Psychotherapy with Pat
What is psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy, commonly referred to as therapy or counseling, is a process designed to help you identify new ways of thinking and behaving to enhance your quality of life and resolve or mitigate self-defeating behaviors, beliefs or emotions. Through developing a trusting relationship we can explore the roots of issues which are interfering with your inner peace and intimate relationships.
Can counseling really help me?
Yes! It is possible to feel better. It is possible to put your past behind you, embrace each day as it unfolds and continue your journey unencumbered. I want to help you get there.
It is no surprise that many of us are suffering from chronic stress, depression, anxiety, substance use problems, OCD, PTSD, or trauma and don’t even know it. We’re so busy with demands we place on ourselves to even realize how serious our issues and barriers to happiness have become.
We try to be perfect partners, amazing parents and accomplished professionals. We fill our days with unrealistic expectations and berate ourselves for not meeting them. Most of us don’t even think about self care and if we do there is no time for it. This leads to a cycle of our feeling we are not good enough in any area of our life. Ultimately we are exhausted, unhappy and can’t see the path ahead.
My Approach to Therapy in Metaphor
I often work in metaphor. It makes new and difficult concepts easier to grasp. Understanding who we are and why we experience the world the way we do, is challenging.
I hope the following gives you some insight into how I think and work.
Our journey begins before we are even born. We are subject to the feelings, behavior and environment of our mother. In our earliest years we learn what feelings look, sound and feel like. Even before we have language we are taking in the world around us. We are experiencing love, affection, anger, acceptance and rejection.
Our life journey has begun.
As we progress we will trip, stumble and even fall over obstacles in our path. Some will be of our own making. Some will not. Either way we will have injuries. How we cope with these falls and obstacles makes us who we are. As we travel we sometimes carry the stones and branches that have blocked our path with us. When our burdens become too heavy or the path forward is blocked and unclear we need to find a cairn.
cairns are the balancing stones which mark the route across rough ground
Together we can uncover
the cairn to identify the path forward through
the rocky terrain. We will look back on the path
you have traveled and examine all that
you are carrying on your journey. Some of it
you can leave behind. Some things you will
want to carry forward. We may need to
repack them so they don’t interfere
with your forward movement.
Best of all we will find all that you have brought with you that helps you travel. We will repair them if needed, shine them up and appreciate them. You will learn how to use them more effectively to remove or avoid future barriers. From now on you’ll know to search for a cairn when your path is unclear. You know that they are not a mere pile of rocks
but a marker for your path over rough terrain.
My Personal Passion:
Supporting Parents of Children with Special Needs
As the proud parent of a young man with special needs, I am passionate about supporting this under-served population.
Of course you’ll always put your child first, but what about you? What do you do when you run out of steam… when you just don’t know how to take much more. I can help you manage your feelings, assuage some of the fear and find the sweet spots of raising your child that sometimes elude you.
From first diagnosis to launching your child into adulthood, having an exceptional child brings unique challenges and complex, ambivalent feelings. Often parents struggle with unimaginable levels of stress, loneliness, grief, guilt and fear. The process is a perpetual host of issues that require ongoing, complex life management for you and your child.
When you feel better your child gets more of the attention, love and support they need to enhance the special life they’ve been given. You will both begin to experience more love and joy in each other and in your lives!
Have you or someone you love ever received a mental health diagnosis?
You should know, I’m not a fan of diagnoses or labels.
They are necessary in some circumstances. They can be helpful as shorthand both professionally and in society. However, they are either too loose or too rigid, often overlapping and fairly inaccurate. They don’t capture the complexity – the mix of challenges and strengths that you make up who you are.
The DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the tool mental health professionals use to diagnose mental disorders. The current version is the DSM 5.
To learn about the conditions I work with most often and my specializations, click here: My Approach to Diagnosis.