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The Waterfront Center
1010 Wisconsin Ave NW
Suite 515
Washington, DC
202.333.3100

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Helpful Treatment Examples

Communication, identification of feelings, anxiety and grief and loss are common themes in therapy. Below are examples of how we may address these issues in our sessions.

Communication and Identification of Feelings

You may find yourself in a difficult relationship where you are yelling frequently at one another. In this situation, I may teach you about the difference between, "I" statements and "you" statements as a way to improve your communication. I will also work with you on identifying the different feelings you have as you interact with this person. Instead of saying, "You never listen to me." You could say, "I feel hurt because it feels like every time I talk, you try to talk over me."

Anxiety

For someone who is very anxious I frequently try to work with them on identifying their anxiety level by having them track where it falls on a scale zero to ten. We will then work to develop strategies to lower their anxiety. We may look at what is within their control versus what is out of their control in their life. We may talk about using self-talk, meditation, or deep breathing to assist them in certain moments. The goal is to establish positive ways to cope in anxious or stressful times.

Using Self-talk

As mentioned above, the strategy of self-talk may provide benefits in reducing anxiety. To understand self-talk lets look at how it works. Self-talk is the development of specific messages that can help you get through the day or get through a difficult moment. For example, you could say to yourself, "It is going to take time for everything to work out, and I can tackle a little bit at a time" versus "I am totally trapped, and there is no way out of this." Or you might say to yourself, "This feeling will not last forever" versus "There is no way I am ever going to feel better." Frequently, working to build authentic statements or phrases can help to reduce your anxiety or stress.

Grief and Loss

Embedded in the concerns of almost every person I work with are grief and loss issues. That is, most of us have had disappointments in our lives that represent losses for us. These disappointments may be the result of real or perceived expectations that we carry around with us. In my work with clients, I help them identify their losses and acknowledge how they have been affected by them. Some losses are big and obvious such as the death of a loved one. Other losses are less obvious, like being in a relationship with someone who is emotionally distant. This can be experienced as a loss because their distance may cause you to feel alone inside your relationship. There are many levels of loss in our lives, and they significantly affect how you feel in your life and how you see your life. For example, recognizing and letting your partner know that you feel upset because they are unavailable or emotionally distant helps you to communicate your feelings and hopefully to reconnect with your partner.

While in therapy, clients will sometimes receive weekly assignments that include communication exercises, daily identification of feelings, or daily ratings of feelings. These exercises provide a way to practice and gain mastery in developing skills to enhance your life.