Personal Development Coaching
Psychodynamic, Depth-Focused Coaching
Clients seeking coaches are not looking to heal issues rooted in the past, nor are they looking for an expert to help them understand their own psychology. The focus is always on clearing the path, as needed, to make the clients more available for a new reality and way of life which includes forward-movement and taking action. Mostly they are looking for change in relationships/love, body/health, career/goals and money/success. As life coaches, we help people design their lives and take the action to fulfill their dreams and goals.
So how do you make the change stick? Coaching fails, and quite frequently. It's not enough to give clients directives and hold them accountable, this works in the short-term, but rarely gets to the root of the problem. People have emotions, complex histories, ongoing inner dialogues, and frequently, they rebel and self-sabotage. The "inner saboteur" can be quite a force. We can come up with a plan to avoid chocolate chip ice cream, I can hold you accountable, with consequences, but without unearthing what's behind the urge or need, or problem behavioral dynamics, you're likely to revert to your old ways.
Psychodynamic Coaching helps clients understand the areas of one's history that may be blocking forward movement. Combining the vision-creating and behavior change orientation of coaching with a depth and psychoanalytic approach of gaining insight into conflicts and historical patterns and "how" and "what" is being repeated is key. As a fully trained and licensed New York State psychotherapist, when clients ask for coaching, I pay close attention to resistance and conflicts as well as important emotional and psychological problems such as anxiety disorders and depression among others, that will interfere with the coaching process.
Trained mental health professionals are naturals to move proactive clients to a status they so desire, because they have the training to access both clinically and holistically. Generally speaking, coaching clients are men and women who are busy, self-directed, goal and performance-oriented, high-achievers who thrive using personal accountability, honesty, feedback, perspective shifting, action steps and focused, challenging questions that will bring them extraordinary results. Partnering with a life coach who is also a psychotherapist can be supportive, enlightening and empowering, and can help clients remove unconscious blocks, navigate change and restore balance and fulfillment. Whether it’s taking control of one's health, losing weight, repairing a relationship or transitioning to a new chapter in life, coaching can provide the needed inspiration, knowledge, resolution of conflicts, accountability and results desired.
What happens when executives stumble onto patterns and obstacles that come up for them again and again? Executives, creatives, officers and entrepreneurs hire coaches to help them remove obstacles and learn to find clarity in their lives so that they can see things about their thoughts, actions and behaviors that may be sabotaging personal success and performance. Coaching provides leaders with high-performance communication and the leadership skills needed for success. They learn to communicate in ways that increase their chances for success.
The ICF is the leading global organization, with over 21,000 members, dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches. To learn more about coaching standards and best practices please visit them online. Getting ‘Unstuck’: Does Your Life Need a Coach?
EMDR Treatment + Coaching
The Power Team of EMDR + Coaching
As a coach and consultant, I am able to use EMDR to enhance the effectiveness with my coaching clients. Coaches and consultants who use EMDR do so because the process is efficient and effective and the results endure. While standard coaching techniques can be effective for some, “thinking yourself into feeling better or just changing behaviors” often fails many hopeful coaching clients and never addresses the root of the problem. EMDR, when combined with specific coaching techniques has the benefit of stimulating the client’s own brain and nervous system to function at a much higher level. As a results-oriented solution, the power team of EMDR and coaching has proven to be extremely effective in treating even the most difficult problems in a short amount of time. The lasting changes produced by the EMDR process seem to “stick” for clients in a way that standard coaching does not.
