The Relationship Expert
Licensed Psychologist in Pismo Beach & Los Osos
In individual counseling, you’ll meet with me one-on-one for a 45 minute session. During these sessions, I provide a collaborative and safe setting for clients to work through their toughest situations. My office is a place where clients are free to share their stress, anxiety, frustrations, and fears.
Some people are dealing with difficult family or relationship experiences. Others have troubling memories that are interfering in their daily life. Still others are plagued by thoughts that can lead to depression. No matter what they are going through, clients receive my undivided attention and support.
What to Expect from Individual Counseling
Whether you have worked with a counselor before or not, it is completely natural to feel a little nervous about our first visit. It is something that’s new and unknown. But as we work together, that feeling soon changes in an environment of understanding and mutual trust.
To give you a better idea of what our time together will be like, here are some of the things I would like to learn about you:
- What is your family like?
- Which people have been the most important to you?
- What are some of the struggles you’ve worked through?
- Have there been any major turning points in your life?
- What’s been going on for you that encouraged you to seek my help?
- What are your expectations for our counseling sessions together?
- If your life was where you wanted it to be, what would that look like?
Making a Change
We can all resonate with that last question, can’t we? All of us would like for our lives to be better in some way. In therapy, you get to determine your answer by defining what is important to you.
That’s easier said than done. Sometimes the thing we really want isn’t clear to us. This is where a trained therapist comes in handy, asking specific, well-thought questions that help get to the bottom of what our needs and wants are. For instance, if you were to create a new reality for yourself, a way of life that represented your values, what would be different?
Asking questions like this is just the first step. We also get to work together to determine exactly what changes you would like to make in order to see that new reality happen. Working as a team, we develop a plan with specific steps you can act on to start seeing meaningful improvements.
Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
As a psychologist, I am very interested in your thoughts and feelings. I also love it when you gain valuable insights and can openly express what is going on for you on a heart level. But therapy doesn’t end there.
I’m also keenly interested in how your thoughts and feelings affect your behavior. You can “know” something on a cognitive level, but when it comes to the actual situation, old habits and old ways of thinking have a way of taking back control. Many clients feel like when they are around certain people, like some friends and family members, they are irresistibly sucked back into old dynamics they thought they had outgrown.
That’s why I will intentionally structure situations in therapy to help you build new mental muscles. We won’t just talk about changes on a theoretical level. That’s well and good. But we want for you to gain the strength to make new decisions on a head and heart level. It’s something like being able to run “dress rehearsals” with me in the safety of our counseling sessions before you leave to face those “live” situations that have a way of triggering old behaviors.
Ultimately, you will be able to come up with solutions to problems that are unique to you and represent what is important to you. Both in and outside our therapy sessions, you will surprise yourself with your own resourcefulness.
“Going through the process and having her support changed the way I was thinking…I think everyone’s needs are different but I also think that Dr. Lisa is willing to meet people right where they are.” Read more…