Psychotherapy for Adults

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Individual therapy is an intimate undertaking.

It’s vulnerable. And, we know how difficult it can be to ask for help. We get it, so we do what we can to help you feel comfortable with your therapist so that your sessions are a time and place where you can truly be yourself, without fear of judgement.

Here at WellTalk, we recognize that each person is unique and we work with you to access the strengths you already possess, to identify areas that are holding you back, and to relate to yourself and your experiences in more helpful ways, so that you can feel more empowered, less alone and closer to your authentic self. Our therapists help you create a language for your feelings, so that what you feel can be an emotionally safe and shared experience that is ultimately healing and transformative.

WellTalk uses the highest standard of care in your treatment. Our team of psychologists and therapists are integrative and draw from multiple evidence-based psychological models according to their relevance to individual patients. These approaches include: Pyschodynamic Therapy, Attachment Theory, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, trauma informed approaches and the latest research in neurobiology and nervous system regulation.

How do these approaches foster self-growth and change?

Psychodynamic Therapy: is insight-oriented psychotherapy and aims to foster client growth through a process of self-exploration and understanding the ways in which past experiences impact present behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Psychodynamic therapeutic approaches look for themes and underlying patterns in the ways we relate to ourselves and others. Overtime, you’ll experience greater levels of insight and awareness of the patterns that have been helpful as well as those that are no longer serving you. This creates depth of understanding and lasting transformation. Through processing these past issues and gaining insight into historical defense or coping mechanisms that aren’t valid any longer, clients live a more preferred life with healthier relationships and coping mechanisms. You may better understand what brought you to this point in your life and move forward making more conscious choices.

Attachment Theory: is a research-based framework that helps us understand more about how we become who we are. The basic premise is that the real relationships of early childhood (not our internally driven fantasies about them), fundamentally shape us and continue to impact us into adulthood. It explains our biological need to bond with others. It helps us understand how the kinds of bonds we formed during our earliest relationships set the stage for our basic need for safety and security in later relationships. It helps us understand the nuances of why we feel and act the way we do with those closest to us.

Trauma-informed Approaches: Some of our therapists are trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, which incorporates theory and technique from traditional talk therapy methods with body-oriented, or sensorimotor, psychotherapy. Research demonstrates that traumatic experiences can disrupt the body’s physiological and emotional regulation. Working with the body’s own defense systems, autoregulatory patterns, and adaptive responses can repair disconnected feelings to your body and help process the traumatic memory. Strategies include helping clients become more aware of their bodies, tracking bodily sensations and gradually implementing physical actions that promote empowerment.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: As opposed to psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on what is happening currently in your life rather than childhood experiences that have led up to your difficulties. Treatment usually focuses on changing thinking and behavioral patterns.

The extent to which our therapists draw from and integrate each of these techniques and combine them with their own personality and your specific needs, is what constitutes the art and science of psychotherapy. We recognize that one theoretical lens does not fit all.

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Couples Therapy

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Is Your Relationship Breaking You Down Rather Than Building You Up?

Do you no longer feel emotionally connected to or understood by your partner? Are you engaging in the same arguments over and over again without resolution? Is anger or resentment piling up? Perhaps hectic schedules, children, careers, finances and other stressors are depleting the energy that was once reserved for your relationship. Or, maybe you’re no longer working as a team and, instead, placing too much value on being right rather than taking the time to really hear, see and understand each other. Even if you’re feeling hopeless about your partnership, it’s entirely possible to create a relationship that is based on secure functioning principles, such as mutual trust, love and respect. The quality of your relationship greatly influences your health and happiness in life. You deserve to have a great relationship!

Moving Couples in the Direction of Secure Attachment and Deeper Intimacy.

WellTalk’s approach to couples counseling goes beyond just teaching basic communication tools. If it were that easy, we’d all be implementing those tools and relationships wouldn’t be so difficult. But, relationships are difficult. Why? Simply put, it’s because people are complicated. You are complicated and so is your partner. Authentic connection gets disrupted because of the core vulnerabilities we bring from our past into our current relationships. Problems arise when you or your partner (often unknowingly) trigger these old vulnerabilities and then behave in ways that create problems. When this happens, tempers may flare or maybe feelings get pushed under the rug. Regardless of the response, rather than feeling understood and supported by your partner, you end up feeling frustrated and alone. Your therapist will help you and your partner understand what each of your triggers are, why those are your triggers and what each of you can do when one or both become triggered.

