Is your life stuck on autopilot?
- Is something inside you telling you that something needs to change, but you aren't sure what?
- Do you wonder if you will ever be "enough"?
- Does it seem like you drift through your day, without purpose or direction?
Sometimes it can feel like life can get away from you, as you raise your children, care for your partner, and run a household. For some, the additional work of a job can lead to challenges with the work-life balance that seems to uniquely affect women. In the midst of all the running around, it begins to occur to you that maybe life could be more meaningful. Your friends and loved ones might start to point out that your self-esteem is poor or that you would be more successful if you could develop more confidence. Maybe your partner is encouraging you to seek counselling as a solution to problems in your relationship.
You might be asking yourself, "what will I do when my children grow up?" or "what would happen if I divorced my partner? I don't even know if I can take care of my own needs anymore." These transitions can leave you feeling powerless and anxious about your future.
Everyone experiences change
Change is a necessary part of growth and development. All humans transform many times during the course of a life. Unfortunately, while a man is expected to go through a "midlife crisis" when he transitions from one stage to the next, women have no such large-scale understanding. When we face transitions, such as divorce, grown children, or a change in identity, we often do it alone.
Transitions are a natural part of life. You must change and grow, or you will die. All relationships change over time, including the relationship you have with yourself. They are continually coming and going, becoming more intimate, then growing apart. Some days, your own company is welcome, the next day, it feels like sitting with a judgmental stranger. Like any relationship,your identity shifts as you grow and develop. It can feel like the growing pains will overcome you and leave you broken with no idea who you are. This is temporary and you don't have to go through it alone.
One of the beautiful parts of growing older is the wisdom that often comes with experience. You might be changing, but your own inner wisdom is a resource that is always available to you, no matter what happens to you. With proper guidance from an experienced therapist, you can access that wisdom and put it in practice to move your life out of that rut!
Empowerment counselling can get you back on track
Counselling for women helps you sort through your priorities and discover solutions you could not see on your own. With a combination of natural talent, a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and more than 20 years of formal training and experience, I can help you access your inner wisdom and make decisions that will get you through any transitions in your life.
I start every session with mindful meditation. This trains you to find your calm, wise inner voice and helps you focus on the work. It is easy for women to get distracted by taking care of others. Mindfulness practice centers you so that you can effectively focus on your own needs. Self-care is one of the important skills I emphasize in my work with you.
We discuss current events in your life and use them as opportunities to change anything you need to change and keep anything you wish to keep. For example, if your relationship with your partner is hitting a rough patch, we might talk about how you approach disagreements and adjust your perceptions and plans for future disagreements so that you can be more effective. It is easy to get lost in an effort to change others, rather than staying in your own power; the power to make your own decisions and change your own behaviours. Interactions with your loved ones are golden opportunities to develop the power to change your own mind.
Using my experience and training in multiple therapeutic techniques, I choose the best tools to help you integrate your mind, heart, body, and spirit so that you can find your Whole Self. When you are in full alignment in these four aspects, your own Wisdom will guide you to make the best decisions and changes for you. Once you know what the right choice is for you, we work together to act on it and bring it into your daily life through your actions and practice.
My style is best described as compassionate, balanced action. Understanding why your life is as it is helps to satisfy the mind, but it does not create lasting change because it addresses only the mind and partially satisfies the heart. In order to make lasting change, you must engage the body and develop actions that fit with your new understanding. Finally, engaging your spirit strengthens your conviction and gives you the additional support you need to follow through.
My clients tell me that they feel safe with me. This opens up communication so that we can work with even the most difficult, private issues as they arise. When you need a listening, caring ear, I am here. A good therapist will do more than listen, however, once you have expressed yourself. I will ask questions that lead you to deeper understanding, then push you to act on your insights so that your own actions prove to you that you are more capable and stronger than you ever imagined. My purpose is to support you and guide you through the process of walking through the fire- and coming out the other side a stronger, more confident version of yourself!
