Services 2018-06-14T12:13:59+00:00

Services

I am a licensed clinical counselor, specializing in PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I help people transform their pain into healthy adaptations and move past PTSD and other psychological issues using psychotherapy rather than drugs.

Age Range

I see people within the age range of middle school through adulthood. Occasionally, I see those younger than middle school age, but they are exceptions.

When To Seek Help

When a person’s emotional or behaviors create difficulty for them or those around them, this difficulty usually indicates a need for intervention. For example, if your child’s grades suddenly drop, they are having trouble sleeping, and their irritability level is causing them problems at home or school, there is usually some underlying emotional cause.

Families

Since I am not a trained Marriage and Family Counselor, I don’t practice systemic or other types of therapy traditionally associated with family treatment. However, if I am working with an adolescent,  I expect to work in concert with parents to help their child. Often this looks and feels like parent coaching, and more occasionally like family therapy.

Couples

I have had good results teaching couples to communicate. Research shows that most marital and even family issues stem from poor communication. When we use this approach, it is exciting for couples realize that they can solve their issues and don’t, after some training, need someone to continually referee for them.

Conditions Treated

Below is a list of some of the problems with which I have worked and how I have treated them.

The Cause of Addiction

Some believe addiction is a disease. Others think it is a character flaw. I believe neither.

I see addiction, whether drug-related or not, as a learned way to reduce anxiety. When people transform the underlying anxiety into adaptive responses to the stressors of life, the addiction is no longer needed and fades away.

When I express this opinion, others often point to heroin addiction and the “chemical hooks” that keep addicts in the sway of this terrible drug. And I, in turn, point to the thousands of soldiers who returned from Viet Nam addicted to heroin, and who, once back in a safe, supportive environment, and living meaningful lives, simply quit shooting up without rehab or chemical crutches to help them. I’ve talked to some of them. They tell me they “didn’t need it anymore.”

How I Treat Addiction and Urges with EMDR

But how does one “transform the underlying anxiety into adaptive responses to the stressors of life?” That’s where EMDR comes in.

All of us have in us a capability to transform the pains of life into adaptive ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. EMDR activates this capability and reorganizes our thinking and feeling about past adverse events. This reorganization reduces the anxiety inherent with every trauma.

This sounds unbelievable to some. However, every night when we sleep our eyes move back and forth under our closed lids. In the morning, things that were bothering us when we went to sleep don’t seem as bad as they did the night before. We never knew what REM sleep was until brain researchers solved the mystery. Some of them now call REM sleep “housekeeping for the brain.”

When someone who is addicted to a drug or a behavior reduces the anxiety causing the accompanying urge, the urge diminishes. We use EMDR to lessen the anxiety underlying the behavior.

Results

I worked once with a woman who wanted to stop eating cake and cookies while she watched TV. She realized she needed help when she ate nearly an entire cake in one sitting. We did three sessions of EMDR focusing on her weakness, sheet cake. On her 4th session, she came in and told me that something strange had occurred last week. She got home from her weekly grocery shopping and noticed that she had not put a single snack food in her basket. I asked her what she had been eating at night since I saw her last. She thought a moment, with an excited smile, said, “A quarter cup of Chex Mix every night.”

She got past her urge and didn’t even realize it until she verbalized it to me.

She called me about help for a friend five years later and reported that she is no longer even tempted by cake. She also mentioned that she had lost 20 pounds since I saw her last. So…lasting results.

I could tell similar stories about cigarettes, beer, marijuana, and meth.

More about Addiction

If you want to read more about the “disease” argument try this weblink.

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Time For Peace of Mind

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