SUSAN RAY, LMFT--WINDWARD THERAPY
I am a licensed therapist with over 30 years of experience in working with individuals, couples, and families. I specialize in depression and anxiety disorders, and couple and family therapy. My treatment approach is client-centered and geared towards gaining fast yet effective results, by working "with you", and loved ones as needed/desired. Together we will develop a plan that will involve psychotherapy and personal treatment goals built around activities, places, loved ones, and things that you enjoy, or used to enjoy doing individually or together as a couple or family.
When working with individuals, I will support and guide you each step of the way in your desire to have a happier life. Establishing hope is our first step, and the development of a plan can really help you feel like you are gaining back control of your life, and its unique situations. Just knowing that you have a plan and are on your way to feeling better is very encouraging and healing in itself. Life throws us challenges, sometimes huge ones, and/or several at a time. When this happens, it can make the strongest of us need to push our "reset button" and adjust to the new challenges with new and healthy ways of coping. Traumatic changes such as a loss of a loved one, loss of career dreams, or divorce or harsh breakups, relocations, and addictions...... are not easy things to deal with. Having extra support during these times is usually very beneficial and can help start the healing process.
My marriage/couple counseling and family therapy approach is experiential in nature, yet solution-focused. This means that I believe that unexpressed emotions can build, and oftentimes need to be processed between a couple, our within a family for healing to start to begin. Once these pent-up emotions are expressed and heard and understood better from the other person's perspective, then we can move on to setting new and improved ways to communicate to come up with solutions to initiate positive change. We will take each person's feelings into account and learn how to mend broken communication and dysfunctional communication patterns that have developed over time. In couple and family work, I pride myself on being very neutral and don't take sides. Instead, I feel that "the problem(s)" are never just one person's fault. Usually, negative patterns can emerge when we feel hurt, or neglected, and don't express these feelings. What then can happen is the feelings and reactions can spiral out of control on their own through time if not expressed. Oftentimes, huge dysfunctional patterns and negative behavior can immerge from relatively small things and inaccurate assumptions that may not even be true, but simply misunderstandings that were never cleared up. However, if these assumptions are believed to be true, the reaction to them will be misread by the first party, and thus the steady downward spiral starts.