Harmónia Center for Psychotherapy offers a supportive atmostphere created to foster respect, richness, wholeness, competency and compassion.
The services we provide include:
- Marriage and Relationship Counseling
- Step Parenting Support
- Adolescent Counseling
- Ageing and Care of the Elderly
- Grief and Loss
- Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression
- PTSD and Dissociation
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
- Living with Physical Disabilities
- Sex Therapy
- Sexual Identity Issues
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues
- Life Decisions and Transitions
- Communication & Conflict Resolution
- Stress Management
- PhD completion support
- Cognitive Therapies & Feminist Therapy
- Spiritual Growth and Direction
- Meditation Instruction
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Addiction
- Gambling, Overspending and Excessive Debt
- Adult Children of Alcoholics
We believe each person deserves the utmost of quality attention and thoroughness that therapy can provide.
Marriage & Relationship Counseling is offered to those of you who wish to resolve interpersonal problems and to those of you seeking to enhance the effectiveness of your communication and intimacy. Our approach emphasizes acquiring insights and learning skills that empower couples and individuals to be more effective in making their relationships work. We address issues such as how to talk to each other about on-going problems in ways that enhance closeness rather than increase distance. Couples are taught how to renew and enhance positive feelings for each other as well as how to regulate negative emotions that arise during conflicts. Work to resolve sexuality problems as well as increase sexual satisfaction is available as part of our counseling.
Our aim is to help couples unlock the deeper meaning and realize the dreams that are held within the higher purpose of their being together.
Our styles are strongly influenced by research on what makes relationships work.
We recognize that step parenting can be a very challenging commitment. Therapists at Harmonia offer support and tools to stepparents. With these resources, step parenting can be a dynamic and positive experience.
One to one counseling can be a very helpful relationship to a youth who is struggling with the myriad of issues they are presented with in their teen and young adult years. When counseling adolescents we focus on helping them get a perspective of their place in life (that their lives have meaning). Utilizing a variety of techniques therapists help the teens recognize their own ability to solve problems, and address their issues. The focus is on personal empowerment; building self-esteem and helping the teen get a “bigger picture” of life and related concerns. Several therapists at Harmonia specialize in adolescent mental health.
Some things in our lives that are normal events can nevertheless cause stress, anxiety and depression. Ageing people have to cope with increasing challenges with decreasing energy and may have self-esteem and other problems as a result. Relationships between adult children and their ageing parents intensify, and old relationship patterns and issues may arise to cause suffering to all people involved. A compassionate psychotherapist can help ageing people and their families both cope with these challenges and understand the opportunities that might become available for increased intimacy and love at this time of transition.
Life is filled with changes and transitions, some of which involve loss that is deeply disturbing. Mourning following a death is a normal human process, one which is made easier with support. Harmonia’s staff is trained to help you through this process and also to identify and work with you on other complex issues that impact your grief.
Anger is a healthy emotion that signals us to pay attention and therefore can be very empowering. However, many people have difficulties with anger because, for example, it has been associated with aggressive behavior. These difficulties with anger generally fall into three categories:
- Experiencing a lot of anger and not being able to identify what the underlying emotions are.
- Expressing anger in aggressive ways.
- Not being able to feel angry or repressing anger, which can result in depression and/or anxiety.
Psychotherapy can assist you in identifying what the underlying issues with anger are, finding healthy ways to express it, and learning how to let go of anger when it has served its purpose.
A lack of healthy self-esteem leads to a great deal of suffering. Often having good self-esteem is confused with being “selfish”. However, true self-love is the best way to guard against narcissism or self-centeredness. Here is a checklist of ways to promote self-esteem in your self:
- Learn about and respect your feelings, wants, and needs.
- Accept your humanity – mistakes are part of being human.
- Nurture yourself- do something nice for yourself every day.
- Get regular exercise.
- Insure that your body gets good nutrition.
- Use relaxation, meditation, prayer, etc. to center yourself.
- Be around positive people.
- Learn to give yourself affirmations and self-enhancing thoughts.
If this feels like a stuck place for you, a therapist can be helpful in working through roadblocks and learning to feel comfortable about your self.
Many people think of depression as sadness. Actually clinical depression includes many other symptoms such as low energy, oversleeping or under sleeping, problems with mental acuity, making decisions, change of appetite, irritability, ruminating thoughts, lack of interest in things previously enjoyed, and suicidality. If you are questioning whether you have depression, you can find self tests for depression on the internet, or in reading materials on the subject. You can also see a therapist or psychiatrist for an evaluation. If you are having suicidal thoughts and are at all concerned that you might act on them, please do seek professional help immediately.
