Depression is one of the main reasons people call a therapist. Sometimes it’s been a long-term issue, a feeling that there’s more to life. Other times, depression is a sudden thing, a reaction to loss, or a change in life circumstances.
Depression robs life of pleasure and meaning. It becomes difficult to do things that could make you feel better. Instead, you tend to do the things that make you feel worse, like drinking or eating too much and avoiding the people you care about.
I believe depression has meaning. Whether the cause is biochemical or situational, depression has something to teach us.
The task of the therapy is to return meaning and joy to life
Anxiety can be pervasive, affecting every hour of the day. It can strike in particular circumstances, or can take the form of seemingly random panic attacks.
Tracking the source of anxiety is sometimes enough to lessen or eliminate it completely. Talking with a therapist helps identify what triggers a sense of unease and apprehension. We can help you develop tools to cope while you are discovering the underlying causes.
Studies show that both anxiety and depression that are treated with “talk therapy”, rather than antidepressants alone, have a greater rate of success and less chance of recurrence.
Like physical pain, anxiety is a symptom that something is wrong Like physical pain, it can be treated.
Relationships are challenging. You want to feel loved and supported, but sometimes there’s arguing, avoidance, less intimacy, loss of trust and communication difficulties.
You get stuck in these problems because intimate relationships often stir up fears and vulnerabilities from your earliest relationships. Further, you are often unaware of the role you play in creating these problems.
Couples therapy helps you develop new capacities to love and be loved.
Trauma is an emotional or psychological injury, resulting from an extremely stressful or life-threatening situation in which you felt both helpless and powerless. Your sense of security is shattered, and you continue to feel vulnerable, even if the trauma occurred long ago.
You may have nightmares or flashbacks, or feel numb, isolated, and even have periods of time you can’t account for, when you were just “gone”. Whether the trauma occurred in childhood or adulthood, once or repeatedly, the person experiencing a trauma does not feel safe on any level.
Support from family and friends is important, but sometimes you need to speak with an experienced professional to be able to move on and allow the trauma to be in the past.
Speaking with a professional allows you to integrate the experience and to allow the trauma to recede into the past.
Drug and alcohol use can be recreational, in social settings, or it can become compulsive, something that takes over your life. You may be “self-medicating” anxiety, depression, or insomnia. Your tolerance level goes up or down; your relationships have begun to suffer; your motivation at work is flagging – all these are signs that you are in trouble.
When drug or alcohol use gets out of control, so does everything else. Psychotherapy provides a place to assess and evaluate your concerns, and to obtain appropriate treatment suggestions.
You can break the cycle.
Sexual Addictions and Other Sexual Issues
Addiction to internet porn, sadomasochism, “rough” sex, bondage, submission, polyamory – these sexual issues may be troubling you or affecting your relationships in ways that you may not have anticipated.
Sometimes the sexual behavior may feel ok to you, but not to your partner or vice versa. Other times, sex can become compulsive, and cause potentially self-destructive activities.
Psychotherapy provides a nonjudgmental environment in which to explore your sexual concerns.
Issues of Aging
Although aging can be a time for self-reflection and renewal, is also a time of loss: the death of loved ones, financial uncertainty, health problems, and loss of former identity. It affects each of us a variety of ways: grief, sadness, regret, and fear of dying.
While mourning and grieving are a normal part of aging depression is not. Speaking with a therapist can help you connect who you were in the past with who you are in the present.
Therapy can revitalize and enrich your life, no matter what age you are.
When most people get sick, they are confident their bodies will rally and recover. If you have a chronic health problem, you don’t have that confidence. Your body doesn’t necessarily heal. In fact, it frequently disappoints you by getting worse.
Chronic illness/pain is a life altering experience that seriously impacts how you feel about yourself. It’s not uncommon for people with chronic illness or pain to be depressed, anxious and angry, as well as ashamed about having a “defective body”. You may fear that your family, friends and health care providers are tired of hearing your concerns.
If you suffer from a chronic health problem, psychotherapy can provide a sounding board for your frustrations and fears and help you develop coping strategies.
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals' are frequently reluctant to go to a therapist because they are afraid of being judged. Sometimes, a client’s own homophobia is a factor is speaking with a therapist; at other times, he/she may have had an experience where the therapist’s homophobia or ignorance created barriers to understanding.
An LGBT individual or couple will seek therapy for the same reasons a straight person will – they’re in pain; the relationship isn’t working; or something is just wrong with their lives. Being LGBT in a largely heterosexual world brings with it other sets of problems as well, and it is important that the therapist has some understanding of what these are.
It is the therapist’s responsibility to be informed and aware, because the pressure is often subtle, insidious, or unconscious.
Although everyone comes to therapy for their own reasons, LGBT clients need to have someone who gets the context of their problems.
Hearing a diagnosis of infertility is a devastating experience. You’re likely feeling a mixture of emotions: despair, frustration, anger, shame, confusion and a sense of isolation. You might be asking “Why me?” The well-meaning advice of friends and family – like “Just relax and it will happen” – isn’t helpful.
You’re overwhelmed by all the options – from assisted conception to adoption. You want to be able to make an informed decision about what to do next. Infertility can be a very lonely experience and with psychotherapy, you have someone helping you along the way.
Psychotherapy can help you deal with your emotions and assist you in sorting through all the choices.
The mind and the body are connected, of course, and sometimes talking is not enough. Homeopathy is a complementary medicine that has been in use throughout the world for the last 200 years. It is a gentle form of treatment and is especially appropriate for people who need an adjunctive treatment, but for one reason or another do not want to take psychiatric medications. This could include drug-sensitive people, nursing mothers, children with behavior or learning disorders, or simply people who don't want to take a drug to be able to sleep or to get up in the morning and face the day.
Homeopathy can provide relief from symptoms, without masking the problem or dulling the individual.