I offer individual therapy for a variety of concerns. Here are some of the issues people commonly bring to therapy. With a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and 15 years of experience in mental health, I am well qualified to treat even the most challenging conditions.
Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of unease and apprehension. It is a normal aspect of living but when it is experienced so often and so intensely that it negatively impacts work, relationships, and leisure and/or causes much distress, a person might meet criteria for an anxiety disorder. Anxiety involves bodily sensations (e.g., sweating, upset stomach, muscle tension, dry mouth), thoughts, and behavioural urges or actual behaviours (e.g., pacing, avoidance). Anxiety disorders include specific phobias (e.g., fear of flying, blood/needles, heights), social anxiety disorder (fear of embarrassment in social situations), panic disorder (fear of bodily sensations and having panic attacks), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (fearful thoughts, images, impulses often accompanied with compulsive ways to reduce the anxiety).
The hallmark symptoms of depression are persistent low mood and/or loss of interest. It also involves: feelings such as sadness, irritability, worthlessness, intense guilt; physical changes in sleep, appetite, and energy; and changes in thinking such as difficulties concentrating and remembering. Therapy often involves changing the unhelpful thinking and behavior patterns that keep the depression going.
Bipolar Disorder involves episodes of depression alternating with elevated mood called mania (involving multiple symptoms). Typically this condition is treated with medication. Therapy can help with coming to terms with the diagnosis, sticking with medication, dealing with triggers, maintaining strong relationships, managing mood, issues of disclosure, and developing a healthy lifestyle.
We need the right amount of stress in life. Too little, we become bored and unmotivated. Too much, we become overwhelmed and paralyzed. Therapy can help identify the different kinds of stressors in your life and the healthiest ways of coping with them. This often involves some combination of changing the situation, one’s interpretation, and/or one’s physical response.
Is your sexual behaviour hurting you and loved ones? Loss of control, compulsivity, failed efforts to stop, preoccupation, escalation, and continuing despite consequences are some indicators of addiction. As a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) candidate, I can help you determine whether your sexual behaviour is problematic and make meaningful changes.
Perfectionists engage in relentless and punishing striving for flawlessness and set excessively high and rigid standards of performance. This can lead to procrastination and falling into depression when they fail to meet their standards. Therapy can help you develop more reasonable, balanced, and flexible ways of thinking and new behaviours.
Grief is a natural reaction to loss. Though there are some similar stages people may go through when experiencing a loss, each person’s experience is uniquely their own. Therapy can provide a safe and supportive place to process the feelings and thoughts associated with the loss.
Many struggle with being too inward or too outward with anger. There are downsides of either suppressing and fearing anger or being aggressive. Therapy can help you understand this misunderstood emotion and use it more effectively.
Identity confusion. Coming out. Dealing with family-of-origin. Isolation. Developing and maintaining healthy and satisfying relationships. Shame and internalized homonegativity. Aging. These are some of the issues LGBTQ individuals bring to therapy. Therapy can be a safe haven to address such concerns.
There are many misconceptions about this term. Self-esteem is not about being perfectly confident all the time. Therapy can help you like yourself more, know and use your strengths, accept weaknesses and limitations, be more compassionate with yourself, and stand up to your “inner critic” (that critical voice inside).
What is your typical style of communication – Passive? Aggressive? Passive-aggressive? Assertive? Therapy can help you determine this, counter barriers, and develop more effective verbal and non-verbal interaction skills.
Lack of or poor sleep has many negative effects. Therapy, particularly a cognitive-behavioural approach, can help change sleep habits, correct misconceptions about sleep, improve the conditions necessary for a good sleep, and decrease associated anxiety about sleep.
Personality disorders are enduring and general maladaptive patterns of behavior, thinking, and inner experience that are inflexible and cause distress and/or impairment. Shorter-term therapy can help increase awareness, motivation for change, and expand coping skills. Longer-term therapy can lead to deeper change if someone is motivated.
The quality of our relationships has a major impact on our sense of well-being. Most of our learning about ourselves takes place via our relationships. Therapy can help identify and challenge unhelpful patterns in relationships. Some benefit from help with the beginning phase of relationships (e.g., meeting people). Others benefit from learning how to deepen relationships. Still others benefit from support and learning following the ending of a significant relationship.
How do you deal with your emotions? You can probably think of lots of ways that might work in the short term but ultimately lead to more trouble. The good news is that therapy can teach skills (lots of people just haven’t learned) for having emotions well rather than being had by emotions.
Many people feel lost in their lives, disconnected, like “going through the motions”. Therapy can help you discover or rediscover your key values and clarify your vision for a happy, purposeful, and rewarding life.