I offer sessions at your home or place of choice, or by phone. I see adults, and have special training in addressing the concerns of Elders.
Counselor in Portland, OR
Contemplative psychotherapy integrates Eastern philosophies and practice with the clinical traditions of modern Western psychology. It is rooted in the belief that all people are granted the internal wisdom and spirit necessary to heal from pain. People seeking therapy to increase self-awareness, improve overall health, and promote a general sense of well-being may find contemplative therapy to be a beneficial approach.
Loss can take several forms and come from many causes: loss of spouse, partner, or other family member, a job, an ability (such as a driver's license), a pet, which can be as devastating as losing a spouse. It is important to recognize that the oft cited stages of grief are not the same for each person. They can come in different order, be revisited, or even some left out. Attention must be paid to what you need, rather than what is "supposed to happen." Pet loss is a special concern for me.
Whether your perspective is that of a child, parent, caregiver, or all of the above, the experience of being part of a caregiving unit is going to require a great deal of patience, good communication skills, diplomacy, anger management, forgiveness, goodwill and love. It's a tall order. We all need help.
Our interactions can be stressful in so many ways. Having someone else dependent on you is especially stressful. This stress can eat away at your physical and emotional health. Anger can be very destructive to relationships too. Many people need help learning how to effectively process, and even use anger and frustration in ways that can help promote better understanding and cooperation, rather than a spiral of increasing conflict, hurt feelings and dysfunctional relationships.
Non-violent Communication is a fundamental skill that everyone should have, and yet in our fast-paced, go-get-em society so few of us do. I have specialized training (and practice! ), enabling me to help you learn how to communicate "with" people instead of "at" them, be better understood and get more of what you want by learning how to enlist help from those you are speaking with, rather than alienating them.
I have specialized training in Mindfulness Therapy, Contemplative Therapy and a 30-year meditation practice.
Besides being a senior myself, I have a graduate certificate in gerontology to augment my work with elders, their families and their caretakers. I have specialized insight into the concerns, and potential pleasures, of aging, and how to manage what sometimes can be an ever-changing physical and psychological landscape; how it can impact not just the senior, but also those around them. Along with the challenges, aging can be a special and wonderful time for seniors. And for those who are experiencing what is known as "gerotranscendence," or a late life awakening of spirituality and/or a more introverted period of life review, becoming an elder can bring a sense of purpose, fulfillment and peace.
As well as my training in gerontology, I also have training in helping others cope with loss, bereavement and forgiveness. Grief is not an exact science, but is usually experienced as a personal series of "stages" that can be fluid, with no exact beginning or end to each stage. Sometimes a certain stage is repeated. It all unfolds as a personal process. It helps to have someone knowledgeable and experienced to support you and remind you at times of the light at the other end of the tunnel. I might also add that I have great interest in helping people through the death or other loss of a pet. Many friends can't understand why you aren't over it yet, it was just an animal. They have no idea what kind of deep relationship you had with that member of your family. They have no idea of the sense of loss, loneliness, pain, and sometimes misplaced guilt, that you are experiencing. You need someone that knows how deep the love of and for an animal of another species can be.
My treatment orientation, Person-Centered Therapy, along with Contemplative and Existential therapies, lends itself to the pursuit and attainment of personal goals, due to its focus on you, how you feel and who you are as a person. I do not judge, and am non-directive. The introspection involved helps to clarify your values and goals. My training in CBT can aid in the realization of these goals and ideals in real time. My advancing years lend me perspective and what I occasionally like to think of, in my hubris, as wisdom.
There are two big components of Family/Caregiver Health: good communication and the ability to forgive. I have specialized training in what can be the difficult process of forgiving, as well as being forgiven. I also have specialized training in nonviolent communication methods. And sometimes the caregiver, or family member, just needs a private place to say all of the "awful things" that they don't think anyone else wants to hear, or should. I am happy to feel the anger, be grossed out about the icky stuff, and laugh at the foolishness with you!
Existential Therapy can help you explore and clarify your concept of the most essential aspects of your life; what it means to be free, and the responsibility inherent in freedom. I feel that Existential Therapy and Contemplative Therapy overlap a bit in some ways, and that they tend to compliment each other, as well as Person-Centered Therapy. I belong to the professional group Existential-Humanistic Northwest.
Person-Centered (Rogerian) Therapy was my focus throughout my graduate education and a focus of research, as well as work, since then. Through the use of honesty (both on your part and my own), empathy and a nondirective process led by you, we can identify and realize the inherent potential that is yours alone. I belong to Society for Humanistic Psychology and The Association for the Development of the Person-Centered Approach.
I have a meditation practice of nearly 30 years that helps inform my work with the reflection and mindfulness training in Contemplative Therapy.