Individual Therapy in San Diego

Find Your Inner Voice

 

Painting a picture...

individual therapy in San Diego

Have you ever woken up one morning and asked yourself, “what happened to me? What happened to my sense of calm- my sense of normalcy?” Perhaps you seemed to be moving in the “right direction” at one point- things felt well-balanced and manageable, but now you feel as if everything is unraveling around you. You tell yourself: “I should be happy.” As you say this, you look in the mirror and you no longer see a familiar face. Instead, you see a stranger looking back at you with heavy eyes. It’s clear, you’ve lost yourself. It’s a scary moment, a moment where you feel helpless, sad, and alone.

Both your thoughts and your heart start to race and you begin to think the absolute worst: “I may not survive this- I’m going crazy.” You may not be thinking this exactly, but whatever you’re thinking, I can imagine that it’s heavy- that it takes it’s toll. Your emotions begin to feel overwhelming and you start to notice that your body feels different- you’re experiencing physical symptoms of distress. So what do you do? You cry... you call a friend... you hug your dog. But yet, you still don’t experience the relief that you need. You suddenly realize that your normal coping strategies are no longer working.

So THEN what do you do? You survive. You turn on your “auto-pilot” button and you take care your daily tasks (whether it’s raising kids, going to work, tending to your relationship, attending school, etc.). You move through your day as best you can, trying to fight off your pain.

You see... life shouldn’t be about merely surviving. It should be about love, connectedness, joy, laughter, and tears. Yes, tears. I said it. Tears are OK, and they do serve a purpose. However, if you are crying more often than you would like or if you are struggling to find happiness, you need me in your life.

I may not be a knight in shining armor, I may not be able to take away your pain with a magic wand; however, I am here. I care about you. I don’t mind if you come into my office and cry, I will stay with you. If you need time opening up, go ahead and take it—I will support you through that, as well. If you don’t know what to do to change your circumstances, I will be there, helping you to find solutions. I will help you heal and I will come along side of you in your time of need. There’s nothing you can do to lose my support. I will protect you, I will guide you, and I will empower you to be the best version of you that you can be. You are stronger than your issues and I am well trained to help you work through your pain so that you can experience relief.

Reaching out

Because I understand that the therapeutic process can be intimidating, my goal is to help you feel safe, comfortable, and supported during our time together. As your San Diego individual therapist, your happiness, well-being, and personal growth are extremely important to me. This is why we will work collaboratively to help you get “unstuck” in various areas of your life. We will create an environment that is conducive to helping you meet your goals.

I work with individuals through an attachment-based lens. My goal is to work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that is both comfortable and effective. You are unique, therefore, I am not going to assume that what has worked with some individuals will inevitably work for you. So, let’s create the new you.

A fresh start with Individual therapy in San Diego

Imagine that you are coming to see me. Your life thus far represents a painting on a canvas. You tell me, “here’s what I like about this painting: I like the colors in this corner- the brushstrokes are powerful, and the curves of this shape are striking, but the bottom portion of the painting seems like a mess- it just seems to takeover and dominate. Can we change it?”.

So... we both look at the painting and we spend some time understanding how we can improve it. Instead of applying fresh paint to the old canvas, we take out a crisp, blank one. We collaboratively decide to use the same colors from the old painting, we emulate the brushstrokes from the original, and we create similar curves. BUT, instead of recreating the bottom portion of the old painting, we decide to create something that works- something that is beautiful, cohesive, and meaningful.

Together, we will create a new masterpiece- a fresh story- and a NEW you.

It feels good just imagining it, right?


Here are just a FEW of the many issues that I work with...

Relational Issues

While couples therapy is often clinically indicated for those who suffer from relational distress, it is not your only option. Your partner may not feel comfortable coming in for couples therapy and that is OK. I get it, when you’re in the midst of ongoing conflict, one of the hardest things can be to get them to agree to therapy. I’m sure you’re also afraid that if you push them too much, it might make things worse. Further, couples therapy can be a difficult feat when both parties are not engaged and committed to the process.

The good news is, a stronger connection in your relationship can start with you. It begins with YOU reaching out-  and with you paving the way for less conflict and more engagement. Together, we can focus on how YOU can create positive and lasting change in your relationship. We will uncover your needs (your attachment needs) and discover ways in which you can get these needs met. We will break down the negative patterns in your relationship and I will support you and teach you how you can communicate more effectively- in a way that will bring your partner closer- in a way that is true, vulnerable, at yet effective. We want to breed connectivity, responsiveness, and emotional engagement, as opposed to resistance, disdain, or further withdrawing.

