eugene therapists

Counseling Techniques

I use an integrative approach to counseling and therapy, drawing as necessary from a range of therapeutic strategies and perspectives.

Counseling Techniques

Addiction counseling -
Addictive and compulsive behaviors are much more widespread than most of us realize, and can include all sorts of excessive and destructive behaviors related to the use of alcohol and drugs, food, money, sex, relationships, etc. These often go hand-in-hand with anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. Addictive behaviors have a powerful, yet short term ability to mask emotional pain, but usually leave lasting negative results.

I have a wide range of training and work experience with alcohol/drug issues, along with other compulsive behaviors. My approach is holistic. I address the emotional aspects of various addictions, including the underlying painful feelings and traumas. I also work to clarify and transform the negative thinking and beliefs that encourage the addictive behavior. I find it critical to explore self-care skills, strategies to deal with cravings and urges, relapse prevention planning, and spiritual and community support.

I also frequently work with co-dependence issues, which is a style of relating that emphasizes the needs and feelings of another person over your own well-being. In this work, I focus on helping you to develop a healthy sense of individuality and independence.

Finally, I have a sub-specialty in working with men who have addictions to pornography, the internet and associated sex addiction.

Person-centered/humanistic -The person-centered, or humanistic approach, emphasizes empathy, acceptance and encouragement. I provide a positive growth-producing environment that empowers you to make constructive changes in your life. In the person-centered approach you are encouraged, without judgment, to identify and express the full range of your feelings, thoughts and conflicts.

Insight/depth oriented - Insight-oriented psychotherapy is based on the premise that psychological, emotional, and behavioral problems originate from unresolved unconscious conflicts. These conflicts continue to affect us in our relationships, our careers, and ultimately our perception of reality. The goal of psychotherapy is to become aware of these unconscious conflicts (and various defense mechanisms) so that we may gain control over them. Insight leads the way first to freedom of choice and then to alteration of behavior. Insight-oriented psychotherapy helps you to see how earlier events and choices affect current problems.  Healing comes through self-awareness. 

Existential psychotherapy - Existential psychotherapy is a dynamic and interactive therapeutic approach that questions assumptions and explores both the possibilities and limitations of human life. The past, present and future receive equal emphasis, as we explore your personal values and ideals, the way you make meaning and what you ultimately want.

Bibliotherapy - Bibliotherapy simply entails reading specialized material such as educational, self-help or motivational books as an adjunct to therapy sessions. I would include here the use of journaling, contemplative writing and other creative arts. These activities between therapy sessions often dramatically increase learning and the speed of recovery. I have repeatedly seen excellent results and recommend this practice whenever possible.

Mindfulness practice - Mindfulness practice is about the cultivation of basic awareness in the present moment. Mindfulness is an enhanced state of awareness characterized by alertness and the absence of analysis or judgment. Through the regular practice of cultivating present-moment awareness, and consciously setting aside your distractions, you can develop a new and useful capacity in your day-to-day life. The experienced mindfulness practitioner becomes more skilled at remembering to look around and see life, and what actually exists, instead of exclusively remaining immersed in thoughts and feelings. It can also be quite liberating to separate present-moment awareness from past and future considerations. As needed, I teach and encourage my clients to develop mindfulness practices.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - CBT is based on the idea that how you think and what you do both have a significant impact on how you feel. Automatic, but inaccurate thoughts and beliefs (about certain situations, people or yourself) can lead to unhealthy and destructive consequences.

CBT strategies help you become aware of and challenge these limiting thoughts and beliefs. You begin to view yourself, others and life more realistically, allowing you to feel and react in positive, healthy ways.

CBT is one of the most effective treatments for conditions where depression or anxiety is the main problem, including addictions, social phobia, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and many others.

Motivational Interviewing -Motivational interviewing is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence about making important changes or decisions. It is not a set of techniques or activities that a counselor uses with or does to clients. Rather, MI is a way of being with people. MI is characterized by a style or spirit that is essentially collaborative, respectful and guiding - as opposed to confrontational, authoritative and instructional. Compared with nondirective counseling, it is more focused and goal-directed. The examination and resolution of ambivalence is its central purpose, and the counselor is intentionally directive in pursuing this goal. Nonetheless, motivation to change must come from the client, and it is the client’s task, not the counselor’s, to articulate and resolve his or her ambivalence.

Gestalt Therapy - The goal of Gestalt therapy is to raise a client’s awareness regarding how they function in their environment (with family, at work, at school, with friends). The focus of therapy is more on what is happening (the moment-to-moment process) than what is being discussed (the content). Awareness is considered being alert at multiple levels, including the sensori-motor, emotional, cognitive and energetic realms. In therapy, clients become aware of what they are doing, how they are doing it, and how they change themselves. At the same time, they learn to truly accept and value themselves. Individuals define, develop, and learn about themselves in relationship to others - and that they are constantly changing. In this way, Gestalt emphasizes that clients must take personal responsibility for their lives and happiness.

Transpersonal Psychotherapy - Transpersonal psychology is concerned with the full range of human experience, including humanity’s highest potential. It recognizes that a spiritual self is at the core of our identity, beyond simply our mind/ego/personality, and beyond our emotional reality. Issues considered in therapy often include spiritual inquiry and practice, inspired creativity, self-actualization, peak experiences, mysticism and body-mind-spirit relationship.

Solution-focused brief therapy - SFBT addresses the present and future. Distinctively hopeful and positive, SFBT helps you create a concrete picture of your ‘preferred future’. By building on success, accessing strengths and utilizing resources, you move toward a vision of who you want to become. This therapy focuses on potential solutions, operating from the viewpoint that change is not only possible, but is truly inevitable. SFBT is active, practical, creative and usually time-limited.

I know that we all need help in critical times.
Reaching out for support and guidance is a sign of strength.

Contact me at (541) 343-1937 ext 10, or via email. I would be happy to speak with you about what you are looking to address.
Office located downtown Eugene, Oregon. Serving the greater Eugene area, including Springfield, Marcola, Creswell, Cottage Grove, Veneta, Coburg, Junction City, Harrisburg and Lane County.