Coaching combined with specific therapy techniques motivates, inspires and supports clients by helping them:
- Observe and challenge the stories that perpetuate inertia
- Identify unhelpful patterns and habits that are obstacles to change
- Partialize concerns and problems into manageable pieces
- Move beyond and transform limiting self-concepts
- Face emotions like fear, that keep them paralyzed
- Learn to communicate honestly and directly
- Develop direction and clarity in various aspects of life
- Find innate strengths and build on them
- Uncover passions, become motivated and inspired
- Learn to dream and think "big"
- Explore creativity and practice balance in all areas of life
- Improve personal, professional and spiritual connections
- Design a life that is aligned with one's "true self "and core values
I work with creatives, entrepreneurs and successful professionals who are working on or need dynamic coaching support in these areas:
- Change + Challenges - breakups, separation, divorce and other major life transitions
- Passion + Purpose - discovering what you really love
- Healing + Personal Empowerment - learning to communicate your needs and get what you want
- Self Love + Self Care - discovering your strengths and possibilities
- Happiness + Inner Peace- aligning yourself with your true nature
- Goals + Dreams - identifying and taking action
- Weight Loss + Health - undoing bad habits while creating new ones
- Creating Prosperity + Abundance - opening to the possibilities
- Love + Relationships - attracting the right relationships
Peak + Optimal Performance Coaching
Peak Performance Coaching + EMDR
I provide Peak Performance Coaching combined with EMDR for clients who struggle with performance blocks and anxiety issues. EMDR therapy is an effective tool for test-taking anxiety as well as performance enhancement for athletes, musicians, executives, politicians, public speakers and performers of all types.
EMDR elegantly replaces terrifying and immobilizing fear with positive emotions, images and self-concepts. This process can change the way clients function on a daily basis, as well as in “performance situations” thus ending years of avoiding the spotlight and other performance-related situations.
How does Coaching combined with EMDR work?
- EMDR desensitizes traumatic responses by targeting the fight/flight response that occurs deep in the brain providing a dramatic reduction in negative responses and programming which contributes to performance blocks and anxiety. Functioning improves in previously blocked areas, which paves the way for new opportunities and success. Negative fears and beliefs are replaced with a positive sense and "performing" with ease and comfort.
- If you think of the brain as a computer where experiences are "uploaded" one can imagine how "installing" or "pre-programming" positive outcomes for future situations and performances can greatly enhance creativity, confidence and success.
- When you feel "stuck" EMDR and coaching can help you gain access to stalled or blocked abilities, freeing your creative flow.
- When you don't have time to clear blocks or negative past experiences, using specific performance protocols, we can work intensively on upcoming presentations, performances and more to give you a sense of "I can do this" confidence.
- Between session coaching using techniques such as goal setting, visualization, mental rehearsal and breathing and relaxation techniques combined with EMDR.
More helpful information about Coaching with a Therapist...
"A coach must be able to recognize when he or she is being asked to 'step into the realm of therapy--or healing and uncovering--rather than the realm of discovering and creating.' It must be clear therapy is not being offered." Pat Williams, PhD Becoming a Professional Life Coach and Therapist as Life Coach, founder the Institute for Life Coach Training. As a fully trained and licensed New York State psychotherapist, I pay close attention to resistance and conflicts as well as important emotional and psychological problems such as anxiety disorders and depression among others, that will interfere with the coaching process. Trained mental health professionals are naturals to move proactive clients to a status they so desire, because they have the training to access both clinically and holistically. Mental health professionals can access history, trauma concerns, environmental, social, economic, spiritual, physical and ethnic influences that shape their clients. A mental health professional in the role of a coach is trained to pay attention to boundary issues because they understand the repercussions of crossing lines and adhere to strict ethical obligations. Furthermore, a mental health professional is less likely to do things that inadvertently interfere with people’s emotional vulnerabilities. Some individuals seem quite "together" and function well, but can easily unravel in the coaching process with harsh directives. Coaches who are also therapists can and do discern when coaching is not enough and when therapy may be more helpful. Perhaps in the future, coaches will be required to have specialized training in the assessment of depression, suicide, abuse, personality disorders and even grief-related issues in an effort to know when clients should be referred for therapy and not coached.
Relationship coaching is not therapy. Relationship coaching gives clients the tools needed to resolve disagreements, personality clashes and other difficulties that arise in the context of important relationships. Consider communication coaching and conflict resolution consulting as a way to address problematic relationships. Ask yourself these important questions:
- Is there a relationship in your life, colleagues, siblings, lover, past or present, that is causing you stress and tension?
