Notes from Paula on finding the right therapist for you
"Taking the first step toward healthier living is easier in a warm, nurturing environment with a therapist who listens, understands your uniqueness and is competent in developing an effective plan for alleviating your symptoms and accomplishing your goals."
Everyone is different and a therapeutic approach should never be limited to a ‘one size fits all’ model. We are trained in a broad range of treatment modalities and are committed to understanding you, your concerns and goals and are dedicated to finding the most effective treatment approach for you and your loved ones.
At PeachTherapy, our treatment model combines fundamental aspects of attachment based, emotion-focused and cognitive-behavioral therapies. We believe that relationships are of primary importance to the development of the self. Through understanding the self in the context of relationships, we can begin to uncover and unblock the obstacles that keep us from living wholesome, meaningful lives.
The primary goals for both individual and couples’ services include gaining insight into our emotions, thoughts and resulting behaviors, breaking down dysfunctional patterns and rebuilding healthy, productive interactions with self and others. We will help you choose the course of treatment to accomplish your goals, reveal your life’s potential and begin your personal journey toward wellness.
Individual psychotherapy is provided for those seeking help for depression, anxiety, phobias and/or panic attacks. Other reasons individuals seek support include life transition issues, loss and bereavement, relationship-based concerns and personal growth and development.
Individual psychotherapy can be brief, short-term or longer depending on your needs and goals. The length of time in therapy can depend on the severity of the problem. Generally, people begin with weekly 50 minute sessions. The frequency of sessions can best be determined during the initial evaluation and then re-evaluated according to your changing needs. The therapeutic relationship is completely confidential and most effective when there is a strong rapport of confidence and trust built. The quality of this relationship combined with our professional competence often results in successful treatment. Most people find that growth occurs most rapidly when they are committed to and invested in doing the hard work of therapy that is often required.
Individual sessions can help you clarify the vision of the person you want to be and the life and relationships you want to create. The process generally involves identifying and dismantling self-defeating behaviors and other obstacles that block you from realizing your vision. The primary focus in individual sessions is your internal experience while the goals include developing new emotional-management skills and the knowledge base necessary to build the life you envision.
Couples therapy can be extremely helpful for couples who are in distress or simply want to enhance and deepen their intimacy. Whether you are in crisis, going through a difficult transition or simply want to grow closer, couples therapy can be a great source of support. A highly trained, objective third party can help you sort through the maze of anger, resentment and complicated feelings that often accompany a strained relationship.
Couples therapy is designed to clarify the problems in the relationship and the vision for the kind of relationship you want to have. Through identifying the patterns of behavior and thinking that create and perpetuate conflict, anger, fear, insecurity and distance, couples gain a deeper understanding of each other and learn to change the destructive patterns in their relationship.
Marital distress has become one of the main reasons people seek help. Because developing and maintaining intimacy is such a challenge, couples therapy can help to create a safer environment for you and your partner to begin to build trust and a more secure bond. Couples learn about each other, work through past hurts and foibles, and develop the necessary tools to help them maintain a strong connection and a shared vision for their relationship.
Sometimes a partner will not agree to couples therapy and this leaves the other person feeling helpless to change or improve the relationship. If you are unsatisfied or troubled over your relationship but your spouse/partner refuses to go for help, you may want to consider beginning with individual therapy to help you make healthy choices and changes in yourself and to set the groundwork for changing the way your relationships look.
Whether you are dealing with a transition such as death, divorce, or remarriage, struggling with a strong-willed child or adolescent, or looking to strengthen your parenting skills, family therapy can help you to create a peaceful and stable home environment as well as to reconnect with your loved ones. Family therapy also helps to strengthen family bonds and relationships, explore dynamics, develop effective parenting strategies, and allow children and adolescents to feel heard and understood in a safe, neutral environment. Your first family therapy session will focus on gathering a thorough history of family dynamics and developing current treatment goals with your therapist that each member of the family agrees upon. Each family member involved will have an opportunity to express their view of the problem(s) and explore ways in which they have previously tried to deal with those problems. It is highly recommended, but not required, for all individuals participating in family therapy to be involved in individual therapy treatment as well in order to address any individual difficulties, which may be impacting the family dynamic and preventing progress toward goals from occurring. It may take 2-3 sessions before a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan can be formulated.
