Start On A New Path
There are many reasons that my clients decide to begin therapy. For some, they are coming back to therapy after years of doing well. Others, this might be the first time they have ever called a mental health professional. Either way, you have taken the first step on a new path!
Anxiety & Stress
Anxiety can be emotional feelings as well as feelings in your body. Unexplained tension in your muscles, clenching your jaw, and making fists, this can be a sign of anxiety. Anxiety is more than just worrying. Often, people who are anxious cannot find a cause for it, they are not worrying about anything in particular they just have the sense that something bad is about to happen.
Anxiety can also be specific, like fear of talking to people you don’t know or being in situations you can’t control. It might be hyper-focus on grades or work performance. If anxiety is taking over your daily life, there are techniques you can learn to control it.
Some people would like to go to couple’s counseling but their partner is uninterested. It might also be that you need to make a decision about the relationship that you would prefer to do without your significant other in the room. My clients come to me for things like trying to figure out if they want to continue a relationship or a suspicion that the relationship might be unhealthy. Often, they are not sure what they want and need a safe place to figure it out.
Regardless of what it is that is bothering you about your relationship, therapy is a great place to sort it out. I do not tell people what to do, I help them figure out what is best for them, regardless of my own opinion!
Low Self-Esteem and Codependency
Do you have trouble saying “no” and feel guilty when you do? Have you found that you accept behavior from family that your friends say is not acceptable? Do struggle with feelings like unworthiness or feel unattractive even though people tell you are attractive? Are you avoiding taking chances because you fear failure or rejection? Do you feel like you put all your time and energy into your relationships but get nothing back?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions you might be struggling with low self-esteem and/or codependency. I can help you figure out where you want your boundaries to be and how to start putting yourself first. I can teach you how to combat your negative self talk that fuels feelings of never being good enough.
Emotional Sensitivity and Fear of Abandonment
See if this sounds familiar: Your friends and romantic partners tell you that you are “too sensitive” all of the time. You “overreact” at small things. You tend to care more about things that those around you and it’s hard to figure out why. Your feelings are “bigger” than most other people you know, when you are happy you are very happy but when you are low it feels like you will never survive it.
If your significant other doesn’t text you back quickly or seems to be unavailable you panic. First you are scared and then you are angry. You get more and more angry the longer they go without getting back to you. Sometimes you might break up with them but then try to get back together quickly after because you regret the breakup. The people you date say you are too jealous or controlling. Occasionally you might text the people that say they care about you to see if they are telling the truth.
You do not have to live with extreme mood swings. DBT is a form of therapy that teaches skills to help you regulate your emotions. You will also learn how to communicate better with the people you care about that just don’t seem to understand you. Learn more about DBT.
Grief and Loss
Grief is a reaction to any significant loss. While we associate grief with death, there are many losses besides death that you might be grieving. The loss of a job, the end of a marriage, a move to another city, even life transitions like retirement or kids moving out can cause grief. If you find you are having trouble moving on from a loss, I can help you process and begin to heal.
Childhood Emotional Neglect
Neglect is not the same as abuse. Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN) occurs when the adults in a child’s life fail to meet their emotional needs. This is often unintentional due to a parent’s physical or mental illness, or a sibling who has special needs. Childhood emotional neglect can lead to a feeling of emptiness, inability to say “no”, and difficulty identifying what you are feeling – even denying you have feelings! It is possible you feel guilty for having needs and you may not trust other people. “If you want something done right, do it yourself” is the mantra of many a person with CEN. To learn more about CEN read my blog post about it.
Emotional and psychological abuse can sometimes be hard to see because it is not as overt as physical abuse. The old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is wrong. Words hurt. Studies have shown that wounds heal more slowly if a person is living in an environment where they are subjected to emotional abuse! Whether it’s name calling, belittling, gaslighting, tearing you down, manipulation, these can be just as damaging as if the person hit you. Your sense of self is shaken when you are emotionally abused and I can help you rebuild your confidence in yourself.
You may not realize that having a chronic physical illness impacts your mental health. We cannot separate our physical and mental health. A chronic illness might cause symptoms of depression and anxiety but it is more complicated than depression or anxiety by themselves. There is a grief process that comes from accepting your body may not be able to do what you want it to do, or that your health may keep you from doing things you used to be able to do.