Things keep coming apart – not together.
You strive to keep it together because so much is riding on you. Your family, spouse, community, career, house, friends, reputation, and pets depend on you – so you need to keep it together.
Life is busy, and you are working harder to keep up. Exercising more, doing affirmations, and meditating help you endure, but the amount of work keeps piling up, making you work longer hours.
Your To-Do List is a page-turner – doing more and more for others and putting up with it while pretending that it doesn’t matter. It’s hard to keep pretending to be stronger than you feel and that your needs don’t matter.
But honestly, you feel like crap – like something is dying. There’s a constant interior silent scream that no one hears, and nobody else knows because you are good at pretending you don’t feel awful.
But the truth is that if you don’t get help, you will go under, break down, and feel pulled into depths way above your head. You need to do something different or think or experience it differently. If you don’t, you will cease to function.
“I would suffer. I would want things to be different than they were.
The wanting was a wilderness and I had to find my own way out of the woods.”
– Cheryl Strayed, Wild
Individual psychotherapy offers the help you need.
Individual psychotherapy is about YOU in the ways that you need it to be.
Right now, you might not even know what you need, but that’s ok because I will figure it out with you.
Healing happens within the collaboration between you and me. Your therapy will not be like anyone else’s because it will be yours and not anyone else’s.
What happens in individual psychotherapy?
In the first appointment, I will do an intake assessment to understand the whole picture and your goals. I may also do a few warm-up exercises to help you understand some of the Acceptance and Integration protocols we will use in our later sessions.
At the beginning of every session, I will ask you what you want to work on, what is on your mind, what needs attention today, or some other question to help determine the focus of our session.
Sometimes, after I’ve gotten to know you, we pick up where we left off from the last session. But I always want to ensure that you agree with the focus of our work that day.
We focus on what you bring to the session.
Your role is to bring in your problems and pain and be willing to talk about them or even allow them to be there when we are together. If you don’t know how to do that, I will help you find the words or direct your attention to what it feels like to you. I want to help you overcome the symptoms that create internal conflicts in your life.
Unlike social situations where there is an expectation that a “happy face” be presented, in therapy, we will focus on the “ugly” and unwanted feelings because those are typically where the problems are. I work with it all; we will attend to the good feelings as they arise.
Part of your job is to be an honest reporter to me about your internal experience. I will guide you in the therapy sessions based on what you bring to the session. I will ask you questions and help you focus on what needs attention. Sometimes, you will need to talk and have someone hear you. Sometimes, I will need to ask many questions and engage in dialogue with you to understand your experience that day.
I advise you to keep a list of the things that bother you during the week in between sessions so that you have a ready list of issues to work on in each session. The items on the list can be things that come up in your day-to-day life, old memories and issues that are still painful, decisions you are struggling with, situations that bother you, or anything else you want to discuss in therapy.
Integration is part of the process.
Often, I will suggest integration work, which can feel intense and powerful, and it is. When we do integrative work, I will lead you through “protocols” that resemble mindfulness meditation with your eyes closed. Sometimes clients have their eyes closed throughout the entire session as we engage in the protocols.
During an integration, there is continuous talking, usually with me asking questions about your internal experience and directing your attention while you report to me what you are experiencing. There is also occasional silence, mainly when I help you focus on a peaceful or relaxing experience.
You sit on the couch in the office during in-person sessions, and I will sit in a chair opposite you. For more information on integration, see the What is AAIT? page.
Toward the end of a session…
I usually ask how you want to carry what you have learned into your life in the upcoming week. I do this because I want you not only to have a healing experience within the therapy sessions, but also to be able to take this healing with you into your life.
You will know what you want to do with what you gain from therapy. You will be able to accept yourself, others, and your experiences in life. You will also learn to love and accept yourself in all your darkness and light.
You will feel excited and engaged in life again. Let’s start the process by contacting me.