Adults, Young Adults & Adolescents
I work with people ages (age 14-70) covering a vast range of issues including:
- Academic Under-achievement
- Alcohol Use/Abuse/Dependence
- Behavioral Concerns
- Bipolar Disorder/Management of Bipolar Disorder
- Coping Skills
- Crisis Intervention
- Dual Disorders
- Family Conflict
- Marital Concerns
- Oppositional Defiance
- Partner Relationships
- Peer Relationships
- Self Esteem
- Substance Use/Abuse/Dependency
- Suicide/Suicidal Thoughts
- Thinking Problems
- Trauma Recovery
…And I’m pretty good at it! Mood Disorders present several challenges from severity to co-occurring mental health issues. There’s a lot to learn in this arena.
Depression can be challenging in its complexity. The number one risk of depression is suicide. So that also factors into my day-to-day approach to working with this diagnosis. Clients with suicidal thoughts and/or intentions require a higher level of specialized focus to ensure safety and alleviate the root cause that is driving the thoughts.
Anxiety presents different challenges as it’s persistent, evasive and evolving. Coping tools and strategies become a very helpful approach to managing this issue.
Bipolar Disorder is a unique diagnosis as it varies considerably from person to person. Some people cycle rapidly, while others rarely. Some live in a manic phase and seldom become depressed. Others can barely function, stuck in a depressive phase that keeps them from motivating to make the necessary changes in their lives to feel better.
No matter your particular mood disorder, I will:
- Help manage the symptoms of your mood disorder
- Coordinate care with your psychiatrist, or refer you to one I trust to provide you with solid medication management
- Provide you with emotional support and resources for crisis management
- Teach you how to improve your life while living with the complex issues that mood disorders present
I believe that mood disorders are mostly about behavioral change, consistency and follow-up. We will figure out what works for you, pair it with certain approaches and implement a treatment plan that makes sense!
Adolescents & Young Adults
… growing and maturing, figuring out who they are, what they want, trying to make sense of everything while grappling with education and career choices, discovering relationships, and launching into the world – It’s a LOT! My undergrad in Child Psychology – Adolescents helps me traverse this territory … along with an abundance of work experience with this age group. My success rate with teens and young adults is over 98%!
Some of the challenges that teens and young adults bring to therapy include:
- Behaviors that interfere with home and school environments
- Substance use/abuse issues
- Over-achievement in school focusing on high expectations and perfectionism
- Under-achievement in school focusing on mood disorders and ADHD
- Home environment issues with family substance abuse, blended families and the on-going concerns over online learning (K-12 and college) due to Covid-19
- Traversing the complex relationships with family, friend and peers
- Questions about sexuality and romantic relationships
- Sexual orientation – who you are attracted to
- Gender identity – who you see yourself as
- Needing emotional support to sort out the many challenges of growing up, making good decisions and transitioning into adulthood
- The complex, difficult and ever-changing world that we live in and how that impacts a young person’s life journey
Substance Use/Abuse - Reframing Alcohol
… and it’s often not easy to treat. But there is a path that is right for you to manage your concerns. Your journey is unique to you – your history, family, feelings, and needs. So, focusing on you is vital part of us figuring out your personal therapeutic process.
Substance use has become this very complex and ever-evolving topic in our society. Now that Illinois has legalized marijuana, there are many concerns about the impact it has on individuals who choose to partake on a more frequent basis. Those concerns range from psychological, legal, financial, personal health, physical development and addiction-related issues. I work to help clients sort out the risks and make informed choices about their personal use. Although marijuana is illegal for minority teens, those 18 and older can choose their involvement. With an overabundance of online propaganda, sometimes sorting it out isn’t that easy. I work to help clear up the confusion and offer alternatives for what is oftentimes a need to escape and cope for these young adults.
I am particularly interested in working with clients who have concerns about their alcohol use. Whether you are wondering if you drink too much, or you know you have an addiction to alcohol, I will help you traverse this difficult process. I will teach you a new way of looking at your use. And together we will design a new alcohol relationship for you – something you can live with for an entire lifetime!
Understanding and Working with Alcohol Abuse is Rewarding
- Working with Adults & Teens who Abuse Alcohol
- Aiding Clients in Working Through the Family Consequences of Alcoholism Including Co-Dependency and ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) Concerns
- Providing Strategies and Coping Tools to Manage Long-Term Sobriety and Recovery Efforts
- Educating Clients About Alcohol Abuse and Sober Living Options for a Healthy Lifestyle
Gottman Couples Counseling
…over 40 years of research conducted by John and Julie Gottman. Their research is so profoundly compelling that John can have a 5-minute conversation with a couple and be able to tell them with over 90% accuracy whether or not their relationship will last! That’s astounding! And it’s because he’s identified the characteristics that exist in our marriages that either undermine our relationships or enable us to mend and heal.
John Gottman was recognized in 2007 as one of the 10 most influential therapists of the past quarter century! His New York Times best-selling book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” is a result of his research. And it provides a map to our work in therapy.
I’m Trained in Gottman Theory for Couples Counseling.
- Identifying Both Areas of Strength & Concern in a Couple’s Relationship
- Teaching Couples the Foundations of What Good Relationships Are Built On
- Helping Couples Understand the Origin of Their Conflicts and How to Manage These Concerns
- Healing Couple Relationships Through In-Therapy Exercises and Assigned Homework
Using the tools and teachings of Gottman Theory and an online Relationship Survey, I work with clients to repair what’s wrong in their relationships by using what’s right. I also teach couples about what Gottman calls “The Four Horsemen” who live in our marriages. According to Gottman, it’s not just how couples fight that matters, but how they made up. Marriages stabilize over time if couples learn to successfully reconcile after a fight.
I’m not a band-wagoner; I don’t believe that one approach holds the keys to success. But using Gottman’s principles and research in conjunction with some family systems therapy, plus my 25-plus years of experience, we can affect some profound changes that can help put your relationship on the road to recovery!