There are many ways to approach addiction. I view addiction as a way of coping with unrest inside. Our inability to find other coping mechanisms to deal with our immediate need led us down this tenuous path that ultimately fails to sustain our delicate balance.
Addiction is about immediate gratification or relief – We feel uneasy, anxious, depressed lonely, whatever the feeling is. When we don’t know how to deal with these painful feelings on our own we look outside of ourselves to find relief.
I believe addiction is a symptom of something deeper inside that is needing attention.When the focus is not specifically on the substance or even the substance use, but on the full individual, treatment can help nurture and support a sense of self as a more capable competent individual able to cope with the challenges and everyday suffering that life presents us. Ultimately this results in a more balanced life, where we can experience both joy and pain without risk of losing our “center.”
Adolescence is a tricky time of our lives. Separating from our parents, finding our place in our social group, trying out different ideas and beliefs in an effort to consolidate our identity. Teens are trying to figure out who they are and as this happens parents are distanced and tend to feel much more out of control. This may be mirrored in our adolescents as well, often unconsciously, as we observe them testing limits, experimenting with ideas, dress, behavior, and substances. Having a safe space to explore these new ideas and experiences with a trusted other who is not our parent can help adolescents to make better, more informed and conscious choices on their road to self discovery.
Anxiety and panic are very common experiences. They can be episodic, triggered by circumstantial stressors or more persistent and disabling, free floating for some. At times of increased anxiety in our lives it can be helpful to engage in a therapeutic exploration of the basis of our fears. With a safe and supportive therapeutic relationship one can find the courage to look more directly at their fears, evaluating them with greater rationality, understanding the distortions in our locked down, limited perspective of our “survival mode.” I believe that it is possible to modify these typically avoided pieces of ourselves, freeing us to act and feel in new and healthy ways.
We all get sad and blue sometimes, but Depression is different, It can feel timeless and endless. It can make you feel hopeless, empty, angry, irritable, anxious, despondent and even suicidal. It can affect your appetite and sleep patterns and the way you feel about yourself. It can affect your relationships with your loved ones, family friends and co- workers.
Those who have never suffered from depression might feel frustrated with your low mood and lack of enthusiasm, but depression is not a state of mind that you can snap out of.
The writer William Styron described his depression as:
“All capacity for pleasure disappears, and despair maintains a merciless daily drumming.”
When the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness persist and you just don’t know what to do, finding a therapist can help us to have a place where we can begin to look inside and try to understand what is going on.
Attachment research has shown that there is one thing each of us can do to become a better parent, and that is to look deeper into ourselves. Every parent can benefit their children by learning and practicing self-understanding. In order to do this, parents must be willing to make sense of their own history. It can be helpful to look at our own developmental experiences to better understand ones specific struggles in relation to their children.
How do current stressful situations with my children trigger emotions from my past? How can I learn to break these harmful patterns and become better parents to my children?
Parenting decisions can be a point of contention in ones relationship. It is helpful to understand our strong feelings that are often evoked in this new and challenging role.
In the first days and weeks after childbirth, a new mother goes through a variety of emotions. You may feel many wonderful feelings including awe, joy and bliss. But, you may also experience difficult feelings, including sadness. Sad feelings and crying bouts that follow childbirth are known as the “baby blues.” The baby blues are common and tend to decrease within a week or two. This type of sadness is often attributed to the dramatic hormonal changes that follow childbirth.
Around one in seven women will experience something more extreme than the typical baby blues. Women that give birth and struggle with sadness, anxiety or worry for several weeks or more may have postpartum depression (PPD). While the baby blues tend to pass quickly, PPD can be long-lasting and severely affect a mother’s bond with her infant, as well as her ability to get through her new, challenging daily routine.
Many couples come to me when the attempts they have made to be understood by each other have failed. Most of us are communicating with the skills we learned as children or in our past relationships. We are often unaware of our preconscious “rules of engagement” for approaching intimate partnerships. This can restrict the way we relate with our partners and can lead to conflict, misunderstandings, feelings of anger, resentment and distance.
I help couples discover and express their internal motives and desires more clearly, increasing their empathic connection and resolving conflicts with their partners.