Individual Counseling

Explore your experience so you can experience change

There are many stressors and disappointments in life. At times those stressors and disappointments build up like paper cuts, taking their toll over time, leaving us in a struggle with discontentment. At times we experience a major loss or trauma that overwhelms our ability to cope or reduces our capacity to function well. At times it is disappointment in our selves or dissatisfaction with our choices and behavior that magnifies distress.

This is where Individual Counseling comes in: to be a resource for individuals in times of stress, crisis and/or desired growth. When faced with loss, when relationships become difficult or end, when job or financial worries intensify, when self-worth diminishes, when anxiety, frustration or depression build, when faced with an important and confusing decision-point about one’s life, when past ways of coping no longer work, when deep change is desired – in these situations and many more it is normal and even courageous to seek support. Individual therapy can support clients in discovering the internal and inter-personal resources needed to help them overcome obstacles and create greater vitality and gratification in their life.

Though there can be many factors that complicate our lives and cause distress, I believe it is the way we deal with our own pain and disappointment that most affects the quality of our lives. To be certain, it is often external factors that create distress, but how we deal with that distress can either help us heal and grow or cause us to feel stuck. The ways we have learned to cope with suffering in the past may no longer support us in getting more of what we need and desire in the present. These engrained coping mechanisms may now be making it harder for us to have more rewarding personal and professional experiences.

Individual Counseling can help clients identify the conditioned coping mechanisms and attitudes that interfere with their current happiness, and then develop more adaptive ways of relating to their anguish or agitation so as to feel better about themselves and closer to others. In order to identify adaptive strategies for dealing with pain and upset, I focus on helping clients increase awareness of their own internal experience – both in their lives in general and in their relationship with me. This increased awareness can be utilized to increase self-care, self-knowledge and self-reliance, all of which can lead to greater self-worth and greater possibilities for personal change. This increased self-awareness can also, paradoxically, increase awareness of and empathy for others, leading to closer, healthier connections with others.

For some people, Individual Counseling provides an excellent opportunity to develop skills that help them better manage stress and conflict; for others it offers a unique chance to enter into deep self-exploration in search of personal transformation. Depending on the intentions of my clients, I work collaboratively with individuals to:

  • Engage in a healthy grieving process to transition through loss and/or disappointment
  • Help them better deal with the difficult emotions related to divorce and custody conflicts
  • Increase self-acceptance and self-esteem
  • Explore the meaning and purpose of their life
  • Increase vitality and creative energy
  • Gain clarity about the state of their relationships and their role in co-creating that state
  • More effectively manage anger and/or frustration
  • Reduce shame
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce depression
  • Increase attentional capacities
  • Explore their relationship with drugs and/or alcohol and create a healthier relationship with that substance (which sometimes means saying goodbye to it)
  • Support their early and long-time recovery from drug/alcohol abuse or dependence
  • Cope with the stress and challenges of parenting

I not only provide Individual Counseling services for adults but for boys between the ages of 10 – 16 as well. Tween/Teen boys can benefit from having a therapeutic relationship with a therapist who can help them better understand what they’re going through and better navigate the pressures of school, family and peer relations.

The power of Individual Counseling lies mainly in the development of the working relationship between the client and therapist. I devote myself to co-creating a safe, energizing relationship that supports the client on her or his path to greater health and fulfillment. I have specific training, education and experience in employing collaborative psychotherapeutic methods that harness the healing power of the therapeutic relationship.

If you have been experiencing stress, conflict or loss and you want to work on developing important internal and inter-personal skills; or if you are feeling motivated to overcoming obstacles to greater vitality and fulfillment in life, contact me to schedule a free 15-minute conversation.

 

To make an appointment or for more information please call 415.339.8335 in Marin or 707.583.2353 in Sonoma. Copyright 2011 Doug Silberstein, MFT. All rights reserved.