My client centered, strengths-based counseling approach provides a safe non-judgmental place for my clients to increase their mental health knowledge, learn healthy and effective coping skills, learn how to advocate for themselves, set realistic and relevant goals, raise their self-esteem, and improve problem solving and other life skills.
Individual therapy allows the client to address personal topics in a one on one experience in order feel more in charge of his or her life. Therapy can be short term or long term, depending on client needs. New to therapy? It starts with an intake session in which I will gather information about you to see if we would be a good fit, whether I can effectively address your needs and if you would like to continue on to regular therapy sessions or be referred to another therapist. Regular sessions will be spent working together to create treatment goals based on your input and evaluating them as we go.
Some topics typically covered in sessions with me:
Learning about mental health can sometimes feel like learning a new lingo. Increasing your understanding of your mental health will help you take an active role in your treatment and become a better advocate for yourself. Topics can include education on MI diagnoses, the physical/emotional/cognitive effects of symptoms such as anxiety, healthy coping skills, the role of medications, how to communicate with doctors and psychiatrists, navigating the healthcare system, and knowing your rights as a mental health consumer.
Stress can come from good events (ie: weddings, new job, birth of a child, planning a vacation, moving) and not so good events (ie: court case, divorce, getting fired, illness). However, chronic stress is unhealthy as it has a negative impact on our health, our emotions and thoughts, our relationships and more. We will look at what you have done in the past to cope with stress and find ways to make those methods more effective or find new healthy techniques to practice. We will also work on what causes or triggers your stress and how to reduce or eliminate those triggers.
Relapse prevention skills can help prevent relapse and hospitalizations due to mental health or substance use. Example topics: What is the difference between a warning sign and a trigger, and how do you identify them? What can you do to reduce or eliminate your triggers? What is a safety plan? What can you do to make your environment safer? This might seem easy, but sometimes people may need an outside perspective to help them make connections between their thoughts, behaviors and actions.
Grief and Loss
Sometimes, people just need to know what is normal for grief. Other times they may find themselves overwhelmed and need additional support. Shock, disbelief, anger, guilt, sadness, and despair are all normal emotions that you may experience while grieving. Some of the ways that grief can impact you is physically, mentally, emotionally and more. There is no timeframe for grief, but it can get less intense over time. If you find yourself struggling, we can work together on expressing your emotions and working through the pain of grief so you can find joy and meaning in life again.
Life Skills Coaching
Life skills include identifying your values and setting realistic goals, increasing your self compassion and self esteem, learning effective communication and problem solving skills, money management and conflict resolution skills, building social relationships in the community to reduce social isolation, and finding resources within the community. We will collaborate to identify and target what you would like to work on to take positive steps to improve your happiness and quality of life.
Family Members, Caregivers & More
Responsive Counseling offers individual therapy for any adult with a loved one who has experienced symptoms of a mental health condition. I have counseled parents and grandparents, siblings, adult children, significant others and friends who had an individual living with serious mental illness (SMI) in their lives. New and don’t know where to start? I can help improve your mental health knowledge, build effective coping skills, maintain healthy boundaries and relationships, and learn strategies to support yourself through this journey. Been involved in this world for awhile? I can provide a non-judgmental ear as someone who works with people with SMI experiencing a wide range of symptoms and severity. Also, I can help you manage stress and frustration to prevent or reduce caregiver burnout. In a perfect world there would be a “right” way to handle things, but in reality you can do everything right and still experience difficulty. It’s not anyone’s fault – mental illness is hard for everyone.
Adult children of a parent with SMI, whether you are currently involved or not involved in their lives, I see you and I am here for you. Mental illness impacts the whole family, but children can experience things that influences them as adults. Children impacted by mental illness can grow up to be resilient, very compassionate and caring, and skilled at problem solving; however, some find themselves struggling with trust, relationships, anxiety, low self-esteem, physical and mental health conditions, substance use and other difficulties. If this is you, I can provide a safe place for you to express your thoughts and feelings, and we can work together to address how these issues are currently impacting you.
“My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but to be better than I used to be.”