- Do you struggle with honesty in certain relationships?
- Do you find it hard to have difficult conversations, communicate your needs or maintain boundaries?
- Do you get flustered, come "undone" or lose your effectiveness in the face of conflict, negative feedback or confrontation?
- Do you feel easily controlled in certain important relationships?
- Are power struggles or disagreements draining you or your company's energy?
About Kim Seelbrede, LCSW
So why would a traditionally-trained psychotherapist coach clients on the side? Because it's really fun! Many individuals would prefer to leave the past where it belongs and focus on goal attainment and solutions to move their lives in the direction they desire. Life coaching with a therapist can shine the light on any obstacles that may be blocking progress and leverage client strengths to build a life more aligned with one's true nature and vision. I give clients the tools and tricks as well as a map of how to reach those often elusive goals. I have a special interest in coaching and working with clients who have health challenges such as autoimmune disorders or other chronic conditions and are motivated to make the necessary lifestyle changes to experience enhanced well-being.
Kim Seelbrede uses creative, effective coaching and blends evidenced-based therapies such as CBT and a depth-focused process (working with the unconscious) to help her clients become effective and powerful in their lives. Her work involves an intelligent fusion of coaching, depth psychology, EMDR and mind-body wisdom and the creative integration of these elements to support client growth and transformation. Kimberly's past and current clients include CEOs, top athletes, entertainers, celebrities, writers, creatives, speakers, salespeople, managers, executives, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, parents, adolescents and other high-profile clients
Kim Seelbrede is a former Miss USA and a licensed New York City Psychotherapist, Coach and EMDR Therapist who specializes in an integrative approach to therapy and coaching, working with adults, adolescents and couples. She has a special interest in celebrity mental health and enjoys working with gifted and talented individuals who struggle with self-doubt, perfectionism and performance difficulties. Her intuitive gifts, compassion and eclectic training enables her to work with a range of personal and situational difficulties. Kimberly is trained to collaborate with her clients in developing enhanced self-awareness, personal insight and adaptive coping skills to address many concerns including: relationship and interpersonal difficulties, anxiety, depression, panic disorder, OCD, personality disorders, self-esteem, self-harm, shame, ADD, ADHD, adolescent challenges, family of origin issues, underachievement, identity and sexuality concerns, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, PTSD/trauma, transitions, health concerns and stress management. Integrative therapy sessions can address concerns related to spirituality, life-purpose, work-life balance as well as providing meditation and mindfulness support. She conducts couples intensive workshops, groups and consults with organizations on stress reduction and mindfulness.
The International Coach Federation (ICF) reported that individuals experience the following outcomes as a result of working with a life coach:
- Increased self-awareness (67%)
- Enhanced ability to manage stress (57%)
- Better goal setting (62%)
- Self-discovery (53%)
- More balanced life (60%)
- Increased self-confidence (52%)
What is the rate of return when you hire a life coach?
Your Return on Investment (ROI) is directly correlated to the amount of dedication you demonstrate toward your growth and development. You get what you give.
Life coaching is a good fit for you if you are:
- A motivated and insightful person who is interested in self reflection and personal growth
- Able to get out of your own way and allow for the "good" and "positive"
- Someone with realistic goals and the desire to meet them
- A person who values commitment and integrity
- An individual who is able to make changes
- Someone who has the capacity for healthy work, personal, and romantic relationships
- Smart and not afraid of hard work
OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Relationship Counseling, Consulation, Supervision, EMDR + Adjunctive EMDR Therapy + Online Counseling Sessions
As an integrative psychotherapist, I'm delighted to offer a unique approach to emotional health and healing. My goal is to blend contemporary psychological practices, intuitive guidance and the wisdom of the ancient healing arts. The heart and soul of my approach is to help clients develop insight, self-awareness, self-acceptance, authenticity, self integration, respect for one's body, embodiment, healthy boundaries and self-care practices.
