I use the term counseling when I'm helping someone function better in a specific role. When I think about counseling parents, I believe it's not my place to tell parents how to raise their children. However, I want to provide a way for parents to feel effective and encouraged. Currently, parents have limited options for targeted growth and development. When you have a high-need child, it can feel like you've been dropped in the middle of a wilderness expedition with limited supplies. If this happened to your child, what would you want them to do? Would you leave them alone to improvise and endure the harsh conditions?
I understand the complexities and challenges of parenting a high-need child. Each family is unique, but one thing remains the same: in order to parent well, you need information and support at the right time. I rarely hear anyone say this, but parents are human beings too! That means you have your own preferences, capabilities, and struggles. On top of all that, you must find a way to evolve and adapt to your children's needs. Counseling can be an opportunity to look at your learning history and parenting experience. It's an opportunity to explore ways to express your values and talents in your day-to-day life.
Based on your needs and objectives, I will guide you through the process of applying new knowledge, skills, and perspectives. I bring relevant expertise and experience our work together: my clinical background, personal experience, and community involvement at the school, district, and state level. I have been a presenter, parent group facilitator, and coordinator of a program that offered over 60 hours of free parent education by local and national experts. My passion is to empower parents to live confidently and love deeply.
My style of psychotherapy is mostly talk therapy. Talk therapy is a specialized conversation with a professional who listens very deeply to you, asks exploratory questions, and guides you to find ways to think and act differently. I may use experiential exercises like deep breathing and prompting you to notice your emotions. I develop customized homework assignments to make sure you have opportunities to apply the benefits of therapy to your day-to-day life.
The primary therapy I use is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It’s based on the idea that you can acknowledge your situation and take action toward the life that you want, based on your values and beliefs. In therapy, we focus mainly on you and your life right now. This allows us to look at the past, present, and future with a clear focus and perspective.
I also use concepts and techniques from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is a therapy that is well-known for building four types of skills: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The term mindfulness has grown in popularity. I use the term mindfulness in a clinical way, as a set of skills and behaviors. Practicing mindfulness increases your ability to observe what's happening in the present moment, without getting tangled up in unwanted thoughts, feelings, emotions, urges, and sensations. Being mindful helps you see things as they are, not as you wish they were, or wish they weren't. A good way to describe mindfulness is that it's the opposite of mindlessness. I take great care to explore whether using mindfulness techniques aligns with your personal and spiritual beliefs.