I make use of a variety of methods, skills, and techniques as I work with clients and these often differ based on what challenges each client has in their life. Some clients need more work around practical skills, some more with confronting flawed thoughts and assumptions, and others need to just talk about difficult times in life.
While those needs may vary, there are three core beliefs upon which I base all of my clinical practice.
You’re a person, not a problem.
I’ve seen so many people who let themselves be defined by the problem they are facing and forget who they are. I help my client to remember themselves as they deal with their struggles, to remember what is good about them and to remember what it is they want in their life. When you remember how much there is to you and how strong you are, suddenly your problems aren’t as overwhelming. It’s my job to help you remember you!
It isn’t emotions that are good or bad but rather what we choose to do with them.
We are emotional beings (yes, even us men). When we try to deny that about ourselves, try to ignore them or brush them off, we end up betraying a part of who we are. I encourage my clients to accept their feelings and to let themselves experience them. Even more importantly though, I help them to see the consequences, good or bad, of how they choose to act in response to those feelings. I gently confront and encourage my clients as they develop this emotional maturity and insight that is so crucial to healthy living.
Healing happens in the context of relationships.
While people have all sorts of responses to being hurt, betrayed, or embarrassed, the action when we are seeking to heal is almost universal: we reach out. We reach out in the hope that another will be there to offer what we need. In my office, I stand with them as we face their challenges, encouraging them in difficult moments, and helping them to laugh when things are too heavy. I provide my clients a safe place to reach out to another person so that they can feel heard, be understood by another person, and know that they aren’t alone in their weak or painful moments.