Psychotherapy For Adolescents + Adults
Individual adolescent and adult therapy is provided in my Manhattan office, and depending on client concerns, online using Skype or a HIPPA compliant platform. An initial consultation is the best way to determine if your particular needs and goals can be addressed using short-term or long-term psychotherapy. I have advanced post-graduate training in a variety of helpful techniques such as: EMDR Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Focusing, Gottman, Emotionally Focused Therapy or
EFT and Mindfulness. After an initial assessment, I will give you my opinion, and together, we can discuss your needs and create a treatment plan. We will also consider the duration of treatment and the approach or combination that will serve your goals. I have expertise in anxiety and mood disorders, addictions, compulsions, eating disorders, relationship problems, sexuality, identity concerns, self-defeating patterns and self-sabbotage, lack of purpose, goal setting, spirituality, family of origin issues, trauma/PTSD, attachment issues, self-esteem, transitions, loss, wellness coaching and an integrative therapy approach that addresses chronic pain and medical challenges.
Coaching, Strategizing + Mentoring
Coaching is not therapy. Coaching clients are goal-oriented individuals who seek results in their lives. Hiring a coach who is skilled to uncover obstacles, as well as guide and support your "best self," is a powerful resource. Having support and guidance as you practice new behaviors can be incredibly helpful. Some individuals seek an expert "strategist" to guide efforts towards growth and change. Coaching unearths the stubborn and often hidden, negative self-concepts that keep people anchored in their present reality. Identifying these unhelpful concepts helps clients move forward. Often, a positive and renewed sense of energy will emerge as soon as one begins the coaching process. Partnering with a life coach can be supportive, encouraging and empowering, and can help clients navigate change, restoring or creating balance and fulfillment. Whether it’s taking control of one's health, losing weight, career issues, focusing on goal-attainment, repairing a relationship, getting "unstuck" or transitioning to a new chapter in life, coaching can provide the needed inspiration and support one desires. Working with a licensed trained psychotherapist can yield exceptional results. Therapists have the necessary skills and tools that can be used when longstanding and resistant patterns interfere with progress. I regularly offer EMDR for blocks and peak-performance enhancement, mindfulness, meditation techniques, solution-focused strategies or cognitive and behavior techniques to my clients, combined with coaching strategies to help "stuck" clients move forward.
Relationship Counseling + Couples Therapy
I've successfully worked with many couples who desire a healthier and more satisfying relationship. I work with many high-functioning couples who would like to enhance their relationship and reestablish intimacy and connection. I also work with individuals at various stages of relationships including: newly-formed relationships, couples seeking pre-marital counseling and guidance, new parents seeking support, those considering separation or divorce and the newly single and ready to date. I draw from attachment-based theory, helping couples understand their own attachment style as well as that of their partner. Clients can learn to communicate their needs and "hear" the needs of their partner, as well as develop a shared vision or goals, learn acceptance and compassion for self and the other, heal from infidelity and develop new skills. Clients also are guided to identify and de-escalate triggers, address sex and intimacy concerns and understand how the past and family of origin issues may be impacting the relationship in the present. I use my training from The Gottman Institute, as well as Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT and Non-Violent Communication or NVC to support my work with couples.
EMDR Therapy + Brainspotting
As an EMDRIA-approved, level I + II trained EMDR therapist, I have enjoyed great success with clients using EMDR therapy for a variety of chronic, longstanding difficulties as well as recent traumatic incidents. EMDR psychotherapy can be a stand-alone treatment or integrated into ongoing talk therapy sessions to speed the healing process. As a New York City-based EMDR specialist, I provide trauma resolution for PTSD symptoms, and healing for attachment deficits, developmental traumas, medical trauma and chronic physical and emotional abuse. Additionally, EMDR is an effective therapy for anxiety, obsessions, phobias, compulsions, panic attacks, depression, self-esteem, eating disorders, addictions and more. For individuals with anxiety, emotion regulation problems and in addiction recovery, elements of EMDR therapy can help clients develop and strengthen self-soothing inner resources. A combination of EMDR and coaching is an effective treatment combination for sports and peak performance enhancement and creative and performance blocks. Brainspotting, another technique developed by David Grand, PhD, combined with EMDR psychotherapy is a technique I use to address attachment issues, unresolved trauma, pre-verbal trauma and performance problems.
