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Anxiety

Anxiety steals your life. It happens slowly, sometimes even without your knowledge. Your world gets smaller and smaller until one day you realize you can’t cope. At worst, there are panic attacks. At best, outbursts. It’s so hard to deal with life when you consistently feel overloaded.

Many anxious people don’t even know they are anxious. They live their lives in such a way that their baseline is above relaxed, but they don’t know any different. Life consists of a myriad of little stressors that, taken more than once, can make them feel as if they can’t handle things. Showing up on time to an appointment causes stress because there’s no room for error. Socializing takes days to recover from because it takes so much energy to ensure that they don’t mess up, don’t offend, don’t draw attention to themselves. Conflict with a boss can create absolute panic. So much energy is directed toward perfect- because when you’re perfect, you don’t draw attention — being excellent means being worthy and drawing approval.

Daily life takes so much thought, so much space in their heads. The act of living is exhausting.

Anxiety takes over the space in your brain until you can’t focus on anything else. You can’t remember conversations, promises made, dates, or times. You don’t imprint memories as you’re living your life because you aren’t really there. Then comes the toll on the body: the headaches, always feeling tired, waking up in the middle of the night with so many thoughts, feeling like your lungs won’t hold air, racing heart, tight shoulders, grinding teeth…

This may be your normal, but it doesn’t have to be. Life can be easier.

These symptoms manifest for a multitude of reasons. It may only be that your family is genetically wired to be a bit more anxious. Perhaps, the struggle is a bit different, and the source is domestic violence, childhood abuse, a single terrible event. Anxiety shows up to motivate you to act, but after a certain point can be paralyzing.

We only get one nervous system. Over time, if we respond to everything that feels like a threat, we can train ourselves to be anxious. It often manifests as driven thought-a difficulty calming your mind in order to focus entirely. From there, the nervous system gets overstimulated, and new “fight or flight” symptoms show up as muscle tension, sweaty palms, racing heart, increased blood pressure, and release of biochemical messengers that tell the body it is in danger. Anxiety is not all in your head. Your body is involved too. The good news is, this is fixable. Our job is to get you to a place where you can relax, where you can tell the difference between motivating anxiety and fight or flight. We work to get you back in control.

You know you need help when your response to a stimulus is out of proportion to the stimulus itself. If you’re yelling at your children for being overly noisy, If you can’t cope with the unpredictability at work, if you can’t sleep or eat, if you find yourself excessively angry or emotional, or if you find that others are consistently telling you that you could use some guidance, it may be time to consider help.

 
Relationship issues
It hurts when your relationship isn’t going well. Maybe you’re not to the point of domestic violence or abuse, but things are not where you’d want them to be. You do not see eye to eye, but you want to be in the same place. Perhaps you’re having problems with co-parenting, maybe the issue is infidelity or sexual issues, or pherhaps you’re just more generally not getting along. Whatever the case, if you want to try, it may be possible to heal the wounds, learn to communicate better, and build the relationship you want.

Couples often struggle with difficulties like

  • Life transitions: moving through life phases and learning how to be the new you. Things like job changes, housing changes, illness, and having children can all stress a relationship.

  • Communication difficulties: you want to be heard, but you can’t seem to get your partner to understand.

  • Parenting Struggles: we all come from different families with their ideas on raising children. It can be hard to find your way to the middle when raising a child with a partner.

  • Infidelity: when a partner strays, it can leave a deep wound and lots of questions.

  • Sexual difficulties: when you’re struggling in other parts of your relationship, the sex can suffer, and, in turn, the relationship suffers.

  • Poor relationship templates: When a person comes from a family with parents who struggle, it can create generational legacies of relationship problems. This is because they never learned what a healthy relationship looks like, nor were they taught the skills necessary to create such a relationship.

If you’re struggling and have tried to solve things yourself to no avail, it may be time to call in help. Therapy can help you both feel heard, learn to communicate better with each other, and to solve your problems together in a healthy manner. With a little help, you can once again feel like you’re on the same team. Do not give up without trying something new and have someone to work with you in this unique healing journey.
 
