PTSD can be thought of as an over-response to a traumatic or life-threatening event that is outside the normal range of daily life stress. It is commonly associated with combat and other military experiences but often presents in private practice as a result of what I refer to as “capital T-traumas”. These may include verbal, physical, emotional or psychological abuse...[ read more ]

Understanding Anxiety

Because anxiety can interfere with relationships, sleeping patterns and day to day functioning, it is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy. Although general knowledge about mental health issues has increased in recent years, misunderstandings about anxiety remain common. It’s important to understand the difference between ordinary anxiety and an anxiety disorder. It’s natural to feel nervous about...[ read more ]

Couples Counseling

“Can my relationship be saved?” or, “Can you help us decide if we should stay together?”  These are questions I’m often asked and there is no one good response for everyone.  The most accurate thing I can say is something like this: “Couples work is hard and there are no guarantees, but you are wise to invest the time and...[ read more ]

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood condition affected by changes in season. It is a type of depression usually linked to fall and winter months. However, for a small number of people it can occur in spring and summer. Seasonal affective disorder is usually experienced with the onset of a major depressive episode that is triggered at a specific...[ read more ]

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I practice a variety of treatment modalities that I’ve learned through education, training and experience in the field over the last decade. I select specific interventions based on each client’s symptoms, personality, level of motivation and interest. However, once a therapeutic relationship (the most important component of successful therapy) has been established, I consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to be...[ read more ]

Elements of Healthy and Ethical Therapy

COLLABORATIVE The spirit of collaborative therapy is perhaps best described by Albert Schweitzer when he wrote that “each patient carries his own doctor inside him. We are at our best when we give the doctor who resides within each patient a chance to go to work.” Collaborative mental health therapy is when a therapist encourages a client to become a...[ read more ]

Clinical Competency

I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the notion of an 8-10 year “sweet spot” at which time mental health therapists may find themselves experiencing a sense of mastery in their ability to provide quality and informed care. My colleague’s clinical trajectory has been different from mine but the similarities are evident. We had both worked in challenging...[ read more ]

Challenging Gender Preference

Gender preference while seeking a therapist is common. As a male provider, I’ll share my experience working with preadolescent girls, teens, young adults and adult women. Women who prefer female counselors often feel uncomfortable with the idea of disclosing personal information to a man. It is also common that if a woman holds a strong preference for a female counselor...[ read more ]

How to Respond to Emotional Children

USE TIME TO DECREASE TRANSITIONAL TANTRUMS Many children have trouble leaving preferred places and activities. There are times you can’t even take them to a neighborhood park for fear of that awful moment when you have to leave and return. Kids can be unpredictable and erratic. Sometimes they’ll scream and fall to the ground, or try to run into a...[ read more ]

Healthy Therapy Demands Clarifying Roles and Challenging Myths

To this day I am reminded of an analogy that came to me during my first year of graduate school. At the time, I had been thinking about the role of mental health therapists and the client’s responsibility in therapy. I had also been considering the relationship and dynamic of a healthy therapeutic process. LET’S VISUALIZE The image was of...[ read more ]

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