The stress of day to day life can really wear a person down overtime. When changes come hard and fast, and work or family problems become overwhelming, many people realize they are unhappy and have lost the ability to enjoy life. Some become anxious and restless as they are worrying all the time. Others get depressed and tend to shut themselves off from the outside world as much as possible. Symptoms of stress can include tiredness, sadness, constant worrying and racing thoughts, a feeling of being unable to cope, and a lack of enjoyment for relationships and activities. There might be trouble sleeping, concentrating, or a decrease of efficiency at work.
Angela 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
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. As the client, you will be asked why you decided to come to therapy and what you would like to accomplish. The first 2-4 sessions are spent getting to know one another and helping Angela get a thorough understanding of the 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. A counselor’s job is not to give advice but to help clients find solutions to their problems that work for them. Many people who come to counseling are in crisis and simply don’t know where to start. 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 the 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.
Like most marriage and family therapists, Angela broadens the approach of traditional therapy that focuses on the individual alone and views problems such as anxiety and depression primarily as a disease or disorder. Although the disease model is helpful in describing mental illness and other challenges people face, it misses the opportunity to capitalize on a client’s strengths and appreciate the positive characteristics that a person may also possess along with their special challenges. 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 anxiety, depression, and stress. Mindfulness is often defined as “awareness of present experience with acceptance.” Clients become more aware of their own thoughts and feelings that occupy our minds as we rush through our 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