I tend to gravitate towards a cognitive-behavioral approach. Basically, that means that we look at situations in your life, determine what you think about those situations, from that we figure out how it makes you feel and thereby behave. Some therapists focus on behavior first. I think the behavior is often appropriate if what you are thinking and feeling is true. The problem isn’t necessarily the behavior, it’s the thoughts that lead to the emotions that lead to the behaviors. Make sense?
Here is an example: You and your spouse feel like roommates. There is no intimacy, you go through the motions of life and the butterflies are long gone. Sometimes, they’re even replaced with feelings of emptiness.
The event is: Your partner comes home from work, barely says two words to you, goes into the other room to change and starts interacting with the kids and it is genuine! You see happiness and hear real laughter, but it is not directed at you anymore. You’re lucky to get a hug!
The thought is: “I am never going to feel happy in this relationship. I don’t even feel loved.”
The feelings are: sadness, hurt, emptiness, and frustration.
The behavior: you put up walls, get ticked off, say harsh things, withhold affection, and maybe slam a cabinet or two.
See the cycle? Now if what you are thinking is true, “I am never going to be happy or feel loved” then of course it makes sense to behave that way. But, what if it’s not true? What if you both just need to find your way back to each other and deep down, you are both feeling empty, unloved, hurt and frustrated? That is what we need to figure out and then, heal it.
The problematic relationship might be with yourself, not a spouse. You might reject yourself or maybe you aren’t happy with the way you look. Perhaps you are a perfectionist and you always feel inadequate? That is not an easy way to live! Let’s fix that!
There are few, if any, easy answers or quick cures. But there are answers. It is hard to see them from the inside looking out. Basically, emotional pain can feel like you are in a hurricane and you are trying to assess the storm. It isn’t easy when you are in middle of it! Let me look form the outside in and help you find the best path to get out.
I have experience, as a therapist, working with people who have difficulties due to normal life events as well as people who suffer from more serious emotional and personality disturbances. Mostly though, people who come to me for counseling are just every day people trying to navigate through the trials and tribulations of life. It isn’t always easy and getting some help is admirable! Actually, I am proud to say that three of my former clients have gone back to school and are now counselors themselves! And, two of my best friends also went back to school to get their master’s degree in counseling. There is just something about finding true happiness and sharing it with others; it is infectious.
To become more familiar with my areas of specialty closely look through this website. Invest time in looking over our counseling services page and schedule a time to meet with me to discuss your own personal situation to see if we are the best fit. You’ll know after the first session and I think you will feel better just knowing you are moving in the right direction. You can fill out the contact form at the bottom.
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