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Anger is an unhealthy negative emotion that universally impacts us. While the many faces of anger may surprise you, one aspect is abundantly clear: when anger is not effectively managed, it can result in permanent damage to your interpersonal relationships, your career, your ability to function day-to-day, and even your physical health. Most people have experienced anger at some point, as well as engaged in angry behaviors, such as yelling, physical altercations, or unhelpfully avoiding an important event, simply because they are afraid that it will trigger their anger.
Through rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), I can help you to understand the relationship between your beliefs, your unhealthy angry emotions, and your unhelpful angry behaviors. Together, we will also examine the root of your anger to better understand any additional unhealthy negative emotions that your anger may be correlated with such as anxiety, depression, hurt, jealousy, envy, embarrassment, guilt, and shame. I will facilitate you with accepting yourself as a fallible human being, teach you specific strategies to help you learn to remain calm when you begin to feel angry, as well as help you to identify, challenge, and change your thoughts BEFORE they result in full-blown anger.
Anger exists on a spectrum, and together we can help you to transition your unhealthy anger into much healthier annoyance and frustration. The person who is most negatively impacted and punished by your anger is YOU. I can help you learn how to control your anger before it controls you and your life!
Anxiety never changes an outcome nor does it give you more control over your future. Anxiety does not resolve the challenges that await you, rather it robs you of your peace in the present. In order to treat anxiety, I will help you to understand the relationship between your anxiety and your beliefs. By identifying, disputing, and replacing specific beliefs pertaining to your anxiety with effective new beliefs, we can transform your unhealthy anxiety into healthier alternative emotions, which will psychologically release you from your anxious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
When we speak about anxiety, we may also be referring to more specified types of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, such as (but not limited to) agoraphobia, generalized anxiety, health anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks, as well as panic disorder, social anxiety, and specific phobias. Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is particularly effective in managing the intensity, frequency, and duration of all anxiety disorders, because unlike other forms of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that solely focus on behavioral change and assessing the reality of our perceived threats, REBT actively and directly targets core beliefs and attitudes that are responsible for developing and sustaining anxiety. Therefore, instead of directing our initial attention towards identifying cognitive distortions and offering short-term reassurance, REBT encourages us to temporarily assume that your most distressing and feared event will indeed occur, and with your trained REBT-counselor by your side, helps you to imagine how you can and will cope with such profound adversity, if ever your worst-case scenario does or has come to pass.
Using compassionate, solution--focused, goal-oriented rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), as well as techniques rooted in classic cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), I can show you how and why anxiety is an unhealthy and unhelpful emotion, and that you are capable of learning both to sit with it, channel it into something creative and constructive, and ultimately conquer it!
Chronic Pain & Illness
For those battling any chronic pain and illness, the psychological and emotional symptoms can sometimes be more debilitating than the physical discomfort itself. As we explore your personal experience with chronic pain and illness, I will help you to examine the relationship between how you think about your pain and illness, and how you feel and behave as a consequence of your thinking.
While chronic pain and illness may feel entirely outside of your control, there is an insurmountable amount of power within your perspective. Through my solution-focused and goal-oriented approach to counseling, we can help you to set realistic goals regarding your physical and emotional discomfort, and together we can aspire to improve your quality of life by targeting the cognitive, emotive, and behavioral aspects that are within our control.
Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can be incredibly beneficial in providing support, offering excellent coping skills, and facilitating you with reframing the way you think about your chronic pain and illness to help you find purpose in your pain.
I facilitate couples with learning that every individual is responsible for your own emotional and behavioral reactions in life; consequently, it is helpful to avoid blaming one another for the way that each of you feel and behave within your relationship. I also encourage finding an emotional solution prior to a practical one. This means that before we try to practically resolve a problem, we focus on evaluating the way each partner more broadly thinks about problems, which helps us to uncover any underlying unhealthy belief patterns, as well as puts both partners in a stronger position to effectively and respectfully cope with and address future conflict.
Additionally, I can help each individual to think more rationally about your partner, your relationship, and your perspective on love. In other words, to truly understand the reality of love, it is helpful to surrender your rigid demands and unrealistic expectations about love; this creates an excellent foundation for fostering growth, healing, and change in our relationships.
Furthermore, I will encourage each person to recognize, resolve, and replace your own irrational beliefs about unmet desires, because the most efficient way to facilitate change in your partner is to firstly work towards changing yourself.
