Q: I follow your column and know that you have extensive training in psychotherapy and counselling and that you see people of all ages, but I am still unsure of the range of suitable problems. Could you clarify this for me? Also, how does someone get referred to you?
A: There are as many reasons that people come to me as there are people. I will try to answer your question but no list can ever be complete. Individuals, including children and teens, often come for help with: depression; self esteem; panic attacks; anxiety; life fulfillment issues; sexual abuse; adoption issues; sexual dysfunction; eating disorders; divorce aftermath; attention deficit disorder in themselves or coping with it in someone in their family; post-traumatic stress disorder; post-partum depression; grief due to death, illness or job loss; physical illness such as headaches or cancer where relaxation may help cope with pain management; coping with crimes such as rape or a break in; suicidal thoughts or coping with someone else’s suicide; addictions such as alcohol, drug, sex or pornography; inner child work to help deal with past pain; adult children of alcoholics; court ordered counselling; help with parenting and guidance on changing repetitive patterns.
Couples come for marriage counselling to help them deal with difficulties in: communication; extra-marital affairs; sexual differences; domestic violence; differences of opinion on matters regarding sex, child rearing, money management, religion or household roles; relationships with in-laws, ex-spouses and other family members.
Families come for issues such as managing defiant children; house rules; communication; step-parenting; divorce adjustment; and any other family problem that needs an objective third party. Families or couples often seek help in dealing with any of the individual issues listed above that one of their family members is going through.
In answer to your second question, many are referred to me by their physician, psychiatrist, church, lawyer or friend. Many others make self-referrals, which means that they call me directly.