Been considering getting a therapist? I help clients dealing with depression, anxiety and relationship issues. My counseling is aimed at helping you feel better and moving you towards change, growth and transformation. I specialize in adult individual psychotherapy and advanced licensing consulting and ethics workshops in Georgia for mental health professionals. For over 25 years, my work has been my passion.
Depression is a broad term but it often captures how we feel when we are stressed. It may be the first word that enters our mind when we think about our emotional pain. Depression may also be the ball of confusion we feel when we lose a family member, divorce or are struggling in a difficult relationship. Some of the red flags of depression are panic attacks, crying spells, social withdrawal. Therapy can be incredibly helpful for reducing or eliminating these effects. In fact, many are amazed with their ability to recover from depression and anxiety once they seek help. Therapy can help with many other forms of mental or psychological distress and personal issues.
I am a therapist. I am also a part time musician. The skills required for both are surprisingly similar. They are equal parts science, art, and craft. When a therapist fuses these skills, clients feel empowered, that their feelings are real, that someone understands them. As a result, they feel less depressed and anxious.
When we understand our feelings and beliefs, we learn what motivates our behavior. When we learn what drives our behavior, we can change it. And also change how we think and feel.
Therapy as Science
The science of therapy is learned in graduate school through coursework and research– textbooks on family therapy, play therapy, group therapy, diagnosis of schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses. Also, there are many theories and approaches to helping people improve their mental state and change behavior. Some are therapeutically confrontational; assertive approaches to helping you see irrational behavior. Some are homework based. Some are targeted at specific fears like spider phobia. My therapeutic approach is focused on growth, change, developing healthy relationships, finding peace and happiness. In textbooks, it is known as eclectic or blended therapy. I blend cognitive, interpersonal and experiential therapy.
Therapy as Art
There is a quote from a famous therapist.
“If you think you’ve heard it all before, you aren’t listening.”
Each person is unique. Therefore, I do not perform therapy as a “procedure”. I do not aim to fix you. Since my life is not your life, I don’t tell you what is best for you. You have the ability to make the best choices in your life. My role is to listen and observe carefully and provide a different perspective. Maybe you feel lost. As such, it is not my role to find you, but to help you find yourself!
You as an Artist: Making a Sketchbook of Your Life.
With the art of therapy everything you experience in my office is an opportunity to help you understand yourself, grieve your losses, and allow yourself to feel and heal and grow and change. When you notice something on my desk has been moved a few inches. When I yawn (but that doesn’t happen often-honestly). When YOU yawn. When your eyes fill with tears. When you suddenly change the topic. These are only examples.
Therapy is both frightening and exciting. That is how therapy SHOULD work. As is said, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. So if you are taking risk and feeling emotion in your sessions with me, you will make progress and feel better.
Therapy as Craft
The seamstress, the carpenter, the brick mason. What do these occupations share in common? All of these persons develop their skills through apprenticeship. As a therapist, you learn special techniques; means and methods and systems. Others teach you. As you collect tools, you place them in your tool box. Some you will use often. Some only occasionally. Nevertheless, all the tools have a purpose. Development of a craft applies to psychotherapy as well. Some of my tools are cognitive, psychodynamic, interpersonal, and experiential techniques. Perhaps the therapist’s most valuable tool is their feelings because it provides a guide for use of the other tools.
When the science moves out of the way and the art/craft moves forward, exciting things happen in therapy. You may come to a session thinking you have nothing to share or discuss. You may leave the same session feeling incredible relief and delight that you had a breakthrough! It is important to note however that therapy sessions can often be difficult and painful. Therapy is hard work.