Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. -- Joseph Campbell
***A NOTE ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC***
As we grapple with this unprecedented global event and the profound disruption and uncertainty in its wake, cultivating our mental health becomes ever more important. This might include connecting with friends and loved ones through tech/social media; making time to exercise; assessing the things in our lives for which we can still be grateful; clarifying what is in our power to control while "letting go" of what is not; viewing this time as an opportunity to explore pursuits we may have been too busy for prior; and taking frequent breaks from a relentless, anxiety-inducing news cycle. If you find yourself mindlessly hoarding goods, squabbling with other shoppers, or venting your anger and frustration at those around you, take a deep breath and STOP! Remember that our society maintains its collective sanity only through the considerate, reasoned, and dignified choices of each individual.
If you are in danger of heading down the dark road of panic, despair, or hopelessness, PLEASE REACH OUT FOR HELP! While the challenges before us are formidable, know that you are NOT ALONE, things WILL improve, and you CAN make it through!
Yours in good mental health,
***NEW BOOK AVAILABLE!***
I'm pleased to announce that my new book, Check Your Reality: Transforming Distorted Thinking For Lasting Empowerment & Well-Being is available on Amazon. (See 'New Book' leaf for more information.)
Congratulations on taking this step toward a better quality of life! Exploring that possibility requires courage as does meeting the inevitable challenges along the way. Wherever your mental health journey leads you, I wish you well.
We've all probably thought at one time or another, "I don't need counseling--that's what friends are for!" So we bend their ear over lunch or a beer, and maybe feel better for a little while. But when our problems persist, it's likely because our amateur therapist lacked the training, education, insight, knowledge, objectivity, and experience to help us. When we get sick, do we go see a friend or a doctor?
For over a decade I've helped people improve the quality of their lives through the cultivation of mental health. My master's degree in counseling psychology is from the University of Denver, and I am a fully licensed and credentialed psychotherapist using the most clinically proven approaches. In addition, I've had to work through great personal loss, relationship struggles, and self-defeating behavior patterns myself so I know first-hand how challenging--and rewarding--that process is. I'm also a former U.S. Marine who understands the unique challenges that military veterans can face.
More, I offer a SLIDING SCALE to help you afford treatment, and daytime as well as EVENING HOURS so you don't have to miss work. My office is conveniently located near I-225 and I-25, and within minutes of DTC/Greenwood Village, Lowry, Cherry Creek, University Hills, and Downtown.
For many, a counseling stereotype exists of the bobble-head therapist who nods as the client vents while nothing changes--wash, rinse, repeat, see you next week! This rendition has cast both the profession and pursuit of mental health in a poor light, in my view. And while many counselors defy this typecasting, the misnomer persists. In contrast my style is interactive and encouraging toward the client's acquiring insights and skills that result in psychological healing. Homework assignments are a vital part of what I do to help clients build on things covered in session. At the same time respect, empathy, compassion, and encouragement always will be part of the therapeutic experience.
I believe this approach is vital as it utilizes the latest research, knowledge, and wisdom in the field rather than dated norms. In that sense it is on the cutting edge. And contrasted to that milquetoast model of a couch-side manner noted above, you could also say it has an edge to it. While some might prefer the old way, those seeking an evolved alternative to what has become the butt of cinematic parody and late night mockery will find me refreshing and precisely what the doctor ordered.
MY COUNSELING PHILOSOPHY
In the 21st Century, psychotherapy is more insightful, knowledgeable, and methodological than ever before. In the case of counselors who have acquired a master's degree (MA) with state licensure (LPC) and national certification (NCC), thousands of hours of theoretical understanding, clinical experience, and professional supervision/development have been gained prior to starting a private practice. All of which make the mental health practitioner a highly skilled professional who has exceptional knowledge about how to help people improve their psychological functioning. This is no trivial thing! Sound mental health allows us to live happily, create peace of mind, dare to hope and dream, achieve goals, enjoy satisfying relationships, and treat others (as well as ourselves) with dignity and respect.
Finally, the achievement of good mental health involves skills we all can learn. Implicit in this view is the recognition that becoming our own best counselor is the ultimate fulfillment. In that sense, psychotherapy is about cultivating within the client not dependence upon a counselor but independence from him. One of my great professional satisfactions, then, is to see my clients move beyond our sessions equipped with the tools and understanding needed to help them achieve their greatest happiness and well-being.
YOUR FIRST SESSION: WHAT TO EXPECT
My office sits inside a safe, clean, well-maintained professional tower. Upon arrival you'll be seated in a comfortable sanctum to complete standard intake forms. Water is offered for your refreshment. Soft music conducive to conversation and introspection plays in the background. Once the legal and ethical preliminaries are concluded (which ensure that you fully understand your rights as a client as well as the framework of our counseling relationship), we begin to talk. Sharing only what you are comfortable with is your privilege, even as I will ask questions intended to facilitate the counseling process. Gradually the reason for your visit will take shape for our viewing, as will my therapeutic entree` into how it might best be addressed. (I'll likely give you a homework assignment from the jump, so bring pen and paper!) By session's end, you will have gained important clarity about what you are facing. You may also feel hope, perhaps for the first time, that resolution is not just possible but within reach.
Are you ready to begin?
The Child In The Desert
Brian M. Keltner
Soon the child set out. Days became weeks, and weeks months, until he reached a gnarled, scoured, barren landscape. The soil was baked by a relentless sun, and the rocks misshapen from hellish heat. "This must be the desert!" he thought, and ran forward in anticipation as he imagined the nectar on his tongue like dew on dry leaves. But atop the lonely ridge, within the dead valley, across the stone-fired lake of earth he found no sign of what he sought. "I must have missed it," he muttered, and retraced his steps again and again until the whole wide desert was marked in vain with his footprints.
As the years lengthened into a lifetime, the child grew gnarled and scoured and barren like the desert that had become his home, searching for that nectar of the gods. And still he searches. Because hadn't everyone he trusted told him it was there?
POINT: Clinging to others' notions of how to live our lives leaves us thirsty.
*Member, American Counseling Association (ACA)
*Credentials Verified & Posted by Psychology Today