We all experience depression in our lives, but sometimes feelings of sadness or low moods can become overwhelming and make life feel hopeless and meaningless. Symptoms of depression can include feeling tired all the time, losing interest in activities we used to enjoy, and feeling like we want to withdraw from life and our friends and families. Counseling for depression can offer immediate reduction in symptoms. I work with clients to develop skills to manage low moods as well as to explore underlying emotional and cognitive patterns that can maintain depressive symptoms.
Anxiety often creeps up on us. It can feel like a vague sense of unease or worry that things are not okay. Anxiety can also be centered on specific places, people, or events. It can start with a simple incident like feeling panicked in a store, at a work meeting, or when giving a presentation. The effects of anxiety can be dramatic and devastating. We often respond to anxiety with fear, and end up with a fear of experiencing even greater symptoms. We withdraw and limit our experiences with the hope of protecting ourselves. Our lives become centered on avoiding exposure to anxiety. I work with clients to help them develop the skills to manage their anxiety and to feel confident in their ability to engage in new experiences in their lives.
Supportive relationships are key to our sense of well-being. Couples counseling can help rebuild and rekindle relationships so partners can connect with and support one another. I work from an Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT-C) perspective, which is an effective integrative model that supports long term positive change in relationships. EFT-C counseling helps partners step away from old patterns and create new ways of relating to each other so that they can find comfort, love, support and romance in their relationship.
In today’s society it is difficult to live a stress free life, but we can change the way we respond to stress. The result of stress on the body is well documented. Stress can cause back pain, headaches, insomnia, irritability, as well as high blood pressure and memory problems. Chronic stress has been linked to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Learning to manage stress can give you more energy and allow you to focus on what’s important in your life. I work with clients to develop effective coping skills so that they can relax, reconnect, and find joy and satisfaction in their lives.
Grief and Loss
The death of a loved one or the loss of an important relationship can profoundly impact your life. We often don’t know how to access and affirm the feelings we have about loss, and may try to keep constantly busy to suppress those feelings. People who care about us often don’t know what to say or how to help, which can make us feel even more alone and isolated in grief. Grief and Loss counseling can support and validate your feelings and help you move towards healing while honoring the past.
Birth, death, marriage, divorce, new job, loss of job … Our lives are marked by transitions in family, relationships, work situations and living environments. Even smaller changes like a best friend moving out of town or an aging body can be difficult to adjust to. Change is almost always accompanied by feelings of anxiety and concerns about how different life will be and how we will manage. Counseling can guide and support exploring feelings around transitions as well as help develop problem solving skills to move towards future goals.
I work with clients who are looking for clarity in their lives and are interested in exploring needs, values, and goals. The desire for understanding meaning can stem from a vague sense of unhappiness or unease at home or at work. Many people search for meaning after loss, or during life changes. Exploring your own values and how you find meaning in your life can be a wonderful journey of discovery that can direct where you put your energy and focus in life.