The initial goal of therapy starts with building trust so that we can communicate in a safe setting and form a healing partnership. Through this partnership, we create an environment where it is acceptable to challenge, to experience difficult emotions, and to attempt new, healthier ways of living. Dr. Still’s approach to working with adults and adolescents may consist of exploring their thoughts, feelings, and their relationships with loved ones in the past and present. At appropriate times, he may use techniques from various psychotherapy modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to analyze and restructure negative thought patterns into more realistic and productive ways of thinking, and to formulate a plan for changing behavior.
People in relationships seek psychotherapy for any number of reasons, from power struggles and communication problems to sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity. When partners repeatedly employ conflict avoidance or engage in heated power struggles, it is often the case that communication problems ensue; resentment builds, and repairs are never made. Psychotherapy is recommended as soon as discontent arises in a relationship, but can also be used proactively to prevent future problems and strengthen a couples’ bond, as in premarital counseling. Effective therapy will likely address many aspects of the relationship, although communication tends to be the primary focus of couples therapy. Dr. Still has advanced training in couples counseling and can teach each person how to regulate their emotions, stay calm, and use healthy communication skills to resolve problems new and old.
Family members interact and affect each other in profound ways. Families function best when there are appropriate hierarchies and boundaries – i.e., spouses or partners function as a team in their marriage, and, if they are parents, in child rearing. The degree of supervision and independence children need may vary according to their personalities, developmental stage, and environment. For families to be a safe haven of love and respect, they must adapt to change while maintaining their cohesiveness. When difficulties arise between family members, family therapy can be effective in re-establishing roles, boundaries, and healthy communication.