Our approach is largely informed by our therapist’s extensive training under Stan Tatkin, the psychologist who developed PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy). PACT was developed out of cutting-edge research in attachment theory, neuroscience and nervous system regulation.

Attachment theory focuses on how childhood bonding experiences create a blueprint for our primary adult relationships. All of our prior interactions and relationships have shaped the person we are today. From where or whom did you get your beliefs about how trustworthy others are? How reliable? How safe or unsafe is it to share vulnerable feelings with your primary person? Answers to these questions are typically rooted in the kinds of bonds we formed during our earliest relationships and how they set the stage for our basic need for safety and security in later relationships. Study in this area of psychology allows us to help you identify problems related to attachment and ways to restore emotional safety and security in your relationship.

Neuroscience is simply the study of the human brain. Understanding how the brain works is an important component of understanding the physiology of how people relate and react in relationships. New and exciting research in this area have improved our ability to understand how our brain responds to threat as well as to loving connection. Our brains are biased towards negativity, which is great for survival but troublesome for our relationships! Emotional threats (e.g. turning away from your partner, irritated tone of voice, eye-rolling, hurtful words, etc) are perceived quickly, so the faster you can neutralize threat, the less damage will occur. The experience of threat is highly subjective and memory based.

The biology of human arousal explains the ability to manage one’s energy, alertness, and readiness to engage. Partners depend (unconsciously) on each other to balance one another’s energy and emotion. For example, how well do you argue? Do you become overwhelmed and then shut down or do you fly off the handle in a rage? Conversely, how well do you relax? Do you relax easily and comfortably with your partner or do you turn to other things such as alcohol, the internet or shopping to unwind? It’s important to know how to quickly and effectively know how to co-create loving states and to know how to co-manage distress states. These behaviors significantly influence your relationships and are often at the core of what you fight about most.

The Secret to Successful Relationships: Secure Functioning

Secure functioning is at the core of all successful relationships. Our therapists will teach you this principle and have you practice, in your sessions and with your partner, how to integrate it into your relationship. The principle of secure functioning is rooted in attachment theory and research and encompasses relationships that are comprised of:

  • Emotional Security: You protect one another from each other and from the outside world.
  • Sensitivity: You are aware of each other’s needs and relieve each other’s distress
  • Collaboration & Cooperation: You are in this together. You are a team. You have each other’s backs. You focus on the relationship and not just on your individual needs.
  • Justice & Fairness: You quickly repair any hurts or misunderstandings.
  • True Mutuality: What is good for me is good for you. You approach situations from a win-win perspective.

Key principles of secure functioning are woven throughout your sessions. For example, do you always have your partner’s back and vice versa? Do you both always put your relationship first? Are you honest with one another or do you keep secrets? Do you take good care of one another? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then your relationship may not be as emotionally safe or as secure as it could be.

What Can You Expect?

Both partners are required to attend all sessions. Your therapist will not see you individually during your couple’s therapy treatment. The process starts with a 50-minute pre-therapy consultation session that will help you and your therapist to mutually determine if it feels like a good therapeutic fit and whether moving forward is appropriate. The consultation session will give you a feel for the suitability of video therapy versus in-person therapy; provide an opportunity to express your relationship concerns and therapy goals; and give your therapist a chance to review nuances of their approach and what you can expect in session.

The first couples therapy session will last 3 hours in order to properly assess what’s truly happening in the relationship. Your session will include gathering additional background information; interviews to identify attachment styles; learning and practicing effective communication techniques; and exercises to help you feel safe and secure with your partner. This longer session helps your therapist gather an in-depth understanding of you and your relationship dynamics so that he or she can more quickly and effectively diagnose relationship problems and strategies to get your relationship back on the track of secure functioning.

