Anxiety is natural response to a threatening situation. Our brains are wonderfully designed to protect us from harm by putting our bodies in a state of heightened arousal to flee or fight. Sometimes, that response becomes associated with non-threatening events and becomes problematic and just plain tiresome. Working to understand that anxiety is often a response to the unknown, missing information, or habit, can help to decrease it and live a more peaceful existence.
Couples can experience a variety of issues including ineffective communication, sexual issues, lack of trust, infidelity, divorce, remarriage, blended families, empty nest syndrome, and many other challenges. I work with couples of any age or gender, polyamorous, polygamist, and plural couples and families. We will develop skills for safe, validating, and more effective communication to help couples increase awareness, understanding, and intimacy.
Depression is a mood, not a feeling. Sadness and anger, both feelings, are sometimes associated with a depressed mood. Whereas medication is often prescribed for treating depression, the addition of talk therapy can improve results and provide additional tools to improve mood and increase balance.
Are you struggling with an eating disorder? The following statements are from the ACORN Assessment tool for eating disorders.
I feel like I am in control when I am fasting or restricting food intake.
I have gotten light headed or weak from not eating or restricting my food.
I have increased the number of times I purge by vomiting.
I exercise hard more than an hour a day to control weight and feel deprived or guilty when I don’t.
I have tried to stop purging and have been unable to stay stopped.
I am obsessed with thinking that my body needs to be different or better.
I eat when I am not hungry.
I isolate from others so that I can eat the way want.
I use food to numb difficult feelings.
I have tried to stop bingeing and been unable to stay stopped.
© Copyright, Philip R. Werdell, 2002, Revised 2009
Diabulimia and Diabetes: Are you an individual diagnosed with T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) and have used insulin manipulation to loose weight? Maybe you need additional support as you learn to manage your lifestyle with the demands of T1D. I work with adolescents, individuals, and families dealing with Diabetes and I have over 20 years of experience with T1D.
If you can answer yes to some of these statements, perhaps you are struggling. Research shows that the sooner an individual seeks treatment for an unhealthy relationship with food, the better the prognosis and chance for recovery. I provide individual as well as family-based treatment. If you have an active eating disorder and are not appropriate for outpatient care alone, we can work together to find you additional support at the level of care for your needs. I am one of the only clinicians in the Northern Nevada area working toward certification in the Maudsley Approach, a Family Based Treatment specific to adolescents, at Stanford University and I am also familiar with Intuitive Eating. We will develop an outpatient team of providers to help you that includes a nutritionist and your primary care physician.
Families undergo many changes. Just the act of aging provides challenges for both children and parents. Often when one individual is suffering and showing signs of problems, this is just the symptom of the pain the whole family unit is experiencing. We can work together to understand how each individual works in the system, individual roles, family rules, and how family's of origin help us to design our nuclear families. I work with families going through divorce, blended families, and families looking for more effective ways to interact and improve their communication.
How does one define grief? What does your culture say about the grieving process? Grieving and bereavement are very personal, tender, and individual experiences. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. It just is. If you are grieving and would like a safe place to talk, process, cry, or be angry, I would be honored to provide that space for you.
Individual psychotherapy is tailored to address your needs and goals. As human beings, our coping tools work for us until they don't. I am creative in my approach to individual therapy. Often individuals enter therapy because they are struggling, in crisis, dealing with trauma, anxiety, depression, and want support, understanding, insight, and psychoeducation. Other reasons for entering psychotherapy or counseling include:
Self-exploration: Have you ever wanted to know why you behave, feel, and think the way you do? Would you like to live an authentic life in touch with your true self? These kinds of questions can provide goals and motivation for individual psychotherapy.
Life Transitions: There are moments in time that bring about additional challenges such as marriage, children entering adolescence, adult children leaving home, divorce, parents returning home, changing careers, moving, loosing a job, serving in the military away from friends and family, adoption, and re-marriage. Change can be scary. Extra support and insight during these life transitions can make for a smoother experience.
I work with individuals, couples, and families, to heal from trauma, loss, cope with challenges, and/or reintegrate back into civilian life. Our country's warriors have chosen to sacrifice their lives for something bigger than themselves. You deserve to heal from your battle scars. Thank you for your bravery and your service.
Pre-Marital and Re-Marital Counseling
While planning your wedding, remember to also plan your marriage. A strong foundation is essential for a satisfying relationship. Whether it is your first marriage or you are getting re-married, pre-marital counseling will allow both of you to have the opportunity to intervene and change negative behaviors that could threaten the marriage. Ten-week program to assess the relationship, improve communication, teach conflict resolution skills, and explore intimacy and sexuality.
Do you want to stop hurting yourself? There are a variety of ways that people self-harm including cutting or burning. Self-injury is not typically meant as a suicide attempt, however some individuals who eventually do complete suicide may have a history of self-injury. We can develop more effective ways to regulate, accept, and express emotion.
Transgender/Gender Identity, Gender Dysphoria, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning
LGBTQ adolescents and adults can experience increased negative attitudes, are at increased risk for violence, harassment, bullying, depression, drug use and abuse, mental and physical health problems, and suicidal thoughts and attempts. A 2009 survey* of more than 7,000 LGBT middle and high school students aged 13–21 years found that in the past year, because of their sexual orientation—
•Eight of ten students had been verbally harassed at school;
•Four of ten had been physically harassed at school;
•Six of ten felt unsafe at school; and
•One of five had been the victim of a physical assault at school .
*Survey participants were recruited online and through community-based groups and service organizations serving LGBT youth. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth.htm
I work with LGBTQ adolescents and adults who are struggling with depression, addictions, anxiety, who are questioning, and transitioning. I have specific training in working with LGBTQ adolescents in crisis. We can address and explore your fears, concerns and questions in a safe, accepting environment.
In addition, I work with individuals and families who have children, partners, or parents that identify as LGBT to explore possible pain, loss, fear, and confusion of having a loved one come out to them, and how to support your loved one during the coming out process.