Individual therapy in San Diego can help you to address relational issues, so that you can better understand your dynamic and yourself.  Understanding your patterns will help you to connect with your loved one. I’m here to guide you and to help promote safety and love in your relationship. It is possible to learn how to stay connected when differences arise.

Transition and change

Change can be sudden and abrupt, but it can also be gradual and slow. It can be both positive and negative at times. Regardless of how the change is defined, it can cause distress to even the most happy and adaptive individuals.

During times of transition, many people depend on a therapist to help them cope with and adjust to the effects of the change. Even though transition is inevitable, and often times can be viewed as positive (e.g. a recent marriage, a job promotion, etc.), from time-to-time we all need help adjusting. And there is no shame in asking for help.

Attachment

The term “attachment” refers to the ability to form empathic and emotional bonds with others- especially our partners or close family members. Insecure attachments during childhood development can lead to attachment issues and difficulty forming meaningful relationships during adulthood. 

If you have a difficult time creating strong bonds with friends, family members, or partners, it’s time to reach out. Together, we can identify and heal from early childhood losses. I will help you to grieve for childhood bonds that were not formed so that you can heal and gain closure. Through individual therapy in San Diego, you will learn how to create healthy attachments as an adult so that you can experience more fulfilling and connected relationships. Building stronger bonds can start with you.

Loss and Grief

Bereavement refers to the process of recovering from the death of a loved one or pet, while grief is a common reaction to any form of loss. Some losses have nothing to do with someone’s passing, but they can still be challenging to overcome. When people grieve, they often encounter strong emotions such as deep sadness and anger. The process of adapting to and accepting a significant loss can be a very painful, raw, and extremely devastating experience.

  • Types of loss include: moving far away, divorce or separation, developing a life-changing or life-threatening illness and/or disability, fighting with a loved one and not being able to repair, losing a job, miscarriage, infertility, or losing a dream that really mattered to you.

If you have suffered a recent loss or if your grief-related feelings are distressing or unrelenting, it is time to reach out. I can help you learn to cope with the stressors associated with the loss.

It’s important to know that everyone experiences grief differently. It’s complex, unique, and very personal in nature. That is why I will tailor treatment to meet your specific needs. And that is also why, I would like you to be kind to yourself- to give yourself some grace.

Depression

Depression is a serious, yet common illness among people in the U.S. One in 10 adults report suffering from depression. The good news: the condition is highly treatable. Individual counseling, couples therapy, family counseling, and relationship counseling, have been found to be effective forms of treatment for those dealing with depression.

  • Common symptoms of depression include: feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness; changes in appetite or weight; anxiety; difficulty concentrating; thoughts of suicide; frequent crying; overwhelming feelings of sadness or despair; anger; lack of motivation; irritability; loss of interest in actives that you once enjoyed; physical ailments such as muscle pain or headaches; or sleep disturbances.

If you are suffering, I am here to understand, guide, and help you heal the source of the depression, free of judgment.

Anxiety and panic

Anxiety.... What. A. Monster! It can interfere with relationships, work, school, routine activities, social events, sleeping patterns, and everyday functioning. It can be consuming, exhausting, and extremely terrifying.

  • Symptoms include: obsessive or obtrusive thoughts of confusion; restlessness; pacing; irritability; despair; frustration; excessive worry; or difficulty concentrating.
  • People who suffer from anxiety may also feel intense physical symptoms such as: sweating; a racing heartbeat; trembling; difficulty breathing; heart palpitations; headaches; insomnia; lightheadedness; faintness; or digestive issues. The severe and/or sudden onset of such symptoms is often indicative of a panic attack. Anxiety can also wreck havoc on your personal relationships.

If you need help keeping the panic or worry at bay, I am here to help you. You should not have to live in a world of constant fear or worry. With me by your side, we can work to take the edge off- we can heal you from the inside out.

Self- Esteem

Self-esteem can be defined as the degree to which we consider ourselves worthy or valuable, and to the extent to which we feel confident and respect ourselves. Self-esteem greatly impacts our overall well-being and our relationships. Low self-esteem is correlated with self-criticism, anger, shame, social isolation, self-doubt, negative self-talk, anxiety, or depression.

If you suffer from low self-esteem, I’m here to help you create a stronger and more solid sense of self.

Stress

The American Institute of Stress believes, that stress is “America’s leading health problem.” It can cause a variety of both physical and mental health issues if it is not managed or addressed.