Follow-up sessions are either 1 1/2 or 2 hours in length, depending on various factors. Please note that sessions end 10 minutes prior to the hour or half hour. We very much look forward to working with you and your partner!

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Premarital Counseling

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Congratulations on your decision to invest in premarital counseling!

WellTalk marriage counselors are passionate about the success of your relationship and about helping partners understand each other deeply and accurately. We help you prevent future marital problems rather than waiting to solve those problems after they occur. There is no more important or worthwhile endeavor than pre-marital counseling. It is a mistake to wait until problems arise and then seek counseling as a last resort. No matter how cohesive your relationship is, differences and misunderstandings will inevitably arise, so premarital counseling functions like the best insurance policy you could ever purchase. Together, let’s set up your relationship with all the elements it needs to succeed from the get-go.

Premarital counseling is an essential component to getting your marriage off to a positive start. After the initial euphoria and the fading of the honeymoon feeling sets in, the anxieties, behavior patterns and defenses that were in the background get activated and shift to the foreground. It is important that you and your partner learn to identify major emotional injuries with each other and learn how to navigate those complexities in order to ultimately help one another work through those core issues. Learn the value of proactively working on your relationship and how you and your partner can maintain a healthy relationship over time.

Building the Foundation of Your Marriage

Why Are You Getting Married?
Do you have clarity around your answer to this question? Positive feelings such as love and attraction, come and go. Children and money also come and go. Are you and your partner in shared agreement about what it is that will hold you together on the days when you don’t feel loved? We encourage all couples to have a clearly defined shared purpose that is your reason to be and stay together. When times are tough, a shared purpose helps you remember why are together and, why you stay together.

Are You Headed in the Same Direction?
In addition to creating a shared purpose, we believe that holding a shared vision is also vital to a successful relationship. Are you going into the future together, pointing in the same direction? Does what each of you want individually work together a couple, now and in 10 years? What is your vision of a happy marriage and is it similar to your partners?

What Are Your Agreements?
Successful and healthy marriages don’t happen by chance. They happen with couples who understand and integrate secure functioning principles. Your therapist will help you and your partner devise a set of mutually agreed upon shared principles; A set of operating principles for your secure functioning relationship. You can think of them as your own set of Ten Commandments- formal agreements you both buy into and take very seriously now and for years to come. These principles of governance help you care for each other and maintain commitment through difficult times in the relationship.

The Secret to Successful Marriages: Secure Functioning

Secure functioning is at the core of all successful relationships. Our therapists will teach you this principle and have you practice, in your sessions and with your partner, how to integrate it into your relationship. The principle of secure functioning is rooted in attachment theory and research and encompasses relationships that are comprised of:

  • Emotional Security: You protect one another from each other and from the outside world.
  • Sensitivity: You are aware of each other’s needs and relieve each other’s distress
  • Collaboration & Cooperation: You are in this together. You are a team. You have each other’s backs. You focus on the relationship and not just on your individual needs.
  • Justice & Fairness: You quickly repair any hurts or misunderstandings.
  • True Mutuality: What is good for me is good for you. You approach situations from a win-win perspective.

Key principles of secure functioning are woven throughout your sessions. For example, do you always have your partner’s back and vice versa? Do you both always put your relationship first? Are you honest with one another or do you keep secrets? Do you take good care of one another? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then your relationship may not be as emotionally safe or as secure as it could be.

In our work together, you will discover how to:

  • Fight well and quickly repair hurt feelings
  • Keep each other emotionally safe and secure
  • Manage each other’s highs and lows
  • Rekindle your love at any time
  • Anticipate what the problems will be down the road and how to manage them when they arise
  • Minimize each other’s stress and optimize each other’s health
  • Clarify agreements to protect each other and the relationship
  • Manage aspects of your early development that get played out in your relationship
  • Be more vulnerable with each other
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Therapy for College Students

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If you are a college student who finds yourself struggling, then you are not alone.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by academic pressures, going through a painful break-up, or struggling with making new friends or fitting in? Is FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”) taking over or social media making you feel inadequate? College can be a fun and exciting time of life, but it can also be a time of significant stress and adjustment, especially given the massive amounts of loss, uncertainty, and change surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Your college experience right now is likely not what you expected.