Consultations + Referrals
I provide consultation sessions that are time-limited and problem or goal-focused. Some individuals and families consult with a mental health professional for educational purposes, a clinical assessment or diagnosis, a second opinion, help with a personal or life challenge, support for a difficult transition or crisis and to obtain resources to other collateral support such as psychiatrists or treatment facilities such as rehabs for addictions and eating disorders. Clinical consultations allow a client, parent or family member to explore concerns, probem-solve with a professional and make decisions or changes in their lives that move them forward when they feel unsupported or "stuck." I am delighted to share my trusted resources to complementary, alternative and conventional medical referrals in New York City and beyond. Consultations are not psychotherapy and can be done long distance using an online service such as Skype, Google, FaceTime or via telephone sessions.
Integrative Therapy-Coaching, Mindfulness, Stress Reduction + Self-Care Practices
My interest in mind-body techniques and complementary medicine has allowed me to journey to some amazing places including workshops and training opportunities. Using my training with the Urban Zen Foundation and my yoga therapy training (RYT 200 + 500 hours), I help clients address anxiety insomnia, stress, trauma and chronic illness using a combination of guided imagery, breathing techniques, body scans, meditation and mindfulness. I've studied aromatherapy and Reiki and still enjoy both, including self-Reiki and Reiki with clients, friends and family. Using the brilliance of neuroplasticity, western psychological theory, and the power of cutting-edge nutrition, yoga therapy, chakra work and other somatic psychotherapies, I truly enjoy helping clients who are open to these techniques heal on many levels. Together we can decide what would work best for your particular needs. Some examples of integrative therapy include: mindfulness training, lifestyle recommendations (nutrition, meditation, exercise, yoga and sleep), boundary work, creative play, journaling, somatic therapy and more.
Supervision + Private Practice Development
I enjoy helping new practitioners such as social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, licensed mental health counselors and psychologists develop and build their private practices. I am happy to provide clinical supervision for cases, and I especially enjoy helping interested therapists blend mind-body medicine and complementary techniques into their existing psychotherapy practices.
Psychotherapy, Coaching + Consultation Services
- Depression and mood disorders
- Anxiety and compulsive disorders
- Eating disorders, emotional eating and body image issues
- Borderline Personality Disorder BPD
- Adolescents problems (behavioral, emotional, family, academic challenges)
- Marriage, couples, relationship problems
- Celebrity, gifted and talented individuals
- Grief, loss, bereavement, life transitions
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
- Addictions, drug addiction, process addictions, substance abuse, behavioral disorders, alcoholism
- Sexual addiction
- Adult survivors of abuse
- Adult children of alcoholics (ACOA)
- Dissociation, complex PTSD, emotion regulation difficulties
- Childhood, developmental trauma, traumatic events, accidents, medical trauma
- Self-harm, Self-sabatage, self-defeating behaviors
- Self-esteem issues, negative self-concept
- Performance blocks using EMDR therapy
- Surviving and managing relationships with borderline or narcissistic individuals or partners
- Men’s issues, career concerns, sexual difficulties, work/life balance
- Women’s issues, career concerns, transitions, parenting, caretaking, hormone imbalance
- Environmental stressors, crisis management
- Phase of life issues, aging
- Sexual and relationship issues for individuals and couples
- LGBT concerns, alternative lifestyles
- Work, creativity and career issues
- Life purpose, existential, spiritual concerns
- Individual, couples, marital, family, group therapy
- Weekend intensive workshops for couples
- Coordination of services with school, medical practitioners, legal counsel, etc
- Consultation and evaluation for potential in-patient residential treatment
- Parent and new parent education, coaching
- Addiction evaluations, assessments, referrals to medical and allied professionals in New York City and beyond
- Executive coaching
- Peak performance coaching
- Clinical supervision, private practice building business, consulting
- Presentations, workshops
- Mindfulness, meditation instruction, stress management
- Recovery support for individuals including their families
- Self-care, well-being, burnout support and coaching
- Psychodynamic, relational, interpersonal psychotherapy
- Mindfulness, meditation support
- EMDR therapy
- Focusing techniques
- Crisis counseling
- Short-term, goal-oriented therapy
- DBT skills
- Marriage and relationships
- Clinical supervision