Children coming in for individual therapy can often feel anxious, overwhelmed, and angry. Your child’s feelings are our priority and we will do everything we can to ensure they feel safe, comfortable, and understood in therapy. Prior to your child’s first therapy session, your therapist will contact you to get some history information and determine whether an individual session with just the child’s parents is necessary before moving forward with treatment. In addition, you will discuss the possible treatment options that your child may benefit from, including EMDR, CBT, and child-centered play therapy. At your first session with your child, your therapist will leave it up to you and your child to determine whether they feel comfortable coming into the session by themselves. Most of the time parents join the first session for approximately 20-25 minutes with the child to discuss their child’s psychosocial history, family dynamics, and develop treatment goals. If the child feels comfortable after 20-25 minutes, the therapist will excuse the parent from the room and will meet individually with the child for the remainder of the session time. By the end of the first session, you can expect to have discussed personalized treatment goals with your therapist and to have developed a plan for how to move forward in helping your child work toward positive change.
Sometimes individual growth is blocked by trauma. Trauma can often interfere with your life in many ways. It can lead to a life of fear, insecurity, sadness and debilitating emotional pain. For some people, these symptoms can interfere with daily living and the capacity to connect with others. Traumatic events that occur during development can lead to the formation of rigid or chaotic thinking and behavior patterns. Trauma can also occur during the life span affecting us in ways that keep us stuck and unable to return to normal living.
Trauma symptoms can range from anxiety and depression to panic and dissociation. Individuals suffering from unresolved trauma often feel fearful and disconnected from mainstream living. Their lives can be marked by the avoidance of relationships or situations that trigger the feelings associated with the trauma. Developing appropriate and effect methods for coping with and resolving these experiences is the primary goal of trauma therapy.
Although there are many different approaches to trauma therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is one the most effective approaches we use for the treatment of traumatic injuries such as childhood abuse, grief, accidents, fears and phobias.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a scientifically validated, integrative psychotherapy approach based on the idea that much of psychopathology is due to traumatic experiences or disturbing life events. When trauma occurs, it can interfere with the person’s ability to integrate these experiences within the central nervous system. The core of EMDR treatment involves activating components of the traumatic memory or disturbing life event and pairing those components with alternating bilateral stimulation. This process facilitates the integration of the experience and often results in the alleviation of present symptoms, a diminishing of distress from the memory, an improved view of the self, relief from the bodily disturbance and the resolution of present and future triggers.
EMDR has a standardized protocol but the length of treatment varies according to the severity of trauma(s). The treatment of adult-based traumas is generally brief and relief from the memory of a disturbing event (such as a car crash or mugging) or a pervasive fear (such as flying, or crowds, etc) can be accomplished within a couple or more sessions. For developmental issues of trauma, sessions may run longer and are usually incorporated into regular individual therapy sessions. People with severely traumatic-based childhoods can require a significantly longer period of time (2 years or so) to resolve the effects of the past on their current lives.
EMDR has helped millions of individuals who have been subjected to traumatic experiences and events. For more information on EMDR, Contact Us.
How does coaching work? Coaching differs from therapy; you will work on the future, not the pain of the past, but present and future goals and identify what blocks are in your path to navigate through and around what is needed. When you realize your reality differs from what you want it to look like, a life coach will ask the questions that lead to a better understanding of yourself. These new perspective and insights will move you onto a path with identifiable goals for a purpose driven end result. By creating a neutral, accepting atmosphere, based on a powerful and transformational, self-discovery model.
We provide a warm, safe atmosphere for you to share your experiences, struggles and dreams.
Helping individuals, families, couples and children move forward toward healthier, positive living and stronger, enduring, life-giving relationships.