Our Adult Assessment and Therapy services help people suffering from trauma, anxiety, grief, depression, and relationship issues. Click the image to learn about our Adult Therapy services.
Our Adult Therapy Services include therapy for those who have survived trauma, abuse, and neglect. Therapy for mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and anger management are offered because these often occur with trauma. Therapy services for the caregiver and those who have compassion fatigue as a result of helping are a focus. Learning self-care, emotional and social skills development, and relational skills can benefit those from any background and therapy is delivered for the individual to complement their existing strengths and values.
We use Cognitive Behavior Therapy because it has been proven effective for depression, anxiety, grief, couple problems, family problems, complicated grief, caregiver distress, and trauma (Judith Beck, 2012). CBT is great because it follows a structured format that lets you know what to expect each session, but we can remain flexible enough to tailor it to your unique needs and goals. We work together to make a problem list, and then I will ask you to turn it into the positive, so we can think of how you want to be different when we are done therapy. Goals will be specific and on a time line, leaving room to adjust them to your schedule and available time. Each session we will make an agenda so that you can say what you most want help with within the time allotted, and what can wait until next session. We can do an update of what is new and how you did throughout the week, because it is easier to see results when you take what we learn together in session and apply it in your everyday work and family life. You can also include those you care about in your therapy to add support, so they can assist you throughout the week and make learning new skills quicker and more fun.
CBT is based on the idea that when you are upset your thoughts influence your mood. If you think about the last time you had stress, and then picture the situation oftentimes you can remember what went through your mind “in that moment”. We record those thoughts and begin to find triggers to your negative states based on what happens in the environment and how you interpret it in your mind. Your thoughts are not always true and you can often feel something is wrong when you are perfectly safe. We interpret our uneasiness as fear when it can at times be just the right amount of anxiety to get us motivated to achieve something. By hiding from this anxiety we do less, feel less sense of mastery, and down on ourselves. If we can begin to do more, even when we don’t feel like it, soon our interest in activities can return and at once we are feeling real pleasure again!
Once we are great at noticing our negative thoughts and arguing with them, we begin to look at the beliefs we have about ourselves, others, and the world. It is our underlying beliefs, that we are often not aware of, that effect how we feel when something in the environment triggers our upset. For example, sometimes we have learned beliefs that the world is not safe because we have been hurt. We may also fear others and be slow to trust and let down our boundaries based on a deep seated belief that people are dangerous. These examples of underlying beliefs can clearly cause us to behave in guarded ways which can affect our relationships, leaving us feeling lonely and different. If we choose to change these beliefs we can begin to be open to new relationships and learn to connect in ways we have never thought possible. There are many examples of underlying beliefs that cause us to act ineffectively such as the belief that we are no good, the world is unpredictable, or what we do cannot make a difference. These beliefs can also keep us from achieving our full potential at school and in our careers.
The feedback I get from my clients is that they enjoy using CBT alone or with their current medication to enhance its effects. Worksheets we complete in our sessions can be taken to your doctor to show your progress as he considers changes to your meds based on your stability. Clients like the idea that as we progress through the sessions they become more involved in determining what problems they want help solving each meeting, and they feel good at being an active part of their wellness. CBT is also interesting because I can provide you with education about your issues, so you know you are not alone and you can learn from things others have found worked for them. The tools we use can be adapted to fit your needs, and we can use more paper work if you are a visual learner or video or audio information if that’s what you like.
The important thing is that you are comfortable and feel supported in your therapy. Let’s begin working together to achieve your goals!