Individual strength, happiness, and peace of mind. Healthy, strong relationships. These are the two main requirements you want for a good and happy life, and they are what we all seek to experience in our lives. When you're feeling anxious or depressed, when you're facing personal challenges or relationship problems, you just want to feel better. Counseling/psychotherapy is the field dedicated to working on achieving that goal and making the improvements that are needed to help fix your life. What's necessary is finding the right Therapist/Counselor who can help you. I am dedicated to providing counseling, psychotherapy, and consultation services to the Long Beach and Orange County areas. I love working with individual clients and helping both straight and gay relationships.
We live in a fast-paced and rapidly changing time of new hopes and new challenges, and for quite a lot of people, new fears and anxieties as well now. As life becomes more and more difficult and uncertain, it becomes more and more important for you to be your strongest, your clearest, and your best. I'm here to help, with counseling, therapy, and consultation, so that you can become wiser, more grounded, happier, more at peace, and more motivated to live up to the expression of your true and unique self.
Going to therapy is like going to the gym! It's the mental gym. You can still be younger in spirit and healthier in mind than you have been before. Incidentally, being your strongest and best self is also the best thing you can do for your marriage, relationship, family, and kids.
You'll find more detailed information about my areas of specialization on the following page links:
"May we grow spiritually, unfold emotionally, learn intellectually, and prosper in wholeness of health and affairs." Craig Carter, Your Handbook for Healing
It's important to explain that many therapists, like many medical doctors, treat the symptoms, but not the cause. Sometimes this is necessary, to stop feeing so much pain. But ultimately it's also like treating the smoke but not the fire! Ultimately you need to put out the fire. If you have the opportunity to get to the true cause of an issue, you should take it. Some therapists are of the opinion that people should just expect that they'll need to keep going back to therapy again and again every time their same symptoms return.
My therapeutic approach combines the best of short-term, solution-focused therapy and deeper-level psychodynamic therapy. Major studies have shown that psychodynamic therapy not only produces better results than simple supportive therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy, but that clients actually continue to improve for months and even years after completing therapy. That is truly remarkable. ("Getting to Know Me," by Jonathan Shedler, Scientific American Mind, 12/10 & "The Idea That Wouldn't Die," by Molly Knight Raskin, Psychology Today, 6/11). Working through the core issues once and for all can also allow people to function well without medication, depending on the condition.
My treatment specializations include:
- Depression, Grieving, and Loss
- Anxiety and Stress Management
- Loneliness and seeking a partner
- Couples counseling, both gay & straight
- Life Transitions, including Midlife Crisis
- Gay, Lesbian, & Bisexuality Issues
- Faith and spirituality issues
I apply the best principles of short-term, solution-focused therapy and deeper-level psychodynamic therapy in an integrated way in my work with both individual clients and couples. Each client and each couple needs a unique approach, not "one size fits all." Together we'll develop a plan that allows you to know what progress is needed, and how to get from point A to point B.
Some clients just need a lot of listening; they just need to be heard. In that process, they figure out what they're feeling and what they need to do next. Other clients need solid information, answers to questions, and a lot of feedback. Most of the time, it's a matter of finding the right balance between the two. A good therapist will know what you need. They won't make you do it their way.
Several factors go into having a positive, productive therapy experience. The empathy of the therapist is a vital part. But equally influential is the consistency of your work with your thoughts and feelings, and working away at the problem issues. The consistent interaction of you with the therapist, as we work to deconstruct the old patterns, is necessary because the old thinking/feeling patterns have been imprinted so deeply in the neuropathways. That's shy it's important you find a therapist who's a good fit for you. It's better to get into therapy and go after the problems aggressively, than to go occasionally and let the therapy fade into the background like it's just another appointment and just another part of your current lifestyle. Good therapy has the potential to make your thinking, feeling, and lifestyle much different, for the better, but that largely depends on the effort that goes into the process.
Facilitating that individualized therapy process with you will optimize your experience in therapy. You might be surprised at how much progress you can make in a limited number of sessions. Together we'll talk about your goals and how much time you'll need to reach them.
The two most important factors for a successful outcome in therapy are first, that there's a good fit between the therapist and the client, and second, the shared commitment of both the therapist and client to treatment, and their belief in the outcome.
In a comfortable and supportive atmosphere, I offer a highly personalized approach tailored to your individual needs.