With my guidance, you can discover your own power and take action to live your life fully and mindfully, with Purpose. You will learn how to overcome uncertainty and make the decisions that grow you in the direction you choose.
I have always had a knack for helping women find their power. Even as a child, I encouraged the other girls to stand up and face the boys when they were rude. In 1995, I started teaching self-defense classes. I have continued to train in a martial art and to teach these effective self-defense techniques. My formal psychological training began in 1997, when I started graduate school. My focus was on helping women in violent relationships, as well as other traumatic experiences.
As a woman living in a society that favors wealthy, white men, I have had to discover my own power many times over. It is not a one-time experience; find your power and - poof!- forever successful. It's more like finding your power, practicing it, giving it away, rediscovering it, practicing it, then discovering that there is yet more to find! I was born with a natural ability to speak up for myself that was enhanced by my mentors as I grew. Even with that, however, I had to learn to raise my voice, which is naturally soft and childlike. I had to learn not to be "nice" to people who were disrespectful to me. I had to learn that I could accomplish my dreams. I had to learn to walk through my fears. I continue to learn these, and other, empowering lessons. Everything I ask of my clients I have either already tried, or I am in process of learning. We are in this together.
Therapy is too expensive.
How much are you worth? How much is it worth to model for your children how to take care of their self-worth and follow their dreams? When you take the time and spend the money to take care of yourself, everything in your life prospers, often including finances. As you develop your sense of self-worth, you find yourself spending less time and money on things that harm you (like junk food or alcohol and cigarettes) and asking for more from people who want your time and effort (pay raise, anyone?). When you put it into perspective, therapy is not as expensive as ignoring your own needs.
Sometimes, the reality is that your finances simply will not allow for regular, long-term therapy. That's okay because you have options.
- Health insurance often covers at least some of the cost. You simply pay me, then submit the receipts I give you for reimbursement from your insurance company.
- Free! 20-minute consultation. It is important that you find a therapist that fits you, but it can get expensive to pay full price to meet someone while you are shopping for the right therapist. I will gladly meet with you for a free 20 minute consultation so you can get an idea of how I work before paying anything.
- If we work together for a few sessions and you find it is helping, but cannot afford to continue paying the full fee, let me know and we can work together to find a solution that works for both of us.
- Therapy does not have to be a long-term committment. People often feel better after a few sessions. You might not make as many long-lasting changes, but you can still get some valuable ideas and skills that you can practice on your own.
- You can choose less frequent sessions. This usually means slower progress, but it can still be effective- and easier on your pocketbook.
- If you would like to pay for 10 sessions up front, I can give you a discount. Please note that your insurance will likely still want receipts for each session. They don't like paying a lump sum for a service that has not been utilized, yet.
How can I be sure that it will work?
Research finds that almost all clients feel better after 3-4 sessions. Long-lasting and solid change requires more time, based on these two factors:
- The fit between client and therapist. This is the #1 most important factor in therapy effectiveness. I offer a free 20 minute consultation in order to help you get a sense of how well we would fit.
- You must be prepared to do the work. If you are not willing to change your perceptions and do things differently, then nothing in your life will change. The best therapist in the world cannot fix your life without your efforts. I offer specfic suggestions and options to guide you in the actions you need to take in order to make lasting change. If you are not ready to do the work and take the risks necessary to develop your psychological muscles, now is probably not the right time for you to engage in therapy. But if you are ready to get moving to the next phase in your life, you cannot help but succeed!
I'm not crazy
You don't have to have a diagnosis in order to benefit from therapy. Everyone has times in their lives when they can use some extra guidance. Big transitions, like relationship changes, children growing up, and identity changes can feel overwhelming when you try to get through them alone and friends can only do so much to help. At these times, it helps to have an expert on your team.
Sometimes, life makes you feel crazy, even if you are still functioning. You might find that it's getting more difficult to enjoy your life the way you want to, even though you are managing to survive. The question is, do you really want to live your life just getting by? Therapy can help you find your purpose, so that you can thrive in a life full of Joy.
It's your life. Are you ready to love it?