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Getting Started with Individual Psychotherapy

Individual psychotherapy involves working one-on-one with a registered psychologist in a confidential and supportive setting. Whether you are dealing with specific psychological or emotional difficulties or seeking assistance navigating life’s big questions, I provide both time-limited and longer-term individual psychotherapy. Appointments typically last 50 minutes, with follow-up appointments usually occurring weekly or biweekly. I offer expertise in a variety of clinical areas including, but not limited to, those listed below. 

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What is Depression?

Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a low mood lasts for a long time and interferes with everyday functioning, you may be encountering depression. Signs of depression can include feeling down or hopeless often or all the time or not enjoying activities that used to be exciting or pleasurable. In addition, other indicators can consist of feeling guilty, worthless or helpless, having trouble concentrating or making decisions, thinking negative thoughts about yourself or having thoughts about hurting yourself or ending your life. Physical symptoms can include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, energy level, sex drive, and experiencing aches, pains, headaches, or stomach problems that do not improve with time or medical treatment. If you are struggling with depression, reaching out to a psychologist can be a helpful step toward understanding and managing your symptoms and finding ways to improve your overall well-being.

What is Anxiety?

It is normal to have some feelings of anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous when confronting a problem or making an important decision. Anxiety can be beneficial within certain limits. For example, anxiety helps us recognize dangers and focuses our attention on ensuring we meet our goals. However, anxiety can go beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. When facing stressful situations that are perceived as highly complex or threatening, anxiety can interfere with your ability to function and control your reactions. In such cases, anxiety often takes the form of excessive worry, trouble relaxing, restlessness or feeling unable to sit still, becoming easily irritable or annoyed with others, or having an overwhelming sense that something awful might happen. It may be time to reach out for help if you often encounter intense worry that interferes with your daily activities or is challenging to control. 

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What is Trauma?

Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event or situation that breaks your sense of security. Traumatic experiences often involve a direct threat to life or safety. However, anything that leaves you feeling significantly overwhelmed or isolated can result in trauma. While it is not uncommon for people to deal with fear and anxiety during and immediately after a traumatic event, everyone’s emotional response is unique. Some people will naturally recover with time, while others may continue to experience trauma and stress-related symptoms that can include fear/panic, guilt, shame, avoidance, anger, racing thoughts, sleep disturbance, and physical symptoms. With the help of a psychologist, you can work towards reflecting on and processing trauma-related emotions, thoughts, and assumptions you have drawn about yourself and the world while also developing coping skills to adaptively move forward.

What is Cancer Support?

Cancer is not only a physical disease. It also has profound psychological and emotional impacts on those affected. Everything can change when someone is diagnosed. Oncology appointments marked on the calendar become an ongoing reminder of lifes uncertainty, family members can feel worried and emotionally neglected, tensions between spouses can escalate, and financial difficulties can intensify due to employment disruptions. It can be overwhelming to cope with a serious medical condition and all the worries that go with it, including trying to balance work, school, social obligations, and family life. As different parts of life are impacted, coping with cancer-related distress ranging from guilt, grief, anger, and sadness can be particularly taxing. Whether you are living with cancer yourself or caring for a loved one with cancer, psychological support can make a world of difference to help get you through this difficult time.

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What are Grief and Bereavement?

Grief and bereavement are natural responses to the loss of a loved one. They are challenging and painful processes that can take time to heal. More complicated grief and bereavement may lead to experiencing intense yearning or longing for loved ones, either daily or to a disabling degree, lasting months or even years after the loss. Other examples of more complicated grief include (1) feeling stunned, dazed, or shocked by the loss, (2) avoiding reminders of the reality of the loss, (3) having trouble accepting the loss, (4) having difficulty trusting others, (5) feeling bitterness or anger related to the loss, (6) experiencing difficulty moving forward with life, (7) experiencing confusion about one’s role in life or diminished sense of self, (8) feeling that life is unfulfilling, (9) feeling a sense of emptiness or meaninglessness since the loss, and (10) feeling numb or absence of emotion since the loss. It is essential to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with grief and bereavement and to seek support from family, friends, or a professional if needed.

What is Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem corresponds to how you view your value or self-worth, specifically how you view yourself. People with low self-esteem may tend to be very critical of themselves, have crushing self-doubt, have trouble accepting compliments from others, and have a generally negative view of their abilities. They do not easily recognize their admirable qualities, strengths, or competencies and tend to be overly sensitive to perceived rejection from others. This attitude can affect their confidence to assert themselves and their needs, contributing to increased isolation and limiting their initiatives to reach personal goals. If you struggle with low self-esteem, a psychologist can help you develop a more accurate and balanced self-image and enhance your ability to tolerate expressed or perceived judgment and rejection from others. 

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What is Men's Mental Health?

Men’s mental health is often overlooked despite the fact that it can be just as important as physical health. Men may feel pressure to conceal their emotions and persevere through difficult times. However, it is essential to recognize that seeking assistance when necessary is a sign of personal authority. While striving to live up to traditional male roles can, at times, take a toll on men’s mental health, the loss of these roles can also create a sense of detachment from purpose and significance. It is crucial for men to introspect and identify core values and interests while seeking the support of trusted confidants or qualified professionals when necessary. Taking care of one’s health is crucial for overall well-being and contentment, including prioritizing mental health. It is important to remember that it is okay not to be okay and that seeking help is a positive step towards achieving optimal health, both physical and psychological.

What are Existential Concerns?

Existential concerns are questions and issues related to the meaning and purpose of life, the human condition, and our place in the world. Many people grapple with these questions and issues at some point in their lives, and exploring them can lead to greater self-awareness and personal growth. The topics of death, identity, and personal responsibility often underlie existential concerns. Brief descriptions of these topics are provided below. 

 

Fear of Death and Dying

Death is an inevitable part of life that raises existential concerns for many people. The idea of our own mortality can be daunting and can lead to questions about the meaning and purpose of life. Some find comfort in religious or spiritual beliefs, while others seek to find meaning through personal experiences and relationships. Ultimately, reminders of the reality of death can call into question the assumptions we have previously made about life and prompt us to (re)consider what matters most to us. 

 

Identity

Identity is a fundamental aspect of human existence. It is the way we define ourselves and how others perceive us. The search for identity is a lifelong journey that requires exploration and commitment. It is a quest to understand who we are, what we stand for, and our life’s purpose. As we navigate the complexities of our existence, we are constantly challenged to define and redefine ourselves as persons of primary value.

 

Personal Responsibility

Personal responsibility is another crucial existential concern that is closely linked to freedom. The ability to respond to the consequences of our actions and decisions is essential for personal growth and harmony in relationships. Without adopting personal responsibility, we cannot fully exercise our freedom and risk harming ourselves and others. Personal responsibility requires us to reflect on our values, consider the impact of our choices, and take ownership of our mistakes. It is a challenging but rewarding aspect of human existence that contributes to our sense of purpose and dignity.

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“Therapy isnt curing somebody of something; it is a means of helping a person explore himself, his life, his consciousness.”

- Rollo May

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