Stone Tower

My Approach

I am here to help you wade through the muck, gain an understanding of the underlying issues, and help develop a plan to start feeling better.

 

Clients who work with me are angry, anxious, depressed, and reactive.They feel they are trying very hard to be a good people but feel they are falling short again and again. The messages are telling themselves are, “I am an asshole, I am a bad parent, I am a bad partner / spouse and a bad person.

 

You aren’t a bad person, you are just struggling to disconnect from the reactive loop of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are impacting your life right now.

 

When working with me we will look at the negative messages running on a loop in your head. I can help you gain skills to create space between your feelings and reactions or behaviors. With this space we can begin to discuss the underlying causes and develop healthier habits, effectively breaking the cycle you may be stuck in.

You still may be saying, I’m ready for change but I still don’t know how this all works. Don’t worry, keep reading.

 

Here are some topics we may discuss

  • Learning how to embrace being uncomfortable, deal with the shit that comes up in life and face it head on.

  • The connection between our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and see how all show up in our lives.

  • The messages running on a loop in your head, highlighting negative aspects or yourself and telling you, causing you to stay in a negative loop.  

  • Learning to identify causes of anger, anxiety, depression etc.

  • Learning to balance our intellectual and emotional sides, understanding how they show up and affect all areas in our lives.

  • Learning how to disengage from an unhealthy and unhelpful cycle, by learning to use adaptive coping skills to deal with life's challenges without upending your life.

  • Unpacking and working though painful experiences and memories.

I follow a therapeutic model developed by Dr. Judith Herman; MD called the Three stages of Trauma recovery. 

 

I'll illustrate how this process works by using a fictional client. This person is a 30 yr. old (male or female), married with two kids. They feel overwhelmed by the demands of work and home. The overwhelm is shown by increased irritability; they find themselves yelling at their kids and spouse. They would rather avoid their family by playing video games or spend time on their phone than interact with them for fear with each interaction makes things worse due to a very short fuse. They are not bad people, but feel they are a bad parent and spouse.  They are asking themselves; how did I end up here, how did I end up this person? 

1st Stage of therapy: In stage one, also called the stabilization phase, we work on creating the road map mentioned above. In this stage, we talk about beginning to observe what's happening. How the overwhelm is showing up in your life. Generally, it shows up in three ways, though thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. For this person, it is showing up in yelling at their kids and spouse (behaviors), telling themselves, I am a bad person, I can't handle even day to day things (thoughts) or (feelings) shame, sadness anger.

Together we work on small things this person can do to disrupt this cycle from happening. This could look as simple as learning how to say no to things which would add more stress to an already full plate and taking a deep breath for 4 seconds and breathing out for 4 seconds when they feel they about to yell.

Both calms the nervous system and can give the person a chance to ask themselves if what they were going to say was necessary, or maybe they can walk away this once. This is beginning. One small act can make it easier for the brain to choose this option the next time and the next time.  we will work to build a toolbox of many tools to use when you feel the same, angry, overwhelmed or stressed, that way you'll be more likely to use the tools rather than yell, avoid etc.

In the first stage, we will use a combination of mindfulness (to begin to observe what’s happening) and Cognitive Behavioral therapy (to understand the connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviors and to learn adaptive coping skills to stabilize your emotions and create healthy habits in order to pave the way for the second stage.

2nd stage of therapy: In stage 2, also known as the remembering or recovery stage, we may process though any difficult or traumatic experiences from the past. Not everyone wants or needs to do this. Depending on what is happening or coming up in the first stage, we may begin to talk about grief, trauma and other difficult experiences that can be below the surface and be contributing to what brought you into therapy. This phase is also slow and can also be uncomfortable but with the work done in the first stage, you'll have the tools to help you manage the distress of what comes up.

3rd stage of therapy:  In stage 3, also known as the recovery stage, people begin to look towards the future rather than the past. People begin to conceptualize their life beyond their trauma and decide who they want to be, what they would like their lives to look like and how they would like to show up in the world. This stage is all about choice, most often people did not choose to experience trauma, nor did they choose to experience the multitude of symptoms afterwards, but they can choose what comes next.

 

I have 10 years of experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). My degree is in Social Work from  Metropolitan State University of Denver.   I have specialized training in mindfulness,  Trauma and PTSD, anxiety, depression, end of life and grief and loss.

I would love to hear your story and help you become the person you want to be.  Contact me today for a free 30 minute consultation.