Several recent research studies indicate that undergraduate and graduate students are reporting significantly higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stress-related problems than they have in the past. In 2018, The American College Health Association’s 2018 Annual Survey found that 60% of students experienced debilitating anxiety, 40% of students were too depressed to go to class or hang out with friends and 55% felt hopeless in the last year. Nearly 20% considered suicide and about 1,100 commit suicide each year. These numbers are staggering and our team of psychologists and counselors are here to help! No need to go it alone.

Our primary goal is to help you achieve your full potential so that your undergraduate or graduate experience is one that is fulfilling and meaningful. You may feel stuck, but things can change…. Don’t give up, there is hope!

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College as a Time of Transition

College is stressful and a time of immense transition. You are likely experiencing many firsts and having to make decisions about what to major in, who to spend time with, whom to date and what career to begin to work towards. You likely have more freedom (yay!) but less structure than you did when you lived with your parents and you may be struggling with how to navigate an appropriate balance between studying, hanging out with friends, holding a job and free time.

Academic Challenges and Pressures

Social and academic demands may feel more pronounced or overwhelming than they did in high school and the pressure to be competitive and to perform well is overwhelming. Are you someone who breezed through high school without having to devote much time to studying, but now find that the volume and pace of your college classes are significantly more intense and overwhelming? Large class sizes can be intimidating and it’s easy to avoid getting to know your professors. Maybe you are struggling with perfectionism and putting immense amounts of pressure on yourself to perform to an almost impossible standard, thereby creating so much stress and anxiety that you’re left paralyzed and stuck in a cycle of avoidance. WellTalk therapists play a critical role in helping students identify emotional issues that are negatively impacting their ability to achieve the grades they want or to study effectively. We help you manage disappointment in case you fall short of your expectations and give you coping skills to navigate mounting academic pressures.

Making Friends, Managing Social Anxiety and Getting a Grasp on FOMO

While the “Fear of Missing Out” has always been there, the explosion of social media has made it a common, stressful and painful experience of wondering what exactly you are missing out on at any given time. Why does everyone else seem to be having more fun or be more put together and on top of things? Will there be inside jokes that you are now not privy to? It’s easy to feel inadequate, to worry that you will be forgotten about and to feel defeated about the relentless negative comparison loop between you and your seemingly happier friends.

Or, perhaps you feel super awkward around new people, constantly over-analyzing every detail of a social interaction and beating yourself up for not responding better or differently. Or, maybe you are preoccupied with other people’s perceptions of you to the point that you are feeling worried, down and depressed. Come talk to one of our therapists who understands how emotionally distressing this experience can be. Our therapists can also help you decipher your fears and assumptions from more objective reality, help you better understand the origins of these fears and teach you how to cope with them differently.

Depression

Depression is often listed as the number one reason students drop out of school. We don’t want this to happen to you! Depression is a common but serious illness that may leave you feeling sad, isolated, worthless, unmotivated and/or constantly exhausted. It can impact concentration and include thoughts of suicide. Depression can significantly interfere with your life, making important everyday tasks such as working, studying, sleeping, and eating difficult. The symptoms of depression can vary greatly from person to person and even over the course of the illness. Depression is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy and it is highly treatable. You and your therapist can work together to clarify the source of your depression, integrate some coping tools and help you manage it so that you can enjoy your college experience.

Anxiety and Stress

College can be stressful! You can easily get anxious trying to juggle all of your responsibilities. Anxiety can be a completely normal reaction to stress and most of us bounce back. It becomes a disorder, however, when it becomes disproportional to the situation or when fear and worry become impossible to control to the point that it significantly impacts your ability to work, study, interact with others, or follow a daily routine. About 80% of college students say they sometimes or often feel stressed and about half of surveyed college students reported feeling overwhelmed with anxiety at least once within the last 12 months [sources: ADAA & APA]. Common causes of stress and anxiety include the adjustment of living away from home, academic demands, test anxiety, finances, post-graduation plans, social discomfort, and difficulties with friends and/or roommates. The good news is that anxiety and stress management are highly treatable. Our therapists help students learn effective coping skills; improve their understanding of the situations that trigger their stress; change unhelpful thought patterns that increase tension and identify ways to make appropriate behavioral changes. We treat generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Eating Disorders and Body Image Dissatisfaction