Grief can be physically and emotionally debilitating and to experience highly intense feelings of sadness, concern, and remorse is part of a healthy grief and bereavement process. One could even argue that anxiety and depression, which are considered to be unhealthy emotions in most circumstances, are still part of a normative pattern of grief; however, just because something is normal, does not mean it is helpful for you.
In grief counseling, it is important to convey respect for my clients’ beliefs about your loss, and also validate your emotional state, while compassionately and softly bringing to awareness how the intensity of your current feelings and behaviors is or is not helping you to effectively function within your new normal as you attempt to simultaneously live and grieve.
I help you to discover that, even in the face of adversity and tragedy, you still have choices, and together we can transform your prolonged and complicated grief into healthier sadness and mourning, while learning how to redefine life after loss, as well as how to honor the legacy of your loved one throughout each day. I want my clients to truly understand that when your pain and grief become too burdensome to carry alone, I am here to carry it with you.
Life transitions are about learning to acknowledge adversities that are outside of your control, adjusting to new life stages, surrendering expectations and demands for how you think things must, should, ought, have, and need to be, and ultimately accepting reality. Acceptance does not equate to approval; rather, it is about adopting a healthy perspective regarding the new chapter of your life that you are entering, which will help both of us to set realistic therapeutic goals as we work together.
Life transitions encompass a wide array of situations, and the challenges that I most often work with are aging, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, divorce, grief, financial difficulties, illness, infertility, infidelity, job loss, LGBTQ-related concerns, marriage and relationship issues, pregnancy, and situational stress. In spite of the world’s uncertainties, the one aspect of your life you can be certain of is that you possess the power to choose your attitude in the face of adversity.
When you cannot change your physical circumstances, REBT helps you to change yourself by adapting to your situation, learning to effectively use highly efficient coping skills, and ultimately transforming your perspective. This may be challenging and frustrating at first, but once change is truly achieved, it can result in a deep and profound shift of your philosophical worldview, leading to a much more rational, mindful, and psychologically enlightened life!
One of the most powerful decisions we can make is to unconditionally accept ourselves. Unconditional self-acceptance is more powerful than self-esteem, because self-esteem is conditional. We are taught to develop high self-esteem because we do something that, by most accounts, is globally rated as “good”; however, we can strive to practice unconditional self-acceptance at all times, especially when we have acted poorly or made a mistake. This concept does not advocate for condoning or ignoring bad behavior; rather, it cultivates an attitude of unconditional acceptance towards our entire self: a belief which acknowledges the reality that we are all fallible human beings who will often behave in imperfect ways, and in spite of this, we still possess profound personal value and worth.
Through practicing unconditional self-acceptance, we will alleviate a tremendous amount of our psychological and emotional distress and disturbance, as well as persistent unhelpful feelings of anxiety, depression, hurt, guilt, shame, embarrassment, jealousy, envy, and anger.
By understanding how to unconditionally accept ourselves, we also develop more empathy for others, as well as for the adversities that exist within our imperfect world, helping us to experience less judgement, more forgiveness, and a deeper comprehension of human stories and struggles that are both similar and dissimilar to our own.
Many people find themselves seeking direction in their lives in various ways from figuring out what you want to study in college, to considering a career change, and searching for a new job. Another way of looking for self-direction is examining dating and relationship patterns that you wish to change, deciding what your overarching goals are for the future, or searching for deeper meaning and purpose in a world that is filled with an abundance of adversities and uncertainties.
While there are no magic solutions for all of the inevitable challenges that will arise in our lifetime, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) can provide you with powerful ideas and strategies for helping you to change the way that you think about metaphysical concepts such as uncertainty, purpose, and self-direction. During our work together, we will address a number of emotionally distressing concerns, such as overcoming your past and unfortunate traumas, as well as self-induced emotional upset as a consequence of your cognitive patterns. We will examine areas of your life pertaining to need for approval, fear of failure, self-blame, self-discipline, and accepting and coping with that which you cannot change.
Together, I will help you to develop a powerful philosophy for living that will empower you by learning (and truly believing) that you control your emotional destiny; therefore, you have the power to rewrite your personal history. It is never too late to CHOOSE your direction, and as your counselor, it will be a privilege to accompany you on your journey to emotional wellness!