North Star Counseling of Jackson offers individual therapy in person and through telehealth for a range of issues for older adolescents and adults. Individual therapy includes meeting one-on-one to address issues in your life that may be interfering with finding peace, joy, or functioning at your best. It may include helping you work through difficult emotions, memories, relationships, or situations. Everyone heals differently, so therapy will be different for each person.
Taking that first step to start therapy can be very difficult. It is important to know that, at North Star Counseling of Jackson, you will be valued and respected, no matter your background. I believe in the dignity and worth of all people and know that it takes courage to reach out for help. I work with you as a partner and take time to fully understand your background, hopes, preferences, and desires before we begin work. I use a variety of therapeutic models to guide my work as everyone is different and finds different things helpful. I am most interested in getting to know you as an individual and working as partners to decide what will help.
Sometimes we are faced with horror: situations that we cannot escape and that overwhelm us. We survive the situation, but it haunts us. We think about it. We dream about it. We can't shake it. We are afraid, angry, and overwhelmed. We are different than before. I help my clients understand, address, and heal from the wounds of trauma. I have extensive training and experience, including EMDR, in treating trauma, such as: sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, partner violence, car accidents, spiritual abuse, witnessing violence, racial violence, witnessing or being the victim of crime, medical illness, among other traumas.
Grief and Loss
It is impossible to go through life without experiencing loss. Many times, we are able to cope and heal on our own. However, sometimes it feels too overwhelming to manage on our own or we just can't seem to heal. I help clients address and learn to heal from the pain and loneliness of grief and loss, such as death, divorce/break-ups, job loss, pets, adoption, pregnancy loss, among many other types of loss.
Healthy relationships and supports are critical in healing and the enjoyment of life. But, sometimes, it seems as if those relationships are outside our reach, no matter how much we want them or try, and we don't understand why. I help my clients get to the root of their problems in relationships and learn to have the healthy, fulfilling relationships they desire.
Sometimes we find ourselves caring for others so much that our needs don't get met. We feel angry, exhausted, and have difficulty with feeling compassion or caring. We feel burnt out and cynical. This happens especially for people who are a caretaker of another, such as an elderly parent or disabled child, or who work in the helping field. I help my clients process and manage the difficult feelings of caregiving, learn to find balance, and rediscover joy and peace in their lives.
Additional Treatment Areas
Sometimes we experience symptoms that we can't seem to shake on our own, no matter how hard we try. The symptoms can be caused by something in our life or seem to come out of the blue, and they affect just about every area in our lives. Sadness that won't go away, feelings of emptiness, loss of caring, having to push yourself to do things, not feeling interested in things you used to like, sleep problems, eating problems, difficulty concentrating and focusing, poor self-esteem, and sometimes thoughts of self-harm: these are only a few symptoms of depression. I help my clients find relief from the symptoms while exploring and overcoming the root of the depression.
Just as with depression, anxiety does not go away on its own and can be caused by an event or nothing identifiable. While some symptoms overlap with depression, anxiety has unique symptoms. Intense worry, difficulty relaxing, panic attacks, fear, nervousness, difficulty with sleep, irritability, difficulty with concentration and focus, avoidance, procrastination, muscle tension and strain, feelings of doom, thoughts that play over and over: these are some of the symptoms of anxiety. As with depression, I help my clients learn skills to first find relief from the symptoms and then explore and heal from the underlying cause of the anxiety.
Stress and Adjustment Problems
Sometimes facing life can be difficult. Changes such as divorce/relationship changes, job changes, family changes, having children, moving, societal unrest, children leaving home, among many other life issues can cause stress that can impact every area of life. Anxiety and depression develop, relationships become strained, work performance suffers, physical symptoms develop, and emotional fatigue and burnout occur. Stress sometimes leads to unhealthy coping, such as overeating, substance use, overspending, social withdrawal, extensive gaming, as well as other problem behavior. Finding a way out becomes difficult. I help my clients process their emotions and learn positive coping for managing the various stressors in their lives.
The types of spiritual hurts people experience vary. Some people have experienced hurt by others in their religious institutions, others just feel a distance from their God or spiritual self, others have lost faith for one reason or another, and yet others want to reconcile a life experience with their faith. In each of these cases, along with many others, I help people address and heal in a way that is meaningful to them, within their own belief system.
Women have their own, unique experiences in life that are often overlooked and undervalued. By understanding and addressing issues that are particular to women as well as helping women give validation to their own experiences, women find healing, peace, and a new voice.
We all want the same things in our relationships. We want to love and feel loved. We want a partner to travel with through life's ups and downs. When the relationship is new, we feel on top of the world and like nothing will ever come between us. But things sometimes change as time passes. Life happens. The problems feel like mountains, and we don't know how to find our way back to one another.
North Star Counseling of Jackson offers therapy to assist couples who are struggling in their relationship learn to maneuver the complexities of life and commitment to achieve greater joy, meaning, and intimacy with each other. Couples therapy means you meet together with your partner and the therapist to address the concerns in the relationship. Services are offered in person as well as through telehealth.
Common Couples Treatment Issues
Positive communication is crucial in every relationship. Being able to talk in a way that communicates love and support relieves stress and adds significantly to our personal sense of well-being as well as the love and affection in the relationship. Likewise, particular negative communicate styles leave us frustrated, disconnected, and contribute to break-ups. Unless we had great role models, we often don't learn how to communicate in healthy ways and this sneaks up in our relationships over time leading to distance, conflict, and dissatisfaction. I help couples learn to communicate their feelings and needs in healthy, respectful ways as well as truly listen to one another so that the emotional connection is strengthened and stress is alleviated.
Conflict Resolution and Managing Anger
How couples manage conflict and anger is a strong factor in whether the relationship will last over time. Couples who are able to navigate and resolve differences in respectful, caring ways tend to stay together and have a high satisfaction in the relationship. I help couples learn to navigate conflict and anger in healthy ways that strengthen understanding, intimacy, and trust.
Parenting, Step-Family, and Extended Family Issues
Adjusting to parenting at any stage (birth-adulthood), differences in parenting styles, learning to create a blended family, and dealing with relatives on both sides of the family are common and complex difficulties couples face that often feel insurmountable and can lead to relationship break-up if not addressed. I help couples navigate these difficult issues and create a healthy family atmosphere.
Loss of Connection/Lack of Feeling
Maintaining friendship, connection, and passion in the relationship requires diligence that is often overlooked or pushed to the back burner. Learning to protect and attend to the relationship is vital for a successful partnership. I help couples reconnect and find the lost passion.
Infidelity of any kind (emotional or physical) creates a rupture in the foundation of the relationship that requires immediate attention. The road to healing after infidelity is long and requires patience, but it is possible. I help couples repair, restore, reconnect after infidelity.
Differences in Values
Learning to find common ground, navigate differences, and come together is a skill that couples who are successful are able to master. I help couples learn to find commonalities and navigate differences in values and outlooks on life in a way that strengthens the relationship and adds to connection.
Learning healthy relationship skills and how to navigate difficulties gives couples planning to spend a lifetime together a head start in learning to attend to and protect their relationship. I help couples assess the strengths and challenges in their relationship and learn positive relationship skills as they begin their lifelong commitment.
At various times throughout the year, I offer educational classes for the community to promote wellness and good mental health. I am also available to speak at events. Contact me to arrange a date/time or watch for my next topic!