Counseling Philosophy

Open Hearts Open Minds Counseling Services is a private practice located in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializing in the treatment of addictions, depression and anxiety, and trauma.

Foundational to my counseling services is Pia Mellody’s concepts of developmental immaturity and codependence. I believe that all children are born valuable, vulnerable, imperfect, dependent and immature. As we mature, we move through stages of development. Functional parents help their children as they move through each stage of development. Dysfunctional parenting may result in bizarre or erratic behaviors such as inability to be sexually healthy, emotional numbness, overwhelming emotions, or may contribute to unhealthy, overweight or underweight bodies.

Through interactions with our environment we have experiences, some traumatic, some abusive and others “wounding.” As wounded children, we find ways to cope with our uncomfortable feelings and unpleasant experiences. We may become rebellious or perfectionistic, helpless or independent, better or less than others. Sometimes our higher power becomes a parent or other adult. We find means to cope with our circumstances and “survive.” We then take these learned, and not always so healthy, coping tools into our adulthood. These tools may have served us well as children and as an adult we may find ourselves “automatically” responding to situations as we did as children.

I believe that through exploring family of origin experiences (years of birth to age 18) one can begin to identify and treat underlying problems contributing to today’s issues and concerns. Our family of origin has a tremendous impact on who we become as adults and how we cope with uncomfortable feelings and stressful situations.

Treatment may focus on any of the following:

  • ·addiction to alcohol and drugs;
  • ·compulsive behaviors such as eating, gambling, work, love addiction-avoidance, codependency and   sexual concerns
  • ·psychological conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and dependent personality lifestyles;
  • ·affective disorders such as major depression, panic attacks and bipolar disorder

Mind, body and spirit are all important components to treatment. Treatment is personalized to meet individual needs. By focusing on the individual’s core issues one can identify and address the patterns that have caused continual return to self-destructive behaviors.

Recovery is a path that I walk and I have understanding and respect for each individual's pain and despair that comes from one’s intimate experience with addictions and behaviors used to numb out from or avoid reality. The healing process begins with admitting that one has a problem and asking for HELP.

Therapy may include individual counseling, family counseling, small group sessions, spirituality counseling/education, educational sessions, and artwork processing. Nutritional consultation may be advised and it is essential that one finds a 12-step program for support and interaction with others having similar struggles. Other therapeutic approaches may include experiential work and grief sessions.

Family counseling is pivotal to the effectiveness of treatment and the recovery process. Family members and significant others in the life of the individual receiving counseling services may be invited to participate in the therapeutic process.

Participation by family members allows them the opportunity to learn about the many issues that have impacted the entire family as a system. The family can be offered a variety of tools to more successfully address issues concerning mental health, addiction, recovery and functional family systems. This is an opportunity to learn how best to be supportive of one another and to begin to heal the pain as a family.

If you or someone in your family would like to free yourself from the pain of addiction, depression or trauma and move forward to a more enriching life, you are invited to contact me for more information or to set an appointment. All calls are confidential.