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I work with adults ranging in age from 15 years old and on. I have 20 yrs. I will be a coach, by your side, giving you encouragement and techniques to increase your arsenal for life and relationships. I will help you see the connection between your thoughts, emotions and behaviors to catapult you to a transformed and improved life. Amanda G. Office is near:. I also assist those with loved ones who are in the throes of addiction or other mental health issue.

In addition, I am able to conduct level of care assessments for those with substance abuse problems and formulate treatment recommendations based on the findings of the assessment. Charles Wasserman. I am a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania and Delaware with almost 25 years of experience providing psychotherapy to individuals and couples, 17 years and older. I have worked with people with a variety of concerns and issues including depression, anxiety and panic, feelings of being overwhelmed by the stresses related to home, family, work, school and relationships.

In addition, I provide services to senior living facilities and work with clients and families related to the issues of coping with aging and chronic medical illnesses. Through our work together, you can learn how to break the cycle of negative thoughts and emotions. Believe in yourself and your ability to overcome.

Gain gratitude for being able to change and grow, and transform how you think about situations in your life and find your peace. An Eclectic therapist, I strive to maintain a style that is warm and open. Through blending several different theoretical orientations, my hope is that through collaboration and support, together we can determine reasonable solutions to provide you relief.

I draw my clinical perspective from many sources including clinical skills grounded in CBT. I believe that the personal, face-to-face interactions between myself and those with whom I work is a powerful agent of change. I believe that there are often practical solutions to challenges facing each of us in our life journey. I believe that trust, respect and integrity are the foundation of an effective clinical relationship.

Ed, LPC. Or are you dealing with relationship issues that you need help working through? Maybe you are a woman who is a survivor of abuse, or happen to be facing the stress of receiving an unwanted medical diagnosis, or are a college student trying to figure it all out Refine Results. On paper, treatment was about reducing her disrespect and defiance at home, resurrecting her interest in doing well in school, and reducing her idealization of dad. In the office, it was about getting her to stop shadowboxing long enough to hear what needed to be said to her, but which almost nobody dared say: that intimidating everybody around you is a hollow victory in the end, that finding entertainment in another's pain is never an attractive quality, and that beneath the tough-girl persona, she was someone worth getting to know.

But she was also the kind of teen who could see through any attempts to "make friends" prematurely by ignoring her bad behavior or pretending not to be dismayed and appalled by it.


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Any perceived loss of your own integrity is fatal to therapy with a client like this; if there's something you want to say, you'd better say it and own it. Your tentativeness only reinforces her confidence that she has the upper hand in any exchange with you. Here she is talking to me about her mother, for whom she feels utter disdain and no shame in showing it. He actually gets nervous when he tries to talk to me. And he's, like, what, 50 years old or something?

He keeps buying my brother and me all these things just so we'll like him, but it's such bullshit. Danielle looks up at me, and with her questioning sneer and slight shake of the head mumbles, "You're so lost. I keep on. I feel sorry for anyone who wants to get to know you because you make them feel stupid for having tried. And I feel sorry for your mom, too, because she seems to really like this guy, but also wants your approval so she can feel that she's doing the right thing. But you see them struggling with all this, and yet you don't help them out.

Instead you laugh. Danielle looks up, disarmed and unsettled by my response. She stares at me for a moment and then turns away. And there was the therapy--in that brief collision of our two different phenomenological worlds. In hers, being cavalier and mean is OK and even cool, but in my world it isn't. For a few moments, Danielle felt what it was like to be herself in my world, where the rules are different, and it made her uncomfortable. I don't think she'd ever had reason to consider just how dependent she was on having an accommodating context to make her lifestyle work.

If I'd tried to connect with Danielle simply by being understanding or "neutral," the conversation might have gone something like this: When Danielle said, "I can't stand my mom's boyfriend. By saying "I feel sorry for the guy," I was getting across the point that her statement wasn't as cool as she thought it was, without directly challenging her.

If I'd suggested that she "cut him some slack," I'd basically have been telling her to "be different," which is exactly what all the other adults in her life have done--to noticeably little effect. By saying that I felt sorry for her mother's boyfriend, however, I was sending a similar message, but in a way she couldn't really fight, since I was stating my own position.

When she said "You're so lost" to me with contempt, I might have responded, "What do you mean I'm so lost?

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It also hints at my reticence to go down the path of opposing her attitude and behavior, with its potential for conflict. So, what was the therapy, exactly, in that brief collision of worlds? Danielle is like the emperor whose lack of clothing nobody dares point out. In this exchange, without telling her she should change anything about the way she conducts her life, I was able to get the things I thought she needed to hear out into the room:.

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You're controlling with your mom, and she tolerates it because you mean so much to her and she's afraid of losing you. Danielle kept coming back for her sessions week after week. They were always made up of a lively mix of storytelling, debate, humor, confrontation, rages on her part, and the two of us visually appraising each other.

Sometimes I met with Danielle's mom, and tried to help her play a less ingratiating role to her daughter's imperial manner and stand her ground more often, even if it meant being "punished" over the next few days by Danielle's snarky comments and noncompliance around the house. Two months into the therapy, Danielle insisted that I join her in excoriating her mother for not being willing to pay a deposit on an apartment rental for her dad, who'd just been booted out of his current one for nonpayment of rent.

