Sometimes in life, our mind plays tricks on us. It causes us to believe thoughts that are not true:
I’m a bad person.
This pain will never end.
I can’t ever get over what happened to me.
I’ll never be able to change.
These beliefs can cause great stress, sadness, anxiety, depression, anger, self-hatred, and other painful emotions. Some people feel so bad that the mind convinces them that suicide is their only solution. Others cope by overeating, using drugs or alcohol, cutting, procrastinating, fighting, or other self-defeating patterns. Negative beliefs about oneself can cause people to have difficulties maintaining relationships, achieving to their highest potential, or overcoming challenges they have endured.
Deciding to Change
Psychotherapy can help. Stress, loneliness, mental illness, trauma, substance use – although deeply impactful, these do not define a person. A major goal of therapy is to help people discover the authentic part of themselves that has become buried by their deeply held negative beliefs, painful emotions, and negative coping patterns. Therapy can help individuals live life more fully, feel better about themselves and life (and cope better when they still feel bad), improve their relationships with others, and experience more happiness, hopefulness, and stability, even amid adversity.
My Approaches to Therapy
I use foundational counseling skills to understand fully each client’s stress or suffering. This means listening actively, empathetically, and nonjudgmentally, without being afraid to partner deeply with clients in their stress or emotional pain. As the noted psychotherapist Israel Orbach wrote,
“Obviously, the best way to the heart of any person in distress is by building the relationship on the basis of empathy and the extension of a human hand beyond the barrier of loneliness.”
Because the negative beliefs that people hold about themselves and the world can lead to great pain, one technique that I use is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT targets the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that hold people back or exacerbate their pain. Its effectiveness is backed up by hundreds of research studies. For more information, see my post “What is CBT?” on my other website.
Brief and Long-Term Therapy
I offer both brief and long term therapy to adolescents and adults. Brief therapy focuses predominantly on the here and now, and it can bring about rapid change. While long term-therapy likewise can quickly create change, it also produces more gradual change that comes from in-depth personal work about longstanding hurts, including trauma or deeply entrenched negative beliefs about oneself or life. Long-term therapy also allows time to use the therapist-client relationship as an instrument for change, meaning that the relationship itself provides pathways to healing as it deepens and is explored over time.
Getting in Touch
To set up an appointment or receive more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out the contact form below.