The Counseling Process

counseling-topsham-brunswick-therapy officePeople initiate counseling for many reasons. They seek help at times for an acute life crisis, or may wish to address long-term issues, such as anxiety, low self-esteem, and relationship difficulties. In the first few sessions, I work collaboratively with clients to define the issues and identify goals for treatment. From there, we work to develop a treatment plan. I take a flexible approach, incorporating strategies from a range of therapeutic models depending on the client’s needs. My practice is strongly rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy, which entails actively working on changing one’s thinking patterns and behaviors; I also draw heavily upon the strategies of therapeutic mindfulness, in which we practice bringing a non-judgmental, compassionate awareness to thoughts and feelings.

I place a strong emphasis on building skills that can be used again and again in challenging situations.

I fundamentally believe that joy, love, grief, fear, anger, and jealousy are all natural aspects of the human experience. Many of our problems develop when we try to deny, suppress, or somehow reject these natural feelings. So often, people condemn themselves for being in pain, adding insult to injury. I try to create an atmosphere in which clients can begin to allow these feelings to be, without necessarily acting on them or getting too identified with them. Learning to support oneself — and connect with others — through difficult feelings and situations can be a major positive outcome of the counseling process.