I declined to do this and she decided to end therapy. She looked at me and said nothing. I never did see her again. This was not an ideal end to therapy. That would have been that a chastened, more insightful Danielle saw the error of her ways and became a kinder, gentler, more compassionate young person, who started working harder and getting better grades in school. But, whatever we like to pretend, relatively few therapy cases actually end with complete resolution, grateful tears, and the launching of a happy new life. Particularly when dealing with spiky, touchy adolescents who are in therapy only because they've been dragged in, we're lucky to make any impression whatsoever.

I like to think that the therapy left Danielle with a reference experience of having genuinely, if briefly and despite herself, connected with someone whose values are antithetical to her own. Maybe in my office, she was imbued with that glint of curiosity, of vagrant hope--a tiny light at the end of her tunnel vision--that would draw her back at some point in the future to be open to some kind of therapeutic experience again.

Elise, who was 16, was having a difficult day at school. Depressed, picked on by classmates, and unable to get sufficient attention from her few friends, she'd gone down to talk with her guidance counselor, a supervisee of mine. Early in their conversation, Elise emphatically announced that she hated everybody. You don't hate your mom. You don't hate your therapist. Elise got up and walked back to class. What's the point in expressing how you feel if someone's right there to tell you you're wrong?

I asked Elise's counselor what it was she didn't like about Elise's statement that she hated everybody. Elise's counselor was trying for too much too soon. I also didn't think it was the right approach for Elise, whose aloof demeanor and critical manner made it hard for anyone to make much of an impression on her. Without the traction of a relationship in which the counselor or therapist mattered to her, Elise would have no interest in hearing about anything other than what she wanted to hear at that moment--words of comfort or a remark that she could morph into something that validated her jaded outlook.

What was the difference between Elise's counselor's efforts to champion an alternative perspective and my similar efforts with Danielle? It was their personalities and interpersonal relationship styles.


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Elise was impenetrable and remote. She considered little of what others said or did. By contrast, Danielle took in everything around her, and then would spit it out on the floor in front of you. But for all her pugnaciousness, Danielle engaged with the people in her world, and each moment of engagement held open the possibility for someone--a therapist, teacher, parent--to leave something of him- or herself behind.

Latent power struggles in therapy make their way to the surface whenever our clients begin to see us as a threat to a point of view or sense of injustice they're not yet ready to relinquish. Elise wasn't ready to give up her negativity, which helped her keep people at bay and control interactions with adults, who predictably tried to get her to abandon her negativity in favor of something more hopeful.

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The conversation was the same each time: "Everything sucks. C'mon, look on the bright side. Kids will let go when they want to. The work of therapy isn't getting them to do it, but helping them want to. More important, though, is to know that they don't have to let go in order for you to take the therapy forward. Elise could hate everybody and have a gigantic blind spot for the liabilities of being a lone wolf, while still being titillated by the notion, for instance, that letting others align with her could actually help her feel bigger, not smaller.

I suggested to Elise's therapist that instead of trying to "do therapy" right out of the gate, she give her students more room just to make the comments they wanted to make at the beginning. In the case of Elise, I suggested she might respond with something like, "Yeah, I think I have days when I hate everybody, too" or "What was your day like that you ended up feeling like you hate everybody?

These questions would assist the counselor in joining Elise by normalizing what she felt instead of turning it into something "bad" or abnormal. Moreover, such responses would prevent conversational shutdown by communicating, "Yes, I understand how you can feel that you hate everyone in the world, and maybe today--or every day--you do. But nothing about that keeps us from talking about ways to help you make it through the school day. Because teenage clients are legally underage, we tend to treat them as if they weren't fully capable of making their own decisions.


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But no matter what we want for them or can see in them, the choice of whether to accept our help is always theirs--just as it is for adult clients we treat. Unless we honor that choice, creating a therapeutic climate in which they feel respected and able to accept our help is impossible. If they don't talk enough or follow our recommendations, they're likely to be labeled "resistant," even "oppositional. But paying attention to their complaints could benefit both us and them. We already know some of the things teens don't respond well to in therapy--excessive questioning, standardized treatment protocols, enforced between-session homework--so let's stop using them.

They do respond well to active, authentic, and respectful relating, direct feedback, and advice. If these were to become a standard part of clinical training and treatment, we'd be taking a great step toward providing services to teens that they'd be as interested in getting as we've been in offering. Janet Sasson Edgette, Psy. The Gentle Art of Not Taking the Bait Rachel, who was 15, was referred by her family physician when her mother discovered she'd been cutting herself.

The Paradox of Breaking Eggshells Thirteen-year-old Danielle arrived in my office--courtesy of her mom--and was stinking mad about it. Instead I say, "I feel sorry for the guy. I ask her with my face. In this exchange, without telling her she should change anything about the way she conducts her life, I was able to get the things I thought she needed to hear out into the room: I don't agree with you. I'm going to feel sorry for your mother's boyfriend, even if you don't. Not everyone associates compassion with being a loser.

You control conversations by punishing people for responding in a way you don't like. That's not very nice. Your email address will not be published. Website URL. Boys talk much less readily than boys. The examples in this piece are all girls. That's too bad. Like I said, I am not a marriage counselor.

Depression: Hopelessness and Self-Loathing

But I am a guy that wants to do better. And the lessons I learned from my past marriage counselors are legit. If you are in a strained relationship, and both partners really want to shoot for the long haul, a little couples therapy may be a good idea. Follow Bill on Facebook. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.

Why Teens Hate Therapy

Jealousy is a stinky perfume. My counselor sucks! Fight Fair. No yelling or name calling. Argue in the present or the discussion will deteriorate into chaos. Explain how you feel. And although your feelings are always valid, sometimes you should ask yourself if your feelings are reasonable given the circumstances. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

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Why Teens Hate Therapy

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