Individual counseling helps you to clarify your concerns, gain insight into yourself and those around you, and learn ways to most effectively cope and/or resolve problems. As we begin our work together, it is vital to gain an understanding of you, what goals you have and what you would like to accomplish. As progress is made, your goals may evolve and change.
There are key differences between Counseling Sessions and Emotion Code or Body Code Sessions. Counseling sessions are longer in duration, have more discussion, and allow for multiple modalities of treatment within the same session. There may also be more of an emphasis on behaviors that need to change to reach the desired goals along with how this can be accomplished.
How do I know if I need counseling?
Counseling makes sense when you have trouble coping with stressful situations or solving personal problems, especially habitual behaviors that are detrimental. It offers emotional support, new perspectives and help considering possible solutions and ways to implement them.
Counseling may be extremely beneficial when dealing with the following:
- Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders
- Personal issues as with self-esteem, relationship issues or family conflicts
- Crisis issues as in suicidal thoughts, rape or the death of someone close
Counseling is very helpful if you….
- Feel as if you have no direction in life
- Constantly find yourself in the wrong situation or choose the wrong friends
- Have something you need to share with someone you can trust
- Drink heavily or use drugs
- Feel like you can’t go on
How is Joan qualified to provide Counseling Services?
Joan Stein, LMSW, CECP. CBCP, is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work. She has attained certifications in the Emotion Code, Body Code, Imago Relationship Therapy, Imago Relationship Workshop Presenter and with a Level II EMDR and EFT Practitioner status. Her knowledge and caring, personal approach is what makes working with Joan a truly enjoyable experience with lasting results.
Joan specializes in the treatment of a broad range of medical and emotional difficulties. Services include, but not limited to, assisting individuals who are experiencing:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Self-Esteem Issues
- Stress Reduction
- Resolving Relationship Problems using Imago Relationship Therapy
- Building a Better Relationship with Getting The Love You Want – Couples Workshop
Everyone experiences life’s stresses from time to time. Meeting deadlines, raising kids, or driving in heavy traffic are three examples of situations in which normal anxious feelings can occur. While mild anxiety helps us remain alert and focused in challenging situations, anxiety disorders cause just the opposite. Severe distress over a period of time can keep you from having a life at all. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. An estimated 19 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year. This is not about being a ‘worry wart’ or being ‘stressed out.’ This requires professional care.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Excessive anxiety and worry about everyday life activities that occur more days than not for at least six months. The anxiety and worry are associated with at least three of the following six symptoms: restlessness, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Recurrent and persistent thoughts or behaviors that seem impossible to control. Obsessions are thoughts that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and cause marked anxiety or distress. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors (e.g. hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g. praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform
Repeated episodes of intense fear or discomfort develop abruptly and peak within ten minutes. Symptoms often include heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, fear of dying, abdominal distress, and chest pain. Living with panic disorder is extremely difficult because the individual is always in a constant state of anxiety waiting for the next episode thus limiting their ability to lead a productive life.
People who suffer from poor self-esteem are limited in every area of life. They generally believe they are useless, stupid, and inferior to others. Because they see themselves as failures and unworthy of success and happiness, they rarely experience fulfillment and happiness in their lives. Many people with poor self-esteem suffer from childhood experiences that have reinforced feelings of unworthy and negativity.
Everyone feels sad or “down” on occasion. Most people grieve when major life events such as death, divorce, illness, or loss of job occurs. These feelings tend to lessen as time passes. Depression, however, occurs when despair or extreme sadness are present for two weeks or longer and interfere with everyday living such as work, sleep, eating, or pleasure.
Clinical Depression is an illness and not a character flaw or weakness. Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that depressed people are weak, failures, or simply don’t try hard enough. A surprising number also believe that the depressed person can just “snap out of it.” On the other hand, some clinically depressed individuals blame others for their disorder, such as parents, society, or God. This desire to blame others is similar to the weakness mentioned above. The only difference is that blame is projected outward rather than inward.
There are three major factors that contribute to the development of depression:
- Chemical and/or psychological
Research indicates that depression is associated with an imbalance that leads to a variety of symptoms that affect the whole body, including physical symptoms, moods, and thoughts. The following list of symptoms can occur in depression: down mood, lack of interest or pleasure, weight gain or loss, too much or too little sleep, abnormal restlessness or drop in physical activity, fatigue, difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions, negative self-talk, feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, thoughts of harming oneself.
Depression affects over 19 million Americans each year and less than half seek treatment. The good news is that depression is highly treatable.
Stress is an important protective emotion. When the brain recognizes a dangerous situation it sends signals to the adrenal glands thus releasing adrenaline. This increase in adrenaline raises blood sugar and other physiologic responses allowing the person to react to the danger. Once the danger is past the brain turns off the flee signals and the body physiology returns to normal.
Stress becomes a problem when it continues for long periods of time thus becoming a chronic situation. Evidence shows that chronic stress weakens the immune situation, is a contributing cause of hypertension, heart disease, stroke, anxiety, and depression.
Imago Relationship Therapy
Imago Relationship Therapy is a systematic approach to marital and relationship issues. Developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., Imago therapy is a synthesis of pivotal aspects of other well-known theories. A few of those theories are Object Relations, Gestalt Systems, Cognitive Behavioral, and Humanistic. Their books on Imago Relationship Therapy, Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples; Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide; Giving the Love That Heals: A Guide for Parents; and three companion books on meditation and exercises, have sold more than two million copies and have been translated into more than 50 languages.
Imago is the Latin word for “image”. Dr. Hendrix maintains that: (a) we are born into relationship; (b) as children, we were wounded in relationship; and therefore (c) as adults, healing of these wounds can take place in relationship. Imago theory states that at a very young age our brain forms a composite picture of both the positive and negative characteristics of our major caregivers.
On an unconscious level, we are attracted to an individual who holds these same traits. Initially, we believe this person is “the one” who will meet all our unmet needs from childhood. In the romantic phase, we tend to see only those positive traits in our partner. What many couples don’t understand is that the romantic phase is supposed to end. And, when it does, it seems that our partner is only interested in meeting his/her own needs and that ours will go unmet.
This new phase is known as the Power Struggle. While in the power struggle, our partner’s negative traits appear to predominate in our relationship, and thus recreates (or triggers) our wounds from childhood. The Power Struggle phase is full of criticism, bitterness, anger, and disillusionment. Many couples separate or divorce before finding resolution. Unfortunately, these couples do not realize that their partner holds the blueprint to healing. According to Dr. Hendrix, the purpose of a committed relationship is to finish childhood.
Imago Relationship Therapy provides such an avenue: a safe and secure way for couples to move from an “unconscious” relationship to a “conscious and intentional” one. Couples, however, must have the proper tools in order to make this paradigm shift in their relationship. Imago’s intentional dialogue is one of many tools taught to couples desiring to find the path of real love. Reality love blossoms when their relationship becomes conscious and intentional.
Getting The Love You Want – Couples Workshop
This workshop will benefit couples desiring to enrich their relationship, resolve longstanding conflict, or even decide if the relationship can be saved. Couples learn skills for re-establishing excitement and connection and creating a mutual vision for the present and future. Through lecture, guided imagery, demonstration, written exercises, and communication processes couples gain greater compassion and understanding for themselves and their partner and how to use their relationship for mutual healing and fulfillment. If you desire to schedule a “Getting the Love You Want” couple’s workshop, please contact me by phone or Contact Me Here to discuss arrangements.