Mental and emotional issues express themselves in many different forms and, ultimately, barring some extreme examples, I work with most of these expressions. Here is a list covering some, but not all, of what I have experience working with.

“Don’t ask the question, ‘why the addiction’, but, ‘why the pain?”
-Gabor Mate

Addiction is a complex and individual issue. Addiction problems often present through substance-abuse issues but can manifest as other behavioral patterns as well.

Examples of addiction related problems:

  • Substance-abuse (including drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine)
  • Gambling
  • Food addiction/eating disorders
  • Relational addiction
  • Sexuality/Pornography Issues
  • Retail/spending
  • Technology/social media/video gaming

Identifying Questions:

  • Do you question your relationship to a particular (or several) substance or behavior?
  • Do you rely on a substance or behavior as a primary means of emotional support or regulation?
  • Have you thought about cutting down or quitting a particular substance or behavior but feel overwhelmed by the prospect?
  • Do you want to stop the use of a substance or behavior but not adopt the identity of being “in recovery”?
  • Are you successfully abstinent but suspect that you are still lacking in healthy emotional regulation?
  • Are you successfully abstinent but still having problems finding stable romantic connection?

12-Step related Identifying Questions:

  • Do you see the benefit of 12-step involvement but simultaneously find aspects of the approach incompatible to your world view?
  • Are you involved in 12-step fellowship but find yourself wanting to find a more fulfilling relationship to your personal involvement?
  • Have you been involved in 12-step recovery but find yourself wanting to safely leave the fellowship?
  • Do you find yourself questioning the need for continued traditional abstinence?

“No problem can be solved on the level of consciousness that created the problem in the first place.” -Carl Jung

Moods are ultimately a natural consequence created by the emotional ingredients that make up our lives. They are also highly habitual. If we are living with consistently undesirable moods, it is important to take a good look at how we are currently living our lives while simultaneously finding ways to break our habitual mood states.

Examples of mood problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Stress

Identifying Questions:

  • Do you feel consistently sad or anxious?
  • Does it seem as if a particular negative mood state seems to dominate your day?
  • Is it difficult for you to experience good moods, even during circumstances that should elicit them easily?
  • Do you feel emotionally flat, neither feeling very high or low?

“Relationship is surely the mirror in which you discover yourself”

Our relationships, more than any other aspect of our lives, have the power to create deep feelings of connectedness and personal value, or their opposite, deep feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. But also, more than any aspect of our lives, relationships shed light onto the very foundation of our emotional make-up, and can be used as an opportunity to look deeply into ourselves and provide insight into important changes that need to be made in order to successfully grow.

Examples of Relational Issues:

  • Couples Counseling
  • Family Counseling
  • Intimate Partner Abuse/Violence
  • Codependency
  • Communication work
  • Infidelity
  • Parenting Support

Identifying Questions

  • Is romantic connection consistently troublesome?
  • Are your relationships usually physically or emotionally abusive?
  • Do you find that you feel empty if you aren’t romantically or sexually involved?
  • Does romantic connection always start off very intensely but become emotionally painful after a few months?
  • Do feelings of powerlessness and desperation usually accompany romantic involvement?

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin

There is no more important emotional work to be done than to address one’s personal trauma. Although not all traumatic events lead to ongoing emotional trauma, if it does exist, trauma and/or PTSD is capable of infecting our lives as completely as any other form of emotional wounding. It is vital that trauma, should it exist, be addressed and healed so that we can experience the full array of emotional experience.

Identifying Questions:

  • Have you experienced abuse or other forms of classical trauma in your life, especially during your childhood?
  • Do you find that experiencing love is painful to you?
  • Do you have addiction issues?
  • Do you have an underlying feeling of fear or angst that accompanies you throughout your day?

“We have two lives…the one we learn with and the life we live after that.” -Bernard Malamud

There doesn’t have to be a specific presenting problem to benefit from the therapeutic process. Often, therapy can be used as a means of personal examination and emotional growth, even when there isn’t an obvious reason to seek it.

Examples of Personal Growth Work:

  • Self-esteem
  • Self-examination
  • Developing healthier interpersonal and intimacy patterns

Identifying Questions:

  • Do you have a nagging intuition that life has more to offer you than it seems to be doing?
  • Are you unsure that you are living a life that seems suited to you?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to examine your life and make changes where necessary?
  • Do you think you could be happier but don’t know how or why?