  • For instance, stress can cause: insomnia; anxiety; depression; fatigue; headaches; and irritability. It can also lead to intimacy issues in our primary relationships; loss of interest or productivity; chronic pain; or even heart attacks or stroke. Because stress can lead to such serious health issues, it’s important to learn how manage it and how to take care of yourself when tough times arise.

Have you ever heard of the airplane analogy? Well, if you have ever been on an airplane, you are familiar with how the flight attendants discuss safety and what to do in the event of a change in cabin pressure. They tell you “if oxygen masks fall, make sure your mask is secure before assisting others.” Thus, it’s the same with stress. We need to make sure that you are “breathing” and are fully able to handle the stressors of life before you can be of any help to others- before you can fully be equipped and present- before you can be a better and more responsive parent- and before you can be a more engaged partner. Together, we can fight stress, take some stuff off your plate, and develop creative ways to manage it.

Trauma or PTSD

Trauma is a distressing event in which an individual feels severely threatened psychologically, emotionally, or physically. Most everyone will experience a traumatic event during their lifespan, but not everyone will seek help for it. Because the effects of trauma can be lasting and devastating, the support and guidance of a well-trained therapist is instrumental to healing.

Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) is a psychological reaction to a highly stressful and/or life threatening event that often results in nightmares, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, and flashbacks.

Research suggests that psychotherapy is the MOST effective form of treatment for healing from the effects of trauma. Individual counseling, relationship therapy, or marriage counseling can help individuals who have endured trauma understand their feelings and experiences, learn healthy ways of coping, connect with other resources, access support, and find healthy ways to experience relief.

Divorce/Breakup/Divorce Recovery

Going into a marriage, we often have the best of intentions- many of us truly believe “til’ death do us part.” However, despite our efforts, the painful truth is: sometimes, marriages do not last.

The loss of a relationship or the end of a marriage can be a stressful and devastating event for all parties involved. It may be a relief for some, but whether you are the partner who has chosen to leave or the one left behind, it’s common to experience a variety of raw emotions such as anger, anxiety, grief, shame, guilt, sadness, confusion, or fear.

Transitioning from being “attached” to “single” can be a tough terrain to navigate without the proper support. Divorce can be both complicated and messy. There are so many layers, so many emotions, and it can truly affect both us and our loved ones across the lifespan.

Because the aftermath of a separation can be both scary and unpredictable, divorce recovery is an essential part of the healing process. It can provide you with a protected, empowering, and encouraging experience during what might be a painful transition. Together, we will help you heal from the grief of your loss and access your inner tools that are needed in the establishment of your new life.


Individual Therapy in San Diego

individual therapy in San Diego can help you to:

  • Create safety, security, and connection in your relationships
  • Learn to express your needs and longings to others in a way that will help you to feel heard and understood
  • Find yourself and feel empowered
  • Establish clear and healthy boundaries
  • Experience relief from sadness, hopelessness, or despair 
  • Cope with the short-term and long-term effects of a divorce/separation
  • Learn healthy ways to deal with and adjust to transition and change
  •  Engage in self-care and move towards self-compassion
  • Cope with stressors in the workplace
  • Access social support and learn how to build more meaningful relationships 
  • Work through family of origin issues
  •  Manage panic and experience relief from anxiety
  • Increase flexibility and tenderness through overcoming rigidity and perfectionism
  • Let go of what people think or anything that doesn't serve you
  • Overcome numbing and powerlessness
  • Increase self-worth and self-love
  • Find a meaningful balance in your life and in your relationships
  •  Overcome feelings of shame, self-blame, or guilt
  •  Heal from past relational injuries or trauma
  •  Cope with chronic pain or illness
  • Find calm and stillness
  • Learn how to connect with those you love
  • Cultivate healing and strength
  • Move towards forgiveness and compassion
  • Process painful emotions and memories so that you can heal
  •  Manage anger, frustration, and irritability
  • Learn healthy communication skills
  • Increase self-esteem and let go of self-doubt
  •  Overcome phobias and the fear of the unknown
  • Learn how to be mindful in the presence of stressors
  •  Experience increased resilience
  • Learn to be authentic and live in-line with your values
  • Increase passion and enthusiasm
  • Gain self-awareness
  • Manage and face addictions
  • Heal from loss and grief 
  • Learn how to manage defensiveness or the desire to compare
  • End self-destructive patterns
  • Develop inner peace and happiness
  •  Cope with acculturation issues
  •  Manage blended family problems
  • Learn to let go for the need for certainty and control 
  • Cultivate gratitude, joy, play, and rest

 

And now I want to help you to find happiness

The first step is simple.

Click on the link below and request a discovery call with me today and let’s do this together- one step at a time.

What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.
— Haruki Murakami