- Online via telephone, Skype, FaceTime or a HIPPA compliant service
Helpful information About An Integrative Psychotherapy Practice
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is an evidence-based and active therapy that has a long history and tradition used in both short and long-term treatment. Psychodynamic sessions include the process of increasing self-awareness, encouraging self-expression, understanding conflicts, developing insight into the behaviors of self and other, unearthing unconscious content that can interfere with functioning and understanding patterns and dynamics that may have origins in the past but are played out in the "here and now." This form of therapy uses the relationship between patient and therapist to heal. The interpersonal relationship tends to be the focus of sessions as an active example of other relationships in the patient's life, so that patterns and distress can be "worked through" and not repeated outside of treatment.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on examining and changing maladaptive thoughts and behaviors. CBT tends to be a short-term approach that is highly-effective for many with empirically-tested techniques supporting an increase in skills and a change in behaviors. CBT is an effective solution for a variety of concerns including anxiety, depression and addictions/substance abuse.
DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy
DBT was originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. With time, DBT skills and techniques have been found to be helpful for individuals who struggle in many areas of life including substance abuse, addictions. DBT treatment combines ideas of awareness, acceptance and change from mindfulness with a range of psychological theories. Because DBT skills are practical and can be generalized into many areas of life, DBT can be successfully integrated into treatment plans and used in a variety of treatment settings. DBT uses mindfulness and other skills to help increase emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness with the goal of helping patient's cope, de-escalate, and self-regulate.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages which is to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve the quality of life. The goal of ACT is to help people create a full and meaningful life even and especially when the stress and pain of life is a challenge. ACT teaches the psychological skills to manage painful feelings and thoughts in an effort to reduce the impact of suffering. Another aim is to help individuals clarify what is important and meaningful, using that awareness to guide, motivate and inspire them to make important changes that will lead to a better life. ACT supports cognitive flexibility in addition to encouraging individuals to observe and allow difficult thoughts feelings, emotions and experiences to simply occur. ACT also helps patients identify concrete short and long-term goals.
Mindfulness is the practice of moment-to-moment awareness of feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations as well as an awareness of the environment and one's surroundings. Mindfulness, as a philosophy, has more recently become a widely-used and helpful practice in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. Additionally, mindfulness is an empirically-validated practice with data that supports its efficacy and application in a range of clinical and non-clinical settings. A mindfulness practice includes the observation of feelings, emotions and sensations, a non-judgmental presence and the awareness of the present moment.
EMDR is an evidence-based treatment that targets many symptoms and conditions including trauma, negative memories, phobias, fears, anxiety, addictions, compulsions and performance difficulties. Originally used to treat Veterans, EMDR therapy is now one of the most efficient and effective trauma/symptom treatment methods that allows clients to fully heal from their psychological wounds. EMDR can successfully be integrated into psychotherapy sessions. Many clients find EMDR to be more effective than other forms of therapy including CBT and traditional “talk therapy.”
Psychotherapy for Depression
Clinical depression is a complicated condition that can be treated with interpersonal psychotherapy, medication and a collaborative approach to identify the biological and psychosocial factors that may have contributed to a patient's depressive symptoms. Depression can be mild and show up with seasonal changes and it can be debilitating and interfere with activities of daily living, life skills, relationships, employment, hope and may also include the desire to end one’s life. Depression treatment is generally supportive in nature, and may require help with daily structure and coping skills and often requires working with other mental health professionals. Interpersonal psychotherapy, CBT and EMDR therapy can be effective treatments for depressed patients as can antidepressant use, light therapy, vitamin D and supplements.
