positive or negative, helpful or not, etc. Those results feedback into your unconscious mind and help shape the template that you make decisions from. When you change a thought, you get a new behavior; when you behave in a new way, you get new results. Positive outcomes are enjoyable and encourage the healthier thought-behavior set (cognitive-behavioral set). Negative outcomes are designed to deter the thoughts and behaviors that led to them by creating discomfort. But sometimes we get our wires crossed and need to uncross them.
How does Mindfulness-based counseling help?
Mindfulness-based counseling teaches you to be aware, or mindful, of your thoughts and feelings with less negativity and judgment. This allows you to see yourself and your situation from an objective perspective where you can make more effective decisions. Mindfulness brings a unique clarity to cognitive-behavioral counseling techniques.
Mindfulness is an awareness that decreases brain-clutter like drama, competitiveness, and resentment. Finding this new perspective, you are able to see what your strengths are and know how to use them to improve your life. And if you get stuck, I’ll be there to help you adapt your skills and try again. Remember, I won’t send you on a wild-goose chase when you are truly stuck; I’ll be more helpful and informative than that.
Sometimes you have to make a fast decision to manage change. For instance, you see a car in oncoming traffic suddenly swerve into your lane. Having practiced driving, you are able to quickly maneuver around the car. While it may feel automatic, it’s not entirely automatic. Your body certainly goes into a heightened state of awareness (attentiveness) and allows you to think and move faster. Having practiced making good decisions in this kind of situation before helps you do it efficiently when it matters. Practicing mindfulness helps you engage calm attentiveness when times are tough, even when you need to think on your feet and improvise.
Strength-based Counseling: What if I don’t feel like I have any strength left?
If you’re like most folks, you want to know that you can solve most of your own problems. So, our work provides you with a solid foundation to find what works best for you. I show you how to solve problems using mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Strength-based counseling focuses on your natural strengths to help you find solutions to the problems you are facing. We will look at what you have already done that seems to have worked well, then build on that. When you need to improve skills that haven’t worked, we will create an action plan for you to follow. Most people possess a variety of strengths that they aren’t aware of because they’re sitting in a blind spot. I will help you find them, use them, and adapt them to apply to other situations. And when we need to build something from the ground up, I’ll be there to coach you through it.
Learn more about Mindfulness Practice: Mindfulness Articles
Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.