Some of my clinical specializations include:
Addiction To Drugs And Alcohol
The use of alcohol and drugs is often associated with fun, excitement and socializing. Sometimes drug use is the abuse of a prescribed medication that is initially given to treat a medical problem. Either way, no one wakes up one day and aspires to be a drug addict or alcoholic. There is no magic formula to determine when the fun stops or for which person the medication that used to help is now a curse.
Most people use drugs and alcohol to deal with pain, pleasure or fear. All are strong emotions that are sometimes easier not to feel. Yet not feeling compounds the problem. Addiction counseling can help you discover the underlying reasons that you use substances and how to better deal with uncomfortable feelings and emotions.
Do I use alcohol and drugs because I am depressed and anxious or am I depressed and anxious because I use drugs and alcohol? This is the Million Dollar question for many people.
Dual Diagnosis is when a person is dealing with both Addiction and Mental Health at the same time. Often it is confusing to tell the difference between a mental health problem and a substance abuse problem as the symptoms often resemble one another. Meeting with a trained therapist is often the best way to determine an effective course of treatment.
Chronic Medical Conditions
Medical conditions that last more than three months are chronic, meaning that they do not go away. Having this kind of diagnoses is often scary and creates stress and anxiety. There can be lots of appointments, multiple medications, and medication side effects coupled with just not feeling well.
Coping with chronic disease includes acceptance of your diagnosis, preventive care and health maintenance. In order to live healthy with a chronic disease, it is important to reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. A strong therapeutic connection can provide support dealing with your diagnosis and achieving optimal physical and mental health.
Grief and Loss
Grief is the emotional reaction to a significant loss. Loss can include the death of a loved one, divorce, retirement, relocation or a child leaving home. Bereavement refers to the feeling of loss after the death of a loved one. The grieving process is a very hard time with many complex emotions.
Grieving is the period of emotional and life adjustment that occurs after a loss. Symptoms of grief can include sorrow, shock, numbness, anger, guilt, anxiety and fear. Grieving a loss is normal and there is no specific time frame that says when you will start to feel better. Often social support and a place to talk about your feelings can support you in the process of grieving.
We all have close relationships to others. Family, friends, spouses, coworkers and significant others make up some of our most key partnerships. Often these relationships are essential to our happiness and yet sometimes, we can feel overwhelmed with the demands of those that we love.
A Codependent relationship is one in which a person places a lessor priority on their own needs, in order to focus on the needs of the other person in the relationship. These behaviors go beyond self-sacrifice and caretaking. In fact, codependent relationships can best be explained as excessive caring to an unhealthy degree. Often, friends and family members impacted by a loved one’s addiction have developed codependent relationships. Psychotherapy is a great way to explore whether or not your relationship has become unhealthy and to look at ways to make your relationships healthier.
Chronic Relapse is a succession of setbacks during the treatment and recovery process. Going into treatment is a commitment to change and it requires courage. When you enter your treatment program, the thought is that you will succeed in changing your behavior. Sometimes, the issue is only resolved temporarily and you return to unhealthy behaviors. The person who went to treatment feels failure and their loved ones are angry and discouraged.
Relapse is a temporary setback that allows for a reevaluation of your past treatment attempts. It is very important to explore all of your treatment options to ensure that the treatment option you choose is the right option for you. Abstinence, medication assisted treatment, self-help groups or individual counseling? Talking with a professional can support your treatment process and your next step at reclaiming your life.
Personal relationships require a lot of work to be successful. Relationships impact all parts of our lives and they often face challenges both big and small. We have relationships with our partners, our children, our parents, friends and employers. Problems in our relationships lead to tension, anxiety, stress and depression.
When relationships issues impact our lives it is important to manage and reconcile the issues. Brief, solution focused counseling is a great way to address conflicting expectations in our relationships. It allows us to improve our communication skills and find resolution so that our relationships provide support and nurturing rather than tension and stress.
Anxiety & Depression
Most people at some point in their life feel sadness or the blues. We worry and stress out about the things that are important in our life. These feelings are very normal and are often related to life situations that come and go. Sometimes, the feelings don’t go away so easily. We find ourselves unable to shake the feelings of hopelessness and worry to the point that we are unable to live our lives. Symptoms of anxiety can also produce scary physical symptoms like panic attacks.
If feelings of anxiety and depression last more than a few weeks, it is important to talk with someone professionally. Anxiety and depression, together or alone are treatable disorders. Individual therapy, support groups and medication are quite effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Being a woman isn’t easy. There is an unreasonable expectation that we can do it all and we buy into this expectation. Go to work, earn a living, nurture the children, keep up the house, be a loving partner and take care of elderly parents. The notion is that as women, we are able to take care of everything and everyone. We feel guilty, when we are unable to achieve this lofty goal.
When we fail at achieving the unachievable we are depleted, angry, depressed and resentful. We live such a frenzied pace of life and we never stop and ask for help, creating a vicious circle for ourselves. Individual therapy is a place where you can be heard in privacy and without judgment. A supportive therapist can help you begin to feel empowered again and can support the facilitation of your personal growth.
Major Life Transitions
One day everything is status quo in your world and then suddenly, something happens to disrupt your foundation. Job loss, relocation, a sick friend or family member, struggles in school, financial hardships, a strained relationship, these are all things that happen every day; but, we don’t think it will happen to us.
Sometimes it seems like life just isn’t fair. We start to feel sad and feel unable to manage our normal routines. Major life changes can create anxiety and depression in people that have never felt this way before. Short term therapy can be a great way to get support during times of transition.
Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than six months. About one million people suffer from chronic pain that can be mild or excruciating, continuous or episodic. Pain can be merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating. Whatever the parameters of your pain, it is clear that chronic pain takes a toll on both your physical and mental health.
Symptoms of chronic pain include irritability, stress, anger, depression, fatigue, hopelessness and weakened immune system. In addition, people who have chronic pain are more likely to be at risk for dependency on prescribed medication. The mind body connection is an important facet of self-care. Stress and anxiety can impede your wellness process and can also take a toll on your body. Supportive counseling can provide a safe place to talk about your concerns, frustration and fears as you manage chronic pain.
The term of addiction is often associated with the use of drugs and alcohol. In reality, any behavior can become out of control as addiction is defined as the continued repetition of behavior despite adverse circumstances. Other addictions include sex, gambling, food, shopping, exercise and internet. These addictions do not have the same type of physical dependence as substances, but, they have all of the same consequences.
Addiction to behaviors despite adverse outcomes, preoccupation with the activity despite long term costs and inability to stop the behavior regardless of the harm caused are all common themes of dependence. Self-help groups and individual counseling are tools available to support your process of change.
In addition to therapeutic services, I also provide clinical consultation and technical assistance to organizations. My areas of expertise include:
- Licensing and Accreditation
- Development of Policies and Procedures
- Quality Improvement
- Grant Writing
- Organizational Needs Assessments
- Clinical Chart Audits
- Development of Business Plans
- Substance Use Disorders/Addiction
- Harm Reduction programming
I am also available to provide clinical supervision