Psychotherapy for Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms bring many into therapy for the first time. Not all clients experience anxiety in the same way. For some, anxiety is a distress that presents in a specific situation such as performance, public speaking or test-taking. For others, anxiety may be experienced as chronic and ranging from mild to debilitating, including uncomfortable physical symptoms. Anxiety sufferers are best helped by understanding emotional conflicts, environmental and genetic factors with treatment that may include talk therapy, CBT, stress reduction techniques, Somatic Experiencing (SE) and EMDR Therapy to target early trauma, memories and present-day distress.
Trauma Treatment and PTSD
Early trauma and chronic developmental traumas that have impacted a patient's development and attachment relationships are the most difficult to heal. Psychotherapy can help validate the patient's experience, work through any feelings of shame and confusion that may have been internalized, process the traumatic experience or event and help them understand how their current life is impacted by traumatic experiences. Psychotherapy can help individuals identify triggers in daily experiences that create symptoms and contribute to familiar self-defeating patterns and dynamics. While talk therapy can be a good place to begin for some trauma patients, EMDR is the treatment of choice to provide symptomatic relief and truly heal from trauma.
Loss and Bereavement
Losing something or someone is difficult and complicated for many reasons. Loss can include a loved-one, pet, health, job, lifestyle, home, identity, status, and more. Loss, especially when significant to the individual, requires mourning and grieving that loss, experiencing the associated feelings, and eventually, moving forward. Psychotherapy can give the individual a safe place to grieve and feel the sadness. The healing process is different for everyone as is the length of time required to heal.
What happens in therapy?
A number of benefits are available when you engage in the therapy process. Therapy helps people gain relief from unpleasant feelings and thoughts, create more fulfilling and meaningful relationships, and gain more pleasure and control in their lives. Psychotherapy helps clients get to the root of their difficulties and learn ways to become more self-aware, cope with difficult emotions, improve mood, gain control, feel connected to others, develop the skills to handle future problems, and live more fulfilling and satisfying lives. Therapists can provide support, practical problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as: troubling patterns and behaviors. a crisis, managing difficult people, internal conflicts, neurosis, life transitions, anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness self-esteem, relationship problems, unresolved childhood issues, trauma/abuse, grief, stress management, body image issues, eating disorders, feeling lost or stuck, sexuality or identity concerns, addictive behaviors and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors or psychotherapists can be a tremendous asset to career concerns, managing personal growth, professional relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, parenting challenges, developing healthier habits, connecting to the body, understanding thoughts, feelings and emotions, balancing the stress of daily life and goal-setting. High-achieving, successful individuals often experience emptiness, unhappiness, disappointment, loneliness, stress, anxiety and interpersonal problems which may lead to less than desirable coping solutions such as addictions, alcohol and drug abuse, eating problems and sleep deficits. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or help their clients discover helpful solutions. Many lasting benefits can be obtained from personal, couples or group therapy. You can learn more about therapy from the American Psychological Association or APA Learn more here
Therapy and counseling can help clients with the following issues:
- Reframe current life circumstances and gain a different perspective
- Learn to manage difficult work and personal transitions and changes such as marriage, new baby, mid-life problems and aging
- Gain the support needed to get through difficult times such as loss and change
- Learn to feel and live a more authentic life, accept feelings of being “different”
- Develop healthy self-esteem and resolve persistent negative self-states
- Develop healthier coping skills, habits and boundaries
- Have healthier personal and work relationships
- Develop awareness of any repetitive patterns that interfere with success and happiness by understanding how past dynamics interfere with the present
- Manage difficult people personally and professionally
- Develop a path of purpose and life fulfillment
- Heal from past trauma and abuse and process traumatic memories and dissociation
- Increase insight and self-awareness and identify innate strengths
- Improve communication, learn conflict resolution, develop better listening and self-assertion skills
- Address depression, sadness, feelings of despair and isolation
- Learn helpful coping skills for stress, anxiety, phobias and panic attacks
- Relieve stress and insomnia and learn relaxation response
- Manage destructive patterns that include drinking, eating, drugs, addictions and self-harm
- Understand negative and habitual patterns of thinking and behaving
- Resolve writing, creative and other performance blocks
- Mourn losses such as separation, divorce, miscarriage, infertility or the death of a loved-one
- Develop effective parenting skills
- Address problems related to chronic pain, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, medical procedures and diagnoses
- Heal from sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, domestic violence and natural disasters
- Resolve sexual and identity concerns
- Manage feelings of overwhelm, feel more embodied and develop an awareness connection between mind and body, feel more
What can I expect?
