Specializing in Grief, Addiction Recovery, and Spirituality Issues
Grief work is my passion. Seeing people learn to live with a variety of types of losses in a healthy way is fulfilling because people learn to walk in freedom and fullness of life. There are multiple losses within life and loss is something that is unavoidable for everyone. Learning types of loss, working through identifying losses within your lifetime, and then doing specific exercises to gain recovery from loss are what I have to offer to clients. Grief work is tailored to the individual's needs. Group work is available at times for processing loss within a healthy, cohort of grievers with similar loss issues. My favorite quote regarding doing grief work is "Real courage is owning up to the fact we face a terrifying task, admitting we are appropriately frightened, identifying sources of strength and help both outside and within ourselves, and then going ahead and doing what needs to be done." I believe that grief work is to be done with someone and I will talk with my clients through each step of the process, sharing specific examples and being alongside throughout the entire journey.
I am also available to conduct weekend intensives, lectures, conferences, or workshops on grief issues and grief recovery. I can be contacted regarding availability and fees for these services.
Addiction Recovery is possible first and foremost. I believe in the disease concept of addiction. I also believe in a community based, spiritual program for recovering individuals. Accurate evaluation of the extent of someone's substance use and what form of treatment is needed is essential in arresting further development in the disease process.
If a person is unsure of what their relationship is with a substance, I will be glad to assist in evaluating that relationship to determine the appropriate level of care for treatment based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) placement criteria and diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V). Since I have had over a decade of experience at the residential level of care, I am familiar with the admissions process of local treatment centers in case detoxification and stabilization are needed for clients. Many people with a substance addiction will need residential treatment prior to participating in individual therapy and I will be glad to assist in referring and then completing follow up care after this residential treatment has been completed. If residential treatment is not warranted, intensive outpatient treatment and/or continued individual counseling may be needed to address the client's relationship with substances. Levels of care and treatment needs will be determine and discussed thoroughly with the client.
I do come from a background of 12-step recovery. I do not believe it is the only way to remain sober but I do believe it meets the needs of individuals to have a spiritual connection with self, others, and a Higher Power. I am supportive of treatment programs of various types and recovery programs of various types because there is not a one-size-fits all answer with the disease of addiction. Relapse prevention work is critical, especially in the first year of sobriety, and this work can be done on an individual basis or in a group setting. I have extensive experience in working with health professionals and their various licensure and monitoring bodies. This is something that is needed for many health professionals in order to retain advocacy for licensure and I am willing to provide assistance for clients in doing this.
Spirituality is the core of life. We are communal in nature and learning how to connect to one's self, others, and God are issues I believe are essential to being whole and healthy. Spirituality takes many forms for people. Religion and spirituality are not the same, but can be related as religion can be a pathway for someone's spiritual connectivity and continued growth.
Many people experience a spiritual crisis or dilemma as their life progresses and identity, people, or events do not fit the mold of their spiritual background or faith walk. There are several different factors that can impact one's spiritual progress. Therapy is helpful in being able to reconnect with self, others, and a Higher Power. Seeing individual worth is critical to a healthy spiritual outlook and to cultivating hope. Restore Counseling Services is birthed out of a spiritual desire for all to see hope manifested in daily life through application of simple spiritual principles. These can be learned (or re-learned) in the therapeutic process.
As with spirituality, relationships are the foundation of how we function within the world. Learning how to communicate effectively, have appropriate boundaries, and participate in a work/life balance are fundamental skills in relationships that many need assistance in learning and maintaining in a healthy manner.
Many of us need assistance with healthy and effective communication skills. Communication is the core in all relationships. Need for assistance in this area is common in our society, especially due to technological advancement and there being so many types of communication through those avenues in addition to face-to-face communication. Identifying blocks to understanding and being understood by others can be enlightening and also scary. Therapy can assist in developing new communication skills and relationship patterns. Identifying current boundary systems in place and then making active, healthy decisions about if these are effective or need changes also is helpful in the therapeutic process. Practice on developing and setting new boundaries is work that can be completed in therapy and discussions about how these applications work or not can be beneficial in the support of a therapeutic relationship.
Traumatic experiences occur throughout the life experience. Some of these are singular traumatic incidents, some are continual relational traumas, and some are vicarious in nature. Taking an in-depth look at the traumatic experiences one has had in life and how coping was and was not effectively done can be enlightening and liberating for someone. Identification of patterns in one's life related to their trauma experiences can be freeing and developing new coping strategies to handle past and future traumatic experiences is essential to continuing in a healthy lifestyle. Specific exercises and techniques are used to guide a person through their traumatic experiences and then bring about resolution. Strong support is needed during this type of work and will be assessed during sessions to ensure the client is safe to proceed emotionally and physically.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and Depression are highly prevalent in our society. Effective coping strategies and behavioral techniques can aid dealing with these issues in lieu of or in addition to medication management of these diagnoses. For many being able to identify thought patterns that are self-defeating and promote the development and continuation of anxiety and depression is helpful just for recognition's sake. Learning how to re-program those thought patterns is an effective method to aid in reducing or eliminating symptoms and behavioral problems that arise from anxiety and depression. Retraining the way one talks to his or herself internally is critical in being able to move forward in the behavioral patterns that need to develop for healthy self-concept as well as healthy communication in relationships with support systems an workplaces. Some people do need medication for these diagnoses and many do not if therapy is completed and effectively utilized. There is hope and change is possible.