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Anxiety & Depression


Everyone knows what it feels like to be nervous but what does it mean to be "anxious"? Most of us have experienced these jittery, panic, and/or sleeplessness feelings at some point in our lives. There may be times when your worries don't completely consume you, but you still feel anxious, even when there's no apparent reason.

Your anxiety, worries, or physical symptoms cause significant distress in your personal, social, or work settings of your life. Worries can shift from one concern to another and may change with time or age. Anxiety disorders manifest themselves in several forms: Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; and various phobias (all of which fall under the umbrella of anxiety). When anxiety becomes constant and interferes with the quality of life on a regular basis, it is time to seek some help. I can provide you with that needed help.

Anxiety, worries, or physical symptoms will often cause a variety of psychological effects, and the therapy that I provide helps rewire the thought patterns of clients who are suffering. The therapy I provide shows clients how to manage, control and reduce persistent anxiety and obsessive worrying, as well as control any of their physical symptoms.


Everyone experiences occasions of extreme sadness or just feeling "down" but when these feelings last for weeks or months without relief, it's time to find a solution. I can help you find that solution.

There are many types of depression, including:

  • Major Depression
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • 'Situational' Depression
  • Atypical Depression

Symptoms of these various types of depression vary greatly. For example, changes in appetite, sleep, low self-esteem, and low energy are just a few common symptoms of depression. Those suffering from Bipolar Disorder, however, might experience bouts of manic, high energy followed by severe "lows."

Major life events may also trigger depression. Other factors, such as genetic vulnerability, severe life stressors, substances you may take (medications, recreational drugs, and alcohol), or medical conditions can affect the way your brain regulates your moods. I design programs of therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes that help my clients manage depression in a healthy way.

PTSD & Trauma

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition linked to traumatic life experiences. The symptoms fall into four clusters:

  • Re-experiencing a past event through flashbacks and/or nightmares.
  • Arousal—such as difficulty concentrating, anger outburst, and sleep issues.
  • Changes in your mood and the way you think about things as a result of the trauma, which are demonstrated by feelings of shame, anger, fear, or sadness.
  • Avoidance of reminders of the past event, such as avoiding places or people that rekindle unpleasant memories of the event.

Many people that have experienced a traumatic event in their lives exhibit symptoms of PTSD immediately thereafter. For some, those symptoms naturally decrease. But those that do not naturally recover, often actually suffer from PTSD. I believe it is helpful to think of PTSD as a roadblock to recovery. In other words, it's something that gets in the way of recovery. My role is to determine what got in the way and to change it so that you can recover from the trauma and become "unstuck".

PTSD can encapsulate the symptoms of both anxiety and depression or even lead to substance abuse problems. There are negative life experiences that can elude a person's natural processing abilities. Another way to look at this is to consider a splinter lodged in one's hand. This foreign object can cause pain and infection. Once removed, the body naturally knows how to heal. Depending on the nature of the trauma, the strengths and developmental stages of the impacted person, and the support available at the time the traumatic event occurred, it may not be easy to move or recover from certain traumatic experiences.. This inability drives the client's psychological symptoms.

Once processed or removed like the splinter, the natural process of healing from adversity and trauma can take place. Through the use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), the person's own brain can complete the processing of difficult memories. This reduces the suffering and the symptoms and fosters the development of new coping skills that supports psychological health.

This therapy may include "facing the fear" by visiting places that trigger a response. I recognize that some clients prefer one-on-one counseling and others flourish in a group therapy setting, and I am committed to providing the resources necessary to identify the most appropriate and effective therapy.

Addiction & Codependency


Addiction occurs when someone becomes physically or emotionally dependent on substances such as alcohol or narcotics, or even to certain behaviors. An example of a physical addiction is when one becomes physically debilitated or sick when the addicted-to substance is withheld; while an emotional addiction may be evidenced by erratic behavior, anger, anxiety or hopelessness. Ever so frequently, an addiction will be evidenced by both physical and emotional symptoms.

Addicts may feel that life is empty without drugs or alcohol, or may even deny that drugs or alcohol negatively impact the quality of their lives, which, in turn, serves to justify their continuing substance abuse. An addiction's suffering often finds the addict prioritizing the feeding of the addiction above taking care of or attending to their loved ones or career.

If you feel like these behaviors apply to you or to someone you know, Atlantic Coastal Therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space to seek help. Substance abuse can wreak havoc on an addict's life. I am able to provide the counseling and support an addict needs to begin his/her recovery.

Addictions may include:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Opioids (such as heroin)
  • Prescription drugs (sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics such as sleeping pills and tranquilizers)
  • Coca inexpensive
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Amphetamines (such as methamphetamine aka "meth")
  • Inhalation
  • Gambling
  • Sex


Codependency is defined as an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual's ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. Feelings such as shame, fear, pain and anger become magnified to the extent that these people find themselves in a constant state of anxiousness and feelings of complete dysfunction. Sufferers of Codependency find themselves overreacting to everyday happenings more than others for a given situation.

Some of the symptoms include low self-esteem, poor boundaries, people pleasing, caretaking, dependency and denial. Codependent addicts essentially project their need for control onto those around them. They also tend to believe that only by being "perfect" in everything they do, or by pleasing the people around them, can they justify and settle into the irrational feelings that haunt them.

Marriage & Family

Marriage and Domestic Partnerships

Staying committed to a spouse or partner for many years often isn't easy. Couples in long term, committed relationships must work hard to maintain good communication skills, self-control, patience, conscious empathy for each other, and most of all, kindness.

Communication is a skill that is easy to neglect, particularly between committed partners. There must be a mutual exploration of consciousness to hold on to the partnership. Marriage therapy is about helping spouses/partners tune into their own important feelings and needs. And communicating those feelings and needs to their spouse/partner in ways that invite positive responses.

One of the most important aspects of couples counseling is learning to "flex" the communication muscle. Stating how we feel in clear terms is the basis for conflict resolution. Communication opens the gates to conflict resolution strategies that allows spouses/partners to work towards common goals.

The following are questions spouses/partners might want to ask themselves before seeking out marriage/partnership therapy:

  • What kind of relationship do you want to be in?
  • What will be required of you to make that happen?
  • What are your internal obstacles that interfere with doing what is required of you to bring about the relationship in which you want to be?
  • What is your level of motivation to do what is required of you?

At Atlantic Coastal Therapy, we understand that every marriage/partnership faces conflict and challenges. The goal of couples counseling is to find an effective solution to a single conflict or coping with a specific challenging event, such as:

  • Infidelity
  • Infertility
  • Unemployment
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Blended families
  • Parenting technique
  • Financial stress

Family Counseling

Family Counseling may be necessary to examine and identify certain behavior patterns that trouble the entire family unit. Parents are teachers: they serve as models of behavior for their children, inclusive of passing on detrimental emotional and social cues. As a result, children could have difficulty focusing in school and begin behaving badly. It is important to identify and adjust this kind of behavior as early as possible.

Family Counseling is a valuable tool for family members of all ages. Tension, guilt, and hurt feelings shouldn't go unaddressed. The healthiness of the relationships among family members' lives is an important key to overall psychological health. Atlantic Coastal Therapy has the experience and knowledge to calmly mediate difficult conversations between loved ones.

Although family relationships may be complex and complicated, some of the issues I address include:

  • Physical aggression between a child and parent
  • Children affected by bullying, social anxieties or sexual harassment
  • Domestic violence between adults
  • Grief after the death of a loved one
  • Helping children cope with divorce

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