In individual counseling with adults we work not only with relationship issues, but life challenges in general to help clients feel better, more empowered and effective. Feelings like anxiety, depression, and anger not only feel bad; they can interfere with function when they become too intense and overwhelming. They can derail the communication process and add to relationship problems, as well as create difficulties in work life and other important areas, impacting self-esteem. Likewise, under stress, thinking can become defensive and distorted, and feed negative feelings in a downward spiral.
In our practice we help clients development more internal resources to both feel deeply and think clearly, even under duress, as part of a richer life experience. These resources include the ability to “self-soothe” and self-nurture in healthy ways, the ability to tolerate strong emotions without acting impulsively (affect tolerance), and the ability to shift perspective to get the whole picture. We offer concrete strategies and action plans to support these directions.
Most clients tell us they ultimately want to accept themselves as a whole person – someone who remains lovable and “ok” while having both strengths and weaknesses; and then act out of that greater sense of well-being and resilience to move in desired directions.
Here are several other posts related to this topic: “Healing the Core Wound;” and read about managing stress in the “Communication” post.