If you're considering therapy now, then you're experiencing challenges in your own life or with others. Psychotherapy is not like sharing problems with a trusted friend. It involves looking closely at yourself, your situation and the people around you. This can feel difficult and scary, but therapy with a trained therapist can help people find solutions to problems, relieve distressing symptoms such as anxiety and depression, support good mental and physical health, promote integrity and honesty and help individuals develop intimacy in relationships. Reaching your full potential, understanding yourself and others and removing barriers to happiness and fulfillment are but a few goals of successful, effective therapy. Even though you may have good friends and family members to talk to, a psychotherapist or psychologist with professional training is able to see things from a different lens and even challenge and support you in ways that the people in your life cannot.
How do I know what to look for in a therapist?
When you choose a therapist, you should feel understood and not judged for the concerns that led you to seek counseling. You should feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with your potential therapist as the process requires an investment of time and emotional energy. Your therapist should have good interpersonal skills as well as empathy and compassion. You should choose a therapist who has training in the areas that you are seeking help with. Some therapists have received specialized training in areas such as trauma, addictions or eating disorders. If your problems are serious enough to impact the quality of your life and your ability to function, you may need to find a specialist or someone who specializes in your particular problem. Many therapists have received general psychotherapy training and consider themselves generalists and are able to treat a range of difficulties. Some psychotherapists have received specialized training in addition to graduate school. This article in Psychology Today explains the process as well as list important qualities to look for in a therapist.
How long will I need to be in therapy?
Your personal needs and goals are always a priority, and will shape the time you spend in sessions. Many individuals desire focused, structured and time-limited sessions with a clear plan targeting specific problems or goals that can be met within a relatively short period of time, while other difficulties require a more intensive focus and may take longer to resolve. This is especially true when people have been struggling for a long time and patterns and habits are rigid and entrenched. Some will do best with once or twice weekly sessions that are consistent—this process allows clients to examine patterns and dynamics that may interfere with healthy functioning.
What kind of therapy should I be looking for?
Increasing insight into problems and self-awareness is one goal of therapy, but unfortunately, that alone does not always lead to the desired change. For this reason, and with certain clients, it may be necessary to implement behavioral changes and track progress between sessions. Some clients need targeted, specific types of therapies that resolve symptoms related to trauma. The duration of treatment is highly variable and depends on many factors, including: the nature of the problem, client motivation and having realistic goals for change. Depending on client needs, one may benefit from a number of different therapeutic strategies and techniques. In your initial consultation, you should work with your therapist to figure out the best approach for you. Therapists may use or combine the following approaches: psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal, humanistic, gestalt, Emotion-Focused Therapy [EFT] and relational as well as evidence-based therapies such as EMDR therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE), Dialectical Behavior Therapy or DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT to name a few.
Are my sessions confidential?
It is important to know that everything you say during psychotherapy sessions will be kept confidential. The only exceptions are when there is a danger that you may harm yourself or someone else, or in active cases of abuse. Mental health professionals are obligated by law to disclose that information to the appropriate authorities. These situations are rare. Most people find it a great relief to have a safe place where they are able to share what's on their mind with a non-judgmental, supportive and trained professional.