People from all walks of life struggle with addiction to drugs, alcohol, the internet, or other activities that help them avoid feeling badly. Painful emotions can sometimes be more difficult to bear than physical pain. When substances or activities that we use to try to avoid pain or manage stress start to have negative effects on our lives but we still can’t stop, that’s when you know you have a problem.
Angela provides outpatient counseling to assist people with addictions in maintaining their recovery, addressing underlying problems that contributed to their addiction, and teaching new more positive ways to handle stress and painful emotions. She specializes in helping people find peace in the midst of constant change and daily chaos. Counseling sessions are designed to help clients develop the ability to maintain an inner tranquility that is not easily affected by outside circumstances or pressures.
What to Expect
Angela provides individual addiction recovery counseling in an outpatient setting in her private office. No groups or comprehensive program services are available. Therefore, some clients recovering from addiction may require referral to a higher level of care such as an intensive outpatient program. However, many clients who have already completed more intensive outpatient or inpatient programs, have been in recovery for some time, or do not qualify for a higher level of care benefit from outpatient addiction counseling.
Counseling is provided in a relaxed atmosphere and focuses on helping clients feel comfortable right from the beginning. Angela enjoys getting to know her clients well and laughing together but also values focusing on goals and making each session a productive one. The first 2-4 sessions are spent getting to know one another and helping Angela get a thorough understanding of problems as well as clarifying goals for treatment. Angela will make recommendations about what might help after a thorough assessment. Sometimes this might require a referral to a different service provider. Often we get right to work on the agreed upon goals. Exploring concerns with an objective party in a safe, confidential atmosphere often goes a long way towards problem resolution.
Approach to Counseling:
Angela operates from a holistic perspective and concerns herself with clients’ overall, long-term well-being. Her approach focuses on solutions with specific, attainable goals. Generally therapy is more short term and ends when the client’s presenting issue is resolved.
Angela supports and encourages clients who attend AA, NA, or other 12 step programs. However, some clients coming looking for effective alternatives to 12 step or group approaches. Angela incorporates other counseling approaches that have been shown to be effective in treating additions. By looking at family patterns and considering both individual factors and the influences of the environment, clients are often able to gain new insights into their problems. Many times clients are surprised how quickly new solutions present themselves after changing their view of a problem.
Additionally, Angela incorporates concepts and techniques from mindfulness counseling approaches. These cutting edge approaches have been shown to be highly effective in treating addictions and substance abuse. Mindfulness is often defined as “awareness of present experience with acceptance.” Clients become more aware of thoughts and feelings that occupy their minds as they rush through their days on autopilot. Then they begin to learn simple new habits that help them relax the body and mind, accept the unpleasant experiences, and fully experience and enjoy the good things in life moment by moment.
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** Mindfulness definition taken from The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD