Psychotherapy

Anxiety and OCD

Chair on Dock at Alice Lake in Late Afternoon

I have specialized training in anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (aka, the worry disorder), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. My treatment approach is individualized and consists of evidence-based (i.e., shown to be effective by research studies) cognitive-behavioral treatments that include a healthy dose of acceptance, mindfulness, and compassion.

Frequently, a main goal of treatment is to reduce your level of anxiety and distress. An equally important goal is to change your relationship with anxiety so that it has less of a negative impact on your life. The types of treatments I use include cognitive therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness and coping skills training, and exposure and response prevention (ERP).

To learn more about ERP, click here. To learn more about ACT, click here. (links to exposure and response prevention for OCD blog post; link to What is ACT post)

Depression and Stress

Young girl spreading hands with joy and inspiration facing the sun

Many people seek psychological treatment because they experience difficulties with mood, depression, insomnia, or a high level of stress. Together we will work on finding healthy and adaptive ways to cope with these experiences. We will also spend time exploring your values to figure out what a meaningful life looks like for you. We all encounter some level of stress and difficult emotions. The goal is not to get rid of these emotions entirely. The goal of treatment is to enable you to work with emotions and stress more effectively so that you can live a fulfilling life that brings you joy.

Relationship and Parenting Issues

Hands of mother and daughter holding each other on field

The relationships we have with partners, children, friends, and family can be sources of great joy and great hardship. Together we will explore your interpersonal patterns to find out what is working and what is not. This might involve learning strategies to enhance your existing relationships or to cultivate new relationships. Interpersonal skills often focus on improving communication, increasing assertiveness, or managing anger more effectively. We may also focus on things like increasing compassion for yourself and others or breaking out of patterns of criticism and contempt. To see some books I often recommend to clients, click here.

Coping with chronic pain and illness

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Pain is both a physical and psychological experience. Chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic back pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and headache (to name just a few) can be very stressful and difficult to cope with. Chronic pain can take a toll on your emotional well-being, your relationships, and your ability or desire to do the things most meaningful to you. In addition, stress and emotional distress can make chronic pain worse. Behavioral and psychological treatments such as mindfulness, relaxation and biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy provide tools to help individuals manage pain and stress more effectively. These approaches have also been shown to be very effective in helping people live a life that is worth living despite pain.

Insomnia

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Do you have difficulty falling asleep? Staying asleep? Do you wake up tired and not refreshed even after a full night’s sleep? If so, you are not alone. One in three people report experiencing insomnia at some point in their lives. A lack of good, restorative sleep often accompanies anxiety, stress, depression, and chronic pain. It can also happen without an easily identified trigger. Regardless of what is contributing to insomnia, the costs can be significant. Exhaustion, irritability, difficulty getting things done, and problems with concentration and memory are not uncommon. Often people will begin to worry about not sleeping during the day or dread the long sleepless night they fear is ahead. They may develop coping strategies that are contributing to poor sleep, such as overuse of caffeine, napping, or staying in bed longer and longer. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is an evidenced based treatment that addresses the thoughts and behaviors that affect sleep. To learn more about CBT-I, click here (link to CBT-I post).

Living Well

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As a health psychologist, I use mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral strategies to help people break out of many different types of unhealthy patterns. Behaviors like eating too much, drinking too much, smoking, and lack of exercise often occur because we are stressed, tired, or trying to feel better. Sometimes physical addiction is a factor. These patterns may have been around for a long time and might feel too big or overwhelming to tackle on your own. Together we will examine your patterns and triggers for unhealthy behavior, identify why you want to do things differently, and find a healthier way to live.