Counseling / Therapy Philosophy
I work with clients in my private practice who want to resolve their own problems with my assistance. I expect that as people become more accepting of themselves, they are more capable to finding happiness and contentment in their lives. Many clients require only a few counseling sessions to achieve these goals, while others may need more time. If we are successful together, you will feel that you are able to face challenges and stresses in the future with greater equanimity and resilience.
- Populations Served: Adults, Children & Adolescents
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Anger/Rage Issues
- Anxiety & Panic Disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Trauma & PTSD
- Gay or Lesbian Issues
- Grief & Loss
- Marriage & Family Therapy
- Men’s Issues
Having been trained in a behaviorist approach, I focus on looking at dysfunctional behaviors and the beliefs that go with them. I recognize that some “dysfunctional” behaviors started out as self-protective adaptations to difficult or traumatic events or conditions early in life. Behaviors which served us well when we were facing extreme pressures as children may turn into habits that are no longer appropriate or helpful now. Similarly, if we had highly critical or perfectionist parents, we may internalize those messages, and be very critical of ourselves. Or we may feel that we can never live up to the standards of perfection which we may have acquired from our parents or others. Or we may have learned to always put the needs of others first, and never to say No. Related to this last one may be the learned habit of avoiding any argument or confrontation. So, part of the process is to identify those beliefs which cause us anxiety or depression, and perhaps manifest as tension and illness in our body. The exciting and challenging part is the process of changing these old beliefs which lower our self esteem and cause relationship problems. To bring about positive change we identify and reinforce strengths and skills which we have, but may not have given ourselves credit for, while we were in the grip of our old negative beliefs.
In order to help you achieve your goals, we will use a wide variety of techniques, from talking, problem solving, guided imagery for relaxation and stress reduction, and EEG Neurofeedback to retrain your brain for more stability and resiliency. With children I frequently use play therapy, or let them use colored markers and pens to create pictures and images. These often help them express what they are not ready to verbalize.
I often suggest homework because I think you will be able to achieve your goals faster and with more depth by doing certain exercises, or consciously practicing new behaviors. Whether being able to say No, being assertive, or practicing “whole communication,” you will get feedback from others. You might want to journal about those reactions and the feelings they trigger in you.
This interactive process between my clients and me can be intense, but it need not be unpleasant. In fact, it can be exhilarating. I bring enthusiasm and caring to my work with you. I would like for you to bring commitment, patience, and willingness to trust the process of getting better.
When you are getting results that you previously might not have thought possible, you will feel more energized, and more content within yourself, and relating to the stresses in your environment more easily. When I see you succeeding, I feel excited with you. I see you like the caterpillar morphing into the butterfly that takes wing.
-Hanno Kirk Services