Thinking Man on Couch
Depression

Most often, the word “depression” brings to mind images of not being able to get out of bed. To most, it means social withdrawal, crying spells, loss of appetite, chronic negative thoughts, and an inability to pull oneself out of this cycle. Say “depression” and the worst comes to mind: not being able to function and potentially considering antidepressants.

While this is true, what is more, common is “functional depression.” Many people with depression don’t even realize they’re depressed. They still make it to work, outings with friends, and family functions, but it all has a grey overlay. Functional depression looks more like an inability to focus, a loss of interest in socializing or participating in life, feeling more easily fatigued, feeling slightly hopeless or helpless- it’s sneakier. The world just seems a little greyer and your emotions are just a bit flatter. You may or may not have negative thoughts. What you do experience is a loss of color in your life. Everything is just a little…less.

Whether you’re on the far end of the spectrum and deeply struggling, or in a more functional place and better able to mask it, depression can rob you of so much joy. It doesn’t have to be this way- and you don’t have to take pills to solve the problem.

Therapy can help.

How therapy helps generally depends on the root cause, but in general having a place to talk about your difficulties can be helpful. Sometimes depression comes from trauma, in which case the trauma comes to the forefront, and working through this resolves the numbing. Occasionally, it’s as simple as never having been taught coping skills- which is fixable as well. Whatever the source, have multiple solutions and can tailor the plan to you personally. You just have to make the call.

Q. How do I know when I need help?

  • The short answer is if your quality of life has decreased it may be time to seek help.

  • If you feel “numb” or “flat”

  • If you’re struggling to connect with others

  • If you’ve tried on your own and can’t seem to shake it

  • If you feel that you’re getting worse and moving towards classic depression versus functional depression

  • If you’re just tired of living this way

When you’re ready, my door is open, Email, Call, or schedule online.

 
Domestic Violence

You loved each other once. Now, you aren’t even sure why you’re still in a relationship. You say awful things to each other. Your partner screams or puts hands on you. You’ve felt trapped more days than not. You don’t feel heard or respected. You’re afraid. After the arguments, you’re sorry. You wish it never happened, but you don’t know how to stop the cycle. Maybe you understand why your partner’s like that; perhaps you don’t. You can’t sort out how you got here; how you turned into these people. Maybe you’ve already left, and you’re trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what’s next for you. All you know is that this is bigger than you. You know you need help.

It can happen to you whether heterosexual, homosexual, polyamorous or any other form. It’s important to know that this can happen to men or women. A common theme is a man abusing a woman, but it’s essential to know that women are abusers and male survivors. Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate.

What exactly is domestic violence? We hear the term all the time, but it most often brings to mind ideas of physical violence. However, it involves so much more. There are many forms: emotional violence in name-calling, cussing, stonewalling, or generally creating a hostile environment; financial control; spiritual abuse; sexual abuse; stalking behaviors; and more.

It’s a myth that abusers don’t care about their victims. It’s also a myth that if it were that bad, you’d leave. If only it were that easy. Abusive relationships are complex. It’s never as simple as a stay or goes. They’re rife with miscommunications, addictions, trauma, lack of coping skills, and fear. They’re also often a pair of people who love each other but don’t know how to live with one another. The most important part, though, is knowing that It is possible to change a relationship when everyone is willing.

If you’re in an abusive relationship, it can be challenging to find your way out. Healthy relationships require healthy models. People don’t learn their skills from anywhere. Those in these kinds of relationships often have had poor relationship models. For example, in the instance, in my abusive relationship, clients don’t know how to fight healthily.

Perhaps you’re traumatized and quick to anger. Maybe you’re conflict-avoidant and don’t speak up until you finally blow up. Whatever the case, therapy works to get to the bottom of these issues, heal what’s there, and teach you new skills in communication, healthy arguing, boundaries, parenting, and all other areas of a relationship. Whether you’re the abuser or the victim- you deserve help. I work with both sides.

Therapy can help answer complicated questions like:

  • Is this an abusive relationship?

  • What is domestic violence?

  • Why and how did I become abusive?

  • Why didn’t I leave?

  • Why didn’t I leave sooner?

  • How did I miss the warning signs?

  • Why do I continue to get in relationships like this?

