I specialize in therapy that deals with self-sabotage: The tendency where we get in our own way, over and over, despite our best efforts. Not surprisingly, this applies to both individuals and couples. Self-sabotage is sticky in that the more we struggle against it without a clear pattern of defense, the more we end up being even more stuck.
Here are some of the areas in which this can play out in our lives, and in which I work with as a therapist out of my office in Eugene, Oregon:
Anxiety & Worry Therapy
Worry is a pattern of thinking that is persistent, repetitive, and uncontrollable. When we worry, we often focus on the uncertainty of the future and are afraid that bad things will happen. We plan over and over in our head various solutions to our problems. Yet this in-depth thinking and ruminating never seems to provide any relief.
Assertiveness means being able to clearly and calmly express what you need without being overly passive (hurting your own self esteem) or aggressive (damaging other’s self esteem). Communicating assertively doesn’t guarantee you will have your needs met. However, it does make it more likely that you will be heard and listened to. It can also dramatically improve your relationships with other people in unexpected and beneficial ways.
Codependency is defined as being in a relationship where you do all the work and suffer all the consequences. Meanwhile, the other person does not grow or change, others don’t even notice all that you do, or appreciate it, and you end up worn out, exhausted, blamed, and torn apart. We learn how to be codependent from our childhood, our family of origin, and our life experiences. Learning a new way to become “unstuck” is critical to our survival as an intact and whole person, capable of relating to others in a responsible and mature manner.
One of the most common disorders in the world is depression. It is the “common cold” of emotional disorders that no one is exempt from. It’s hard for us to admit, but we all go through periods of adjustment that can cause us to feel sad, blue, down, and unhappy. Yet we tend to forget that depressed feelings can also be important signs that something is changing in our lives. We can deny and run from them, but that is a serious mistake. However, we can grow from these feelings if we take the time to look and examine what this means for our life’s journey.
Divorce Recovery Therapy
If you do end up getting divorced, the loss of this relationship will be a very difficult time for all concerned. It brings out many emotions, causes much confusion, and affects children, adults, parents, and the community. Relationships are important to our lives and it is difficult for us to experience the loss of them. As we experience the changes of divorce, it is important that we understand what has happened.
Dysfunctional Family Recovery
If you grew up in an unhealthy or dysfunctional family, it has drastically and permanently altered the course of your life. It is absolutely vital to understand how, specifically, this affects you so that you can stand a chance to change patterns of unhealthy choices and behaviors that plague you and your adult life.
Gottman Relationship Therapy
Drs. John & Judy Gottman decided to take all the counseling approaches for couples and actually test what worked, and what didn’t. In the end, they discovered over 50% of the advice was useless. From this, they refined and established actual, measurable methods of working with couples that actually makes a difference. Here’s what the Gottman Method looks like, and what they found to be useful for martial/relationship therapy.
Stress, burn-out, and coping requires that we come to understand our own perfectionistic traits. Perfectionism forces us to take on too much, to be impatient, angry, hostile, and competitive. We feel that we must have things done a certain way. It drives us to work all the time, making it difficult to relax and have fun and relationships.
“I’m my own worst critic,” we might say in a sudden moment of insight. It is very true that most of us are hard on ourselves, particularly if we get even the slightest hint that we don’t measure up in some way – in our achievements, career or study, social standing, relationships, appearance, body image, financial status, and so on. If we make even the smallest mistake, then we have a tendency to berate ourselves, and if we make a genuine medium or large mistake, then look out!
Verbal Abuse Recovery
Dealing with a verbally abusive relationship can be very stressful. It is hard to understand why our loved ones want to control and dominate us. We cannot understand it because we tend to see it in our own reality rather than through their own “private logic” which is totally different from how most people view the world. It is important to understand the “cycle of violence” and the signs of abusive relationships.