Individual Counseling | Daphne, Mobile AL & Surrounding Areas

Your emotional life is not written in cement during childhood. You write each chapter as you go along.

Harry Stack Sullivan

 

I am an in-network provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, Beacon Health Options and United Healthcare Insurance plans. I provide individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults.  I have a Cognitive Behavioral approach to counseling and utilize Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) Models.  I also use a Psychodynamic Interpersonal Approach and Experiential Exercises in counseling.  When you are searching for a therapist it is important to locate someone you feel you can connect with.  During our first session, I will be listening to your story and gathering information to create a personal history.   At the end of that first session we will discuss a plan of treatment.  It may be as simple as a topic to discuss next session, or you may have a tracking sheet to complete by the next session.  By the end of the second session, we will define the problem you would like to address and define the desired outcome in a treatment plan.   

 

 

CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) all interact together.  Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and our behavior.  (McLeod, S. A. (2015). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Retrieved from www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-therapy.html)  When individuals have been living with a serious mental illness they may view the world and the way people interact with them in a distorted way.  I help individuals recognize distorted thought patterns and develop healthy coping thoughts.  Individuals who are experiencing life stressors can learn how to identify the thoughts that are causing them to experience negative emotions and change them.  Cognitve Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps individuals learn to replace their negative thoughts with coping thoughts.  

Changing your thoughts can change the way you behave too.  When someone is depressed they can often isolate from others, but when they change their depressive thoughts, their behaviors change, and they often increase their interaction with others.  When a teenager tells himself that he "is not good enough", then he will increase his chances of not performing well in school.  If we can get this teen to change his self-talk where he says to himself,  "I have value", then he will most likely show his value by performing well in school.   The most effective way to alter unhealthy behaviors is to add a new one. I apply this principle with my patients through encouraging them to behave in new ways. 

 

 

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?

Why offer other Approaches?

 

Different approaches are needed to help individuals work through various life challenges.  I often utilize Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) with individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder because this approach has the most research supporting its effectiveness with indivduals who have this disorder.  Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is useful in helping individuals get in touch with their emotions and permit themselves to experience strong emotions.  The dialectics used in this approach help counter all-or-nothing thinking.  

Some individuals struggle with continuing to be active in their life due to negative things that have happened. Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) provides the framework to help an individual acknowledge the negative situation and move forward being active in life.  I use ACT therapy to help patients recognize that they have choices, even when they feel they are out of options.  

It is not unusual to apply a variety of approaches when working with a patient in counseling.  For example, sometimes I may use an experiential approach to help an individual experience the difference.  For example, we may learn better through doing, instead of talking about it.  They may use visualization to experience the situation that is causing them distress and apply the coping strategies they have learned in the session to handle the strong emotions evoked from this imagined situation.  I may recommend they role play with me so that they can view their situation differently. 

I am located in Theodore, Alabama.  My office is 2 miles off I-10 West exit 17-A. I service the Mobile, AL, Spanish Fort, AL., Loxely, AL. and the Daphne, AL areas.  If  you would like to schedule an appointment, please call me at (251) 366-1710 or email me at amyshanes@yahoo.com.

 

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