FOCUSING ON ISSUES
As we continue to meet for therapy, we will focus in on issues that are bothering you. I am practical, intuitive, and usually know pretty quickly what may be going on for you. I’ll ask you about the history of the problem and how it effects you. I will want to understand how the problem developed and how it’s maintained. I will ask how you feel, what your thoughts are, and what beliefs you hold. I’ll ask you lots of questions to help you sort through the roots of your problems, and to discover ways to overcome them. I’ll let you know what I hear going on. I will give you suggestions either for how we can approach your problems together, or for ways you can deal with them yourself. I’ll tell you if I think that you are following any patterns and suggest ways to interrupt those patterns. You won’t be alone in the work that we do together – I will be an active participant in your therapy.
In couples therapy, we talk about the problems the two of you are having, and how you have dealt with them. I will help you to listen to and understand each others’ perspectives, and explore strategies to resolve or accept your differences. Often couples spend a lot of time arguing about day-to-day issues without getting to what is really bothering them. I will gently help you to go underneath your problems to get to the deeper level of what is upsetting you, and what you need from each other. I will offer you strategies or tools to use at home.
ONLINE AND IN-PERSON COUNSELING
While online counseling is different than face-to-face therapy, my approach to writing emails is fairly similar. I am very empathic, supportive, practical, and intuitive. I ask lots of questions to help both of us understand your situation better, and I offer lots of feedback, suggestions, and guidance. I tend to be more solution-focused with this method because our work together is limited to the written word. No matter what the method, I am always a strong ally.
PROCESS IS IMPORTANT
There may be times when what you need most is an empathic witness to your pain or process — a strong ally to help you go through what you need to. Having a supportive ally can be particularly important if you are grieving or dealing with trauma. Being aware of how you process your experiences–what you feel, think, and believe–is also helpful.This awareness can help you to understand yourself and your relationships better. I am skilled at using a number of counseling approaches. Including:
I draw on the approach that I feel is best suited to your needs. I often ask how you are feeling, what thoughts or beliefs you are aware of, what physical sensations you are experiencing, and whether or not any associations, images, or memories are coming to mind. Noticing what is present for you can help you to feel less anxious, calmer, and more grounded in yourself. Over time, this self-awareness can help you to feel more comfortable with yourself and your body, clearer about who you are, and able to make choices that are right for you. I will explore with you what approach works best for you and your situation. I may give you suggestions for how we can approach an issue, or you might have one already in mind. However it happens, we work the way that feels right to you.