It’s during the college years that young people, especially young women, are most at risk for developing an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not disorders of choice. They are complex and potentially life-threatening disorders likely caused by a genetic predisposition that can be triggered by stressful life events. These disorders extend far beyond food or weight. Eating disorders often serve as coping tools for more serious and painful underlying issues. WellTalk therapists work with students to uncover these underlying issues, the various functions the eating disorder has served in their life, and the meaning of the disordered eating behaviors. Call us or schedule online if you would like to explore more healthy ways to cope with feeling out of control and with feelings of shame, sadness, and anger.

Body dissatisfaction and body hatred is so pronounced that it has become an epidemic. Together, we will explore the factors that influence your negative relationship with your body, such as the extent to which you buy into the importance of thinness; the degree you feel unconditionally supported by friends and family regardless of appearance; your current and previous relationship to dieting or disordered eating behaviors (recurrent binge eating, purging, over-exercising, restricting, etc.); perfectionism, and the degree to which you engage in appearance-based social comparisons. Obviously, the media and strongly engrained cultural expectations play a role as well. A positive body image does not have to mean loving your body. It does, however, provide freedom from body fixation and from appearance being the primary measure of self-worth.

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Teletherapy

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Teletherapy allows for effective, safe and convenient access to WellTalk’s services.

Busy schedule and more convenient to talk from home? Reside in a rural location without many local therapists? Weather not amenable to driving? Whatever the case, let us save you time and hassle by coming to you. WellTalk is proud to offer teletherapy to our clients who reside in the following states: Colorado, Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

What is Teletherapy

Teletherapy is just like regular talk therapy except instead of meeting in-person in an office, you meet with your therapist over the internet via video conferencing or over the phone. It is a type of Telehealth. While physicians use telehealth to provide medical health services to patients, psychotherapists use teletherapy to provide individual and couples therapy via video conferencing platforms and via telephone.


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How Does Teletherapy Work?

WellTalk uses a secure, confidential, HIPPA compliant video platform offered through our electronic health record system. Our system allows you the ability to attend your sessions remotely from anywhere and on any device (e.g. smart phone, laptop, desktop or tablet). If you are a person who shy’s away from technology, don’t worry! We have made it easy for you. You will receive an email or text reminder of your appointment that contains the link for the video session. A good internet connection, a device with a webcam and a click on the link and…. Voila, you’re all set! And, if video is not your thing or you have screen fatigue from too many work meetings or school classes, then phone sessions are a great alternative.

How Can Online Therapy Help Me?

Just like in-person therapy, teletherapy can help with a wide range of issues, such as:

  • Feeling depressed, hopeless or down
  • Feeling worried, overwhelmed or anxious
  • Stress Management
  • Life Transitions
  • Self-Exploration and personal growth
  • Relationship problems, including disconnectedness and loneliness
  • Mood swings and emotional dysregulation

Some clients anticipate feeling a bit awkward on video, but most are surprised by how comfortable they quickly feel. Give it a try!

Here Are Some Pointers To Help You Maximize Your Teletherapy:

Give yourself and the session the same importance and priority you would in an in-person session by pro-actively limiting distractions and refraining from multitasking. Your emotional well-being is important and you deserve this time to focus on yourself during the session.

  • Set your computer, tablet, or phone on a hard surface rather than your lap so that your therapist can focus on you rather that the movement of your device.
  • Please refrain from video or phone sessions while operating a motor vehicle. We care about your safety.
  • Please conduct yourself as you would in our office, such as refraining from eating or smoking or anything else that you wouldn’t normally do in a professional environment. It’s easy, convenient and (uh hmm…) it’s still a professional appointment!
  • We will ask you your location at the start of the session so that if you are in crisis and need help, we know where to locate you.

The duration of your teletherapy sessions is the same amount of time as a regular individual or couples therapy session. Our teletherapy appointment times are offered during our usual business hours and the rates for teletherapy are the same as our in-person sessions.

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