The good news is that depression is treatable. Whether you have situational depression (depression caused by some event in your current life) or clinical, biochemical depression) which is caused by your nervous system not working properly) help is at hand. Medication along with verbal therapy is the proven treatment combination for severe clinical depression. Homeopathy or acupuncture can be tried and often works quite well for those who prefer holistic medicine. Milder forms of depression often respond to over the counter supplements.
A knowledgeable therapist can help you sort out what kind of depression you have and guide your decisions about what king of treatment to pursue. Depression can rob you of your life, and you deserve to get better!
This is a mental health problem that can cause untold suffering for the people who are afflicted and for their families until it is effectively regulated by medication. It can affect people of all ages. The symptom picture of bipolar illness swings back and forth. Depressive symptoms can vary from moderate to severe and manic symptoms can vary from “happy” to delusional. This confusing symptom picture can result in difficulty in obtaining the correct diagnosis and therefore the correct treatment, and because a long time may have elapsed before this is achieved, the client may also have a residue of self-esteem, life mastery and relationship problems to deal with as well. Psychotherapy can help the client learn to understand and cope with the complexities of their disease and to gain self-esteem and any internal or external life competency skills that may be in deficit.
Anxiety is a condition that shows itself as a monster of many faces, all of them intensely uncomfortable or painful. Anxiety can haunt your life. It is capable of stealing the pleasure out of things that should be joyful or fun or loving. Anxiety can immobilize. Anxiety can sabotage relationships. Harmonia’s compassionate staff can hesp find effective ways to reduce and eliminate anxiety and it’s effects.
If you have been abused as a child, you probably feel shame about yourself, don’t understand many of your own responses to things, have trouble trusting people. Healing from a childhood of abuse and neglect is one of the hardest jobs there is, and the most life changing. Anyone ready to face their past, learn how it effected them and how to overcome and heal from what happened, needs and deserves an experienced guide. It is just too hard to go it alone.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder describes what happens to people when faced with beyond normal human reality that overwhelms his or her ability to cope. The brain is effected; it has nothing to do with strength of character or courage. It does relate to the degree of safe connection that person had with their original caretakers because that has to do with what kind of inner resources the person can draw on at the time of the trauma. Child abuse survivors, who could not have a safe, secure connection to the adults who abused them are set up to get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
SYMPTOMS OF OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER or (OCD) can range from the very frightening, like thoughts of causing harm to someone, to things that people accept as normal, like cleanliness or being careful about germs. In OCD they occur just too frequently so that normal life begins to become interferred with or ruled by them. Brain research shows that the problem lies not in who we are, but in an overactivity in a certain area of the brain. Medication and psychotherapy, in which we learn how to de-activate this overactive brain area, are effective in reducing or eliminating the suffering.
There is growing awareness that many adults struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder. Some characteristics include: chronic underachievement, procrastination and time management problems, disorganization, impatience, self-medicating behaviors, money management issues and distractibility. These, and other traits, can create problems in relationships, jobs and general life tasks with resultant low self- esteem. Therapists at Harmonia provide a supportive and nurturing environment in which you learn to develop strategies to deal with your particular ADD issues.
Living with chronic pain and/or disabilities that challenge you on a daily basis requires a great deal of courage. Receiving regular, ongoing understanding and compassion can support you. Staff members at Harmonia can teach visualization, relaxation and meditation techniques, which impact the body and mind connection in a positive way.
Sex therapy became well known in the 1970¹s with the behavioral approach of Drs. Masters and Johnson. Today, we at Harmonia approach sexual difficulties more wholistically, helping individuals or couples work through their issues by looking at the many factors that may be involved when sexual problems arise. We help sort through physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and relationship issues that may be impacting your sexual health. We respect the delicate balance of honoring your privacy and providing enough information to help improve your sexual experience. We have both straight and gay, male and female therapists to help you.
Some of us recognize our sexual identity early in life–often with little questioning. Others find that process to be more complex, and we find ourselves questioning whether we are straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered. This questioning may arise in childhood, during adolescent-teen years, or in adulthood, and the journey toward identification may be a long and challenging one. We at Harmonia will support you through your exploration, regardless of age, gender, or eventual outcome. We respect the uniqueness of each journey and the courage it takes to make it.
