Therapy & Counseling Services in Fort Collins, CO
Counseling is a valuable tool that can help you navigate life’s difficulties. Some common reasons to seek counseling include:
- support during a difficult time such as loss, trauma, or life change
- symptoms of depression and anxiety are becoming less manageable
- relationship difficulties and personal development and/or growth
Sometimes life can become overwhelming and you can lose your sense of balance and hope. The good news: everyone has the innate skills and ability to get themselves back on track. Through individual counseling, you can realize your strengths, develop new skills, and make the necessary changes to live the life you are wishing for. At Pathfinders, we provide a safe and non-judgmental space to work through whatever is holding you back from being YOU!
When couples are in distress, emotional connection is compromised and interactions with one another can often become reactive or defensive. Exploring these interactions, as well as understanding these problems in a broader context can help you understand what other factors may be impacting the quality of your relationship.
We all need protection and security, and our goal in working with couples includes fostering closeness and bonding, while sharing the difficult emotions in love relationships that are so often experienced and repeated.
We can help you accept and understand fears, forgive hurts, and create healing relationships.
Couples counseling can help with:
- Identifying struggles and negative interactions
- Understanding sensitivities we bring into relationships
- Heal deep wounds and promote bonding conversations
- Nurture interactions that encourage responsiveness, care and comfort
- Nourish a deep emotional bond and learn how to tune into one another
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
What is EMDR? What problems can it treat?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a method of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR has helped an estimated two million people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.
An emerging body of scientifically researched evidence is showing success using EMDR in treatment of the following conditions:
- panic attacks
- complicated grief
- disturbing memories
- pain disorders
- eating disorders
- performance anxiety
- stress reduction
- sexual and/or physical abuse
How does EMDR work?
When a person is very upset, their brain goes “offline” and cannot process information as it would normally. One moment becomes “frozen in time,” and remembering a trauma may feel as bad as going through it the first time because the sounds, smells, images, and feelings stay the same. Such memories have a lasting negative effect that interfere with the way you see the world and the way you relate to other people.
EMDR seems to have a direct effect on the way that the brain processes information. Normal information processing is resumed, so following a successful EMDR session, a person no longer relives the images, sounds, and feelings when the event is brought to mind. You still remember what happened, but it is less upsetting. EMDR appears to be similar to what happens naturally during dreaming or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Therefore, EMDR can be thought of as a physiologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.
How long does EMDR take?
It will take one or two sessions for me to understand the nature of your problem, and decide whether EMDR is an appropriate treatment for you. I will also discuss EMDR with you in more detail and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions. If we both agree that EMDR is appropriate for your specific problem, EMDR therapy can begin.
A typical EMDR session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. The type of problem, life circumstances, and the amount of previous trauma will determine how many treatment sessions are necessary. EMDR may be used in conjunction with “talk” therapy, as an adjunctive therapy with a separate therapist, or as a treatment all by itself.
If you are interested in EMDR therapy, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Kirsten today so you can begin to let go of the past and live more fully in the present.
Family Therapy/Counseling for Parents
Is your family struggling with conflict or constant fighting? Maybe one of your children is having difficulties that put everyone into chaos? Perhaps things have become so intense that you no longer look forward to spending time at your home…
Family life can be extremely stressful.There is no other environment where you are expected to get along with a group of people 24/7 who (often) have wildly differing needs and personalities. There are no manuals that can tell you how to parent a challenging child. Therapy can help you and your family successfully work through the challenges you face.
We can help hold your family together while you learn how to re-connect with each other.
Life happens (a sudden move, work and school stress, job loss, death, health concerns) and it is almost impossible to keep those issues from overflowing and affecting the entire family. The purpose of family therapy is to provide support and encouragement to you and your family while you are going through a difficult time.
Come to family therapy so you can:
- change some of the family dynamics that are not working for you
- Learn how to parent “difficult” children
- Receive unbiased feedback that will help you and your family heal
- improve communication between family members
Family therapy doesn’t have to involve the entire family (although that can be very helpful). If your spouse or child(ren) refuse to come to therapy you can create changes in your family system by coming to therapy alone. When one member makes changes, it directly impacts the entire family system and they start changing too!
In-home family therapy is a powerful treatment modality because we get to see you and your child(ren) in your natural environment and this gives us information it would take a long time to get from office sessions (if at all). This information helps us to help you more efficiently and effectively. We like to conduct a family session early on in treatment, if possible, so that this beneficial information can be used to guide treatment.
Family therapy with adult children can also be incredibly rewarding as it repairs old wounds and/or address current problems. It is never too late to work on improving your most important relationships.
Counseling for Parents
Is your child a source of stress instead of joy? Do you have a child with a mental health diagnosis or special needs? Does your heart rate increase every time you get a call from your child’s school? Are you feeling alone and isolated because you are judged by other parents and teachers? Have you read every parenting book out there and you’re still struggling to effectively parent your child? Does parenting your child take so much time and energy that you are left with nothing for yourself and/or your spouse?
Counseling around parenting may involve just the parents, discussing the many frustrations that come up and how to effectively deal with them or, it may be a combination of child, parent , and family therapy. We’ll work with you to come up with the best plan in order to restore peace in your home.
Animal Assisted Therapy
Humans and animals share a powerful bond that acts as a source of comfort for those who suffer from physical and/or emotional pain. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an effective treatment for children and adults who have experienced abuse and neglect. AAT can help develop self-esteem, reduce anger, teach emotion regulation, decrease anxiety, and alleviate depression. Just the calming presence of a trained animal has been shown to reduce stress and slow down heart rates.
Research shows AAT to be helpful with a variety of presenting concerns including:
- abuse or neglect
- autistic spectrum disorders
- anxiety and phobias
- low self-esteem
Benefits of AAT include:
- developing assertiveness
- increasing self-efficacy
- empathy development
- improved social skills
- increased mindfulness and attentiveness
Pathfinders Counseling of Fort Collins utilizes Luna, a fully trained and certified Therapy Dog and CGCA (AKC Advanced Canine Good Citizen) when indicated to help clients in their process of healing. If you are interested in animal assisted therapy, please ask for Luna!
Child Counseling/Play Therapy
Play is the language of children and toys are their words. Play therapy is a form of therapy that helps children address and resolve their own problems. Through play therapy, children learn to communicate with others, express feelings, modify behavior, develop problem-solving skills, and learn ways to effectively relate to others. Play provides a safe psychological distance from a child’s problems and allows expression of thoughts and feelings appropriate to their development. Even the most troubling problems can be confronted in play therapy and lasting solutions can be discovered, rehearsed, mastered, and adapted into lifelong strategies.
While play therapy is traditionally a treatment of choice for children ages 3-12, it has been shown to be beneficial to teenagers and adults alike. Emerging research is showing that play is as important to human happiness as love and work and that play therapy can be used effectively with people of all ages.
Each office is designed to include Play Therapy that may be used by children of all ages! Contact us to find out how play therapy can benefit you or your child.