Depression can be experienced in different ways and for different reasons. Depression can contain feelings of overwhelming sadness, or can involve a numbing of feeling overall. Some experience depression as a reaction to a specific situation, like the loss of a loved one. Others may experience depression for more general reasons, or even for seemingly no reason at all.
Working with depression can often involve validating or giving a voice to one's feelings, even the negative ones, helping the individual to identify why the depressed feelings are there and what can be done about them, teaching the client techniques and strategies to both accept and work through the feelings, and helping and motivating the client to create and work toward goals.
Anxiety can be a helpful tool. It can alert us when we may be in danger, or let us know when something is happening that we aren't okay with. Anxiety can spur us into action, or encourage us to avoid a situation that isn't good for us. A certain amount of anxiety is normal, but for some, anxiety can come in amounts that are overwhelming or in situations that are unreasonable. Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with our normal, everyday functioning.
I work with clients to identify when anxiety is reasonable or unreasonable, and what messages the anxiety might be trying to send us. I help clients to challenge unreasonable forms of anxiety or fear, and build confidence and resiliency around the more helpful but, at times, overwhelming forms.
Anger & Stress Management
Anger, like other emotions, is often there for a reason. And like other emotions, anger in itself is not a problem. Rather, it is the way we express and react to that anger that can often lead to conflict, both in ourselves and with others. In more general terms, anger is one of many ways that we can deal with stress.
I offer clients an individualized anger management program where I work with clients to understand their anger and how they express it. I teach clients about the various ways we can react to anger and teach calming and coping strategies to help us make the best decisions about how to respond to those people/situations that are making us angry. I use the client's own unique experiences with anger as examples throughout the learning process.
Though the content is always different, the pattern is often the same. Most couples tend to go through the same pattern, or "cycle," over and over again when conflicts take place. I work with couples to identify the cycles in their relationships and why they are there. This often involves examining past experiences and relationships that were significant and influenced each partner's "definition" of what a relationship is. By helping the clients understand both their definitions and those of their partner, we can work to challenge and alter the destructive patterns in their relationship and begin to build new, shared ideals.