In individual therapy, I work to create a comfortable and safe environment of acceptance and non-judgment in which you can explore and resolve your difficulties. My therapy approach involves assessment (understanding the person, the problem and the situation), determining the issues and behaviors blocking the solution to the problem, and providing understanding, support, useful feedback, and specific ideas for activating the individual’s resources to build a healthy sense of self.
Depression is an illness that can be caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain, situational stressors, or both of these. Dr. Firestein helps by assisting you in determining the causes of the depression, the type of depression you may have, working toward reduction and elimination of the symptoms of your depression through counseling, and making referrals to physicians or other practitioners that can help with depression treatment when indicated.
Anxiety and Panic Disorders
An anxiety disorder occurs when the worry is constant and frequently out of proportion to the situation about which we are feeling anxious. Normal anxiety is common and subsides after the stressful situation passes. Pathological anxiety can be almost constant and is accompanied by physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms or tightness in the chest or other parts of the body. At the extreme, anxiety attacks can become panic attacks. Severe anxiety or panic can even interfere with being effective in different life areas such as school, work or relationships. Dr. Firestein assists clients by helping them understand the causes, teaching anxiety-reduction skills, and making referrals for medication evaluation when appropriate.
Life transitions occur at every stage of life, from youth through old age. Life’s impermanence is recognized, yet not recognized. It often takes us by surprise and throws us off our stride. While we are usually able to negotiate these transitions by ourselves, sometimes these situations overwhelm us and we need counseling to get through them. Graduation from high school or college, marriage, divorce, moving to a new area, health problems, and getting older are just a few of these life transitions. In my counseling practice, Dr. Firestein I have helped many individuals, couples, and families through these transitions. Asking for help at times of significant life change can be very helpful in reducing the stress of change while facilitating acceptance and adjustment to new circumstances.
Healing From Trauma
I have extensive experience working with victims of trauma and I am skilled in a variety of therapeutic approaches to trauma counseling and recovery. Victims of trauma are not at fault for the traumas they have gone through, but remaining in a victim role in not helpful or healthy for recovery.
As a psychotherapist and psychologist, I help victims of trauma take back the power to control their own lives, make healthy choices, and heal emotionally and psychologically. I have worked extensively with individuals traumatized by injuries, accidents, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, sexual assault, the suicide of a loved one, life-threatening illnesses and situations, and other traumatic events.
I use a variety of techniques to help people move from being victims to being survivors and even to levels of thriving in their lives. Insight oriented approaches, working through difficult emotions, putting events into solvable perspectives, and cognitive and behavioral approaches to trauma recovery are all methods I use to help people. I am also a Level II trained EMDR therapist.
Grief & Loss
All of us suffer losses in our lives, ranging from the minor to the catastrophic. Some losses we are able to move through on our own with the help of family members and friends. Some losses overwhelm us to the point that we cannot move through the grief without assistance. I offer grief counseling with the compassion, experience, and psychological knowledge necessary to help individuals, couples and families move through significant losses and complicated grieving processes.