Walking is wonderful therapy for both mental and physical health. To encourage you to walk for your health, we are creating a kickback program where you receive a coupon for the value of your copay if you go for a walk, either for a walk and talk therapy session or on your own.
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Using a Narrative Therapy background and orientation, I help clients separate themselves from the problem, to place that problem within a social and cultural context and then to see how their own behavior has really been a way of dealing with and limiting the damage of the problem. In this way I externalize the situation, changing a depression from being an internal weakness to an external disease that has infected the person.
I spent 8 years in Philadelphia at the Center for the Continuum of Care in the Addictions and the Treatment Research Center through the University of Pennsylvania. We focused on testing low-impact, problem-focused, harm reduction-based methods of treatment. What I found through that process was that addictions, anxiety, depression and other issues of emotional regulation often are compounded by a person's cognition-behavior feedback system. Someone believes they have depression, feels they have depression and then starts to identify their behavior as that of someone who "has" depression, instead of that of someone who is fighting depression. Once we have changed a person's orientation to the problem, changing their cognitive responses becomes easier.
With the influence of the methods we used at the University of Pennsylvania and my brother's scientific work as a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado, I have developed a system of Neuroplasticity Enhancement and Retraining that allows people the freedom to create a preferred reality by giving them the awareness of their own ability to change their emotions by changing their active thoughts. It is similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy but without the messy homework of action. Instead we do homework of thought practices and of logical exercise.
In practice though, you should forget what I said above. All of that junk is nice, but I've found that my real asset is my ability to connect with and join in a person's emotional and spiritual growth. I really like people and love being a part of their change process. I find that by being very present, very emotionally available and by respecting a person for where they are at the moment I can help them feel the support and acceptance they need to move from that sticky, uncomfortable spot that necessitated reaching out for counseling.
The process of starting my practice in TC was both a leap of faith and a carefully calculated endeavour. When I moved to Traverse in June 2014 it was both to come back to the place where I was raised and to find a place where I could combine my efforts in several areas of counseling to best fit my own professional goals. I really wanted to find a way to combine my clinical experience, my research experience, and my natural desire to help people.
I have worked in several settings, most recently for the University of Pennsylvania in their Treatment Research Center, which is one of the foremost addiction research programs in the country.