Harmonia staff have welcomed and actively worked with the LGBT community for 25 years. We work with individuals, couples, and families in a supportive environment to help you find your answers to your questions and concerns. We recognize that many of your life issues are very much the same as those encountered in the straight experience. However, we also recognize that the LGBT community encounters some issues peculiar to their lifestyles due to the fact that we live in a culture that does not fully embrace nor understand a full range of fifestyle alternatives. We are typically not given adequate information about nor support for our experience, leaving us feeling very alone and isolated. Harmonia has both straight and gay, male and female therapists to assist you.
Even happy times of change create stress, not to mention difficult transitions. Whether you are dealing with a job change, a child leaving home, the ending of a relationship, a move, or any other of life’s challenges, Harmonia’s staff would be happy to support you through the decisions and changes involved.
Communication and conflict resolution skills are very valuable skills to have in both personal and work relationships. When healthy communication has not been modeled for us, it can be helpful to heal any wounds we have about that and learn new communication skills.
Conflict is normal and healthy and promotes vital relationships. Knowing not to take differences personally is a first step to then being able to articulate your position and resolve conflicts in constructive, win/win ways. When one person has to win, in reality everyone loses. Two ways in which therapy can be helpful are:
- Assisting people in knowing what they want and being strong advocates for themselves.
- Facilitating conflict resolution between individuals.
Stress can be good (eustress) or bad (distress) – both kinds have an impact on us physically and emotionally. It is important to have healthy ways of managing stress so that it does not have a negative impact on your health, mentally or physically. Psychotherapy can help in teaching stress management strategies, such as self-care and various forms of meditation.
Sometimes stress is created internally because of beliefs we have about our selves or unreasonable expectations we have for our selves or others. These stressful belief systems may have originated from our family of origin, and they may be reinforced by significant others or work environments. Learning about the distressing beliefs and self-talk helps us to know what new beliefs to work on and emphasize in our lives.
This is a time of transition in life that can bring up issues related to expectations, perfectionism, and identity. Stress and feelings of being overwhelmed can occur when there is pressure from other aspects of a person,s life, as well as intense pressure from the academic arena. Harmonia’s staff can help with stress management and the personal growth challenges involved with this important time.
Cognitive approaches to problem solving and conflict resolution are a dynamic part of any healing process. Here the therapist encourages the client to investigate their thought processes and how these determine emotional and behavioral responses to life. Many people are engaged in habitual forms of thinking that hinder their recovery. Strongly held beliefs that were formulated during a trauma might need to be uprooted and reframed by the client with the help of the therapist. RET – – Rational Emotive therapy and use of the Awareness Wheel are two of a number of helpful cognitive tools used by Harmonia therapists.
The deeper questions of life purpose and meaning come up for all of us at different stages of life. Whether we have an established relationship with a faith community or are on an individual spiritual journey, there are times when experienced spiritual guidance can open up new levels of understanding and experience. Finding our truth is a very individual, personal process. Harmonia’s staff members respect the uniqueness of belief and values of each individual who comes for spiritual counseling.
Meditation is a multi-purpose method that enhances physical, mental and spiritual health. At Harmonia we may utilize it in session to enhance the process of therapy or teach you a technique, geared toward your specific needs, which you can then use on your own as a complimentary method of self-therapy. There is scientific evidence that mediation can counteract depression and anxiety. Meditation reduces stress by turning off the physiological alarm system and by influencing the cognitive mind in a positive manner. With practice, meditation enhances one’s sense of self and promotes a feeling of spiritual wellbeing. Meditation helps us to access our Higher Self.
News headlines and articles bring us constant information about the pervasive destructiveness of alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction. The cost of this tragic influence on human lives is recounted on a daily basis. People struggling with alcohol or drugs themselves, or who have friends and loved ones who are afflicted, can fund their way to clarity and effective coping through their own diligence and the diligent and professional assistance of Harmonia’s staff. You will also find more information on ways to access help through our Links Page.
GAMBLING, OVERSPENDING, and EXCESSIVE DEBT can cross the line from normal or recreational activities that add beauty and joy to our lives, to becoming abusive or addictive behaviors that can damage or ruin the lives of the afflicted person and their loved ones. Brain research shows that this line gets crossed when these behaviors over-activate certain areas of the brain and that this overactivity then makes the behaviors become cpmpulsive. Psychotherapy and medication can help with these problems. Please check out our Links Page to find some self-assessment questionaires.
Children of alcoholic or drug addicts grow up in a very stressful environment. Because parents are often emotionally unavailable, the children grow up with feelings of insecurity. They often have taken on roles which were inappropriate for them but which helped them to cope at the time, such as pleasing or care-taking of others while their own needs are unfulfilled. Psychotherapy can help individuals to build a sense of security and let go of roles that no longer serve them well.