  • Why do I behave this way?

  • Why can’t we get along?

  • How can we communicate without it escalating?

  • How can we stop this cycle of abusive behavior?

  • And most importantly: How do we do things differently?

Once you heal your wounds and deal with the damage done, you can work to create the relationship you want. You can take back control from the hurt, anger, and abuse and work to build the closeness that you’ve been seeking, whether in your current relationship or the future, after recovering from such a relationship. The end can be hope instead of a vision of the same patterns on repeat. With some work and guidance, you can have the relationship you want.

 
Image by Susan Wilkinson
Trauma

Most often, the word “depression” brings to mind images of not being able to get out of bed. To most it means social withdrawal, crying spells, loss of appetite, chronic negative thoughts, and an inability to pull oneself out of this cycle. Say “depression” and the worst comes to mind: not being able to function and potentially considering antidepressants.

While this is true, what is more common is “functional depression.” Many people with depression don’t even realize they’re depressed. They still make it to work, outings with friends, and family functions, but it all has a grey overlay. Functional depression looks more like an inability to focus, a loss of interest in socializing or participating in life, feeling more easily fatigued, feeling slightly hopeless or helpless- it’s sneakier. The world just seems a little greyer and your emotions are just a bit flatter. You may or may not have negative thoughts. What you do experience is a loss of color in your life. Everything is just a little…less.

Whether you’re on the far end of the spectrum and deeply struggling, or in a more functional place and better able to mask it, depression can rob you of so much joy. It doesn’t have to be this way- and you don’t have to take pills to solve the problem.

Therapy can help.

How therapy helps generally depends on the root cause, but in general having a place to talk about your difficulties can be helpful. Sometimes depression comes from trauma, in which case the trauma comes to the forefront, and working through this resolves the numbing. Occasionally, it’s as simple as never having been taught coping skills- which is fixable as well. Whatever the source, have multiple solutions and can tailor the plan to you personally. You just have to make the call.

Q. How do I know when I need help?

  • The short answer is if your quality of life has decreased it may be time to seek help.

  • If you feel “numb” or “flat”

  • If you’re struggling to connect with others

  • If you’ve tried on your own and can’t seem to shake it

  • If you feel that you’re getting worse and moving towards classic depression versus functional depression

  • If you’re just tired of living this way

When you’re ready, my door is open, Email, Call, or schedule online.

Image by Austin Chan
Addiction

Most often, the word “depression” brings to mind images of not being able to get out of bed. To most it means social withdrawal, crying spells, loss of appetite, chronic negative thoughts, and an inability to pull oneself out of this cycle. Say “depression” and the worst comes to mind: not being able to function and potentially considering antidepressants.

While this is true, what is more common is “functional depression.” Many people with depression don’t even realize they’re depressed. They still make it to work, outings with friends, and family functions, but it all has a grey overlay. Functional depression looks more like an inability to focus, a loss of interest in socializing or participating in life, feeling more easily fatigued, feeling slightly hopeless or helpless- it’s sneakier. The world just seems a little greyer and your emotions are just a bit flatter. You may or may not have negative thoughts. What you do experience is a loss of color in your life. Everything is just a little…less.

Whether you’re on the far end of the spectrum and deeply struggling, or in a more functional place and better able to mask it, depression can rob you of so much joy. It doesn’t have to be this way- and you don’t have to take pills to solve the problem.

Therapy can help.

How therapy helps generally depends on the root cause, but in general having a place to talk about your difficulties can be helpful. Sometimes depression comes from trauma, in which case the trauma comes to the forefront, and working through this resolves the numbing. Occasionally, it’s as simple as never having been taught coping skills- which is fixable as well. Whatever the source, have multiple solutions and can tailor the plan to you personally. You just have to make the call.

Q. How do I know when I need help?

  • The short answer is if your quality of life has decreased it may be time to seek help.

  • If you feel “numb” or “flat”

  • If you’re struggling to connect with others

  • If you’ve tried on your own and can’t seem to shake it

  • If you feel that you’re getting worse and moving towards classic depression versus functional depression

  • If you’re just tired of living this way

When you’re ready, my door is open, Email, Call, or schedule online.