Psychotherapist - LPCC, BC-TMH (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Board Certified TeleMental Health Provider)
~Visit www.davepaynecounseling.com for more detailed info.~
Due to the recent global pandemic, you’ve probably found yourself stuck at home a lot more often. The good news is that quality, effective counseling can still take place using telehealth–live video sessions from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Studies have shown that telehealth can be just as effective as in-office therapy sessions.
While quarantine conditions may give you a chance to spend more time with family or to relax or get caught up on sleep (if you’re lucky), it also gives you a lot of time to worry. And there’s no lack of material to feed your anxiety right now, with every news station and pretty much every person talking about the Coronavirus. It might be helpful to talk with someone who understands anxiety. Talking about anxiety can help decrease it in many circumstances, although what’s even more helpful is to learn more about how anxiety works and how to more effectively cope with it when it arises. Even with life as unpredictable as it is right now, there are techniques you can learn to help you loosen anxiety’s grip.
Anxiety can take over people’s lives sometimes—or maybe even a lot of the time. I know what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression, so I truly understand many of the thoughts and feelings you may be having with those conditions, and I get how much of a struggle it can be a lot of the time. My first-hand experience with depression and anxiety also helps me take a realistic, down-to-earth approach to helping you learn coping techniques that you can actually use in your own daily life. I can offer real empathy for your situation, while also helping you challenge yourself a bit so that you can learn to vastly improve your quality of life.
I work heavily with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), meaning that I help clients learn about the connection between their own thoughts and their resulting feelings, and how that will usually guide the way they act. I teach most clients about common thinking errors to help them begin considering how their own thoughts may be sculpting their view of the world. I also help people learn simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. I try to give clients a gentle, realistic intro to meditation, since I know it can feel frustrating for many people. I encourage people to essentially question their own thinking (“Don’t believe everything you think”), particularly if that thinking is leading to unhappiness a lot of the time.
Maybe you have been considering couples counseling for a while now, but you aren’t sure what therapy sessions will be like and whether or not they’ll actually help. You want to learn to communicate better with your partner, but you don’t want you or your partner to feel unfairly blamed by the counselor.
I use a well-researched approach to couples therapy that is called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is structured in a way that keeps partners from feeling blamed or ganged-up on by the counselor and the other partner. Neither you nor your partner will feel blamed or singled-out, because we will not be focusing on figuring out who is “right” or “wrong” in the relationship. We will be looking at how YOUR thoughts, feelings, and actions make sense, and how YOUR PARTNER’S thoughts, feelings, and actions make sense as well.
If we look deeper at many arguments between partners, we discover that these arguments often start because one partner is feeling a lack of emotional connection, trust, or safety (emotionally) around the other partner. EFT helps partners learn about and address their underlying needs and fears in the relationship. As you and your partner feel more emotionally safe and connected, it will become easier to navigate the normal conflicts that arise in your relationship. With a new, deeper understanding of each other and of your typical patterns of interaction, both you and your partner will feel less defensive and more open to communicating clearly with each other. During your counseling sessions, you will both get the chance to actually practice new ways of communicating.
I have received advanced formal training in EFT, and I continue to pursue regular consultation and education in order to deliver the most effective couples therapy possible.
——ADDRESSING OUR DIFFERENCES USING AWARENESS & ACCEPTANCE——
As a counselor, I try to provide an open-minded atmosphere in which you can feel safe to express any beliefs or thoughts you may have, without worrying about being judged. For a long time in my counseling career I have taken a moderate, don’t-rock-the-boat approach to politics and social justice—trying not to make anyone upset while still trying to stay true to the more liberal ideals of acceptance and equality for all people. However, I now recognize that remaining silent about these issues—social equality and humane treatment of people—is like condoning inequality and taking the side of the oppressor. I am currently finding ways to become more vocal and active in speaking out against hate and inequality, and I enjoy meeting open-minded people.
While I live my own life from a secular perspective, in counseling sessions I try to meet people wherever they’re at regarding spirituality andor religion. I am comfortable discussing the role that spiritual beliefs play in a person’s life, but I will not “push” that topic or any particular beliefs or practices. Therefore, I generally do not inquire about a person’s spiritual or religious beliefs unless they initiate that conversation.