Therapy is a collaborative process where we work together to make your life better. Together we will explore your behaviors, feelings, and thoughts to help you better understand yourself and others. We will look at where you want to be and how you want to be in your life and work toward healthy changes to move you in that direction. There are many reasons for participating in therapy. Most people who seek therapy are in some type of pain. All people who pursue therapy want to grow and improve their life.
+ Self-Esteem and Self-Care
Do you take care of others better than you do yourself?
Do you feel guilty if you take time for you?
Are you a high achiever but still feel like you aren’t good enough or doing enough? Are you overly critical of yourself?
These are some of the most common issues I see in therapy. Taking care of others is a kind and loving behavior. The world would be better if more people’s actions showed love and care for others. However, you might be someone who is very kind to others but less kind to yourself. You might be unhappy and then beat yourself up for being unhappy. I will work with you to help you find a gentle balance between taking care of yourself and taking care of others. You might be a competent high achiever but still feel like you aren’t good enough. I can help you find the balance of striving to achieve more while liking yourself right where you are.
+ Depression Grief Apathy
Do you feel blah?
Uninterested in things?
Do you have trouble motivating yourself and doing the things you say you want to do?
Depression is a message that something isn’t right. This could be something in your environment: your relationships, your career, your lifestyle. This could be something physical—perhaps you are not as physically fit or healthy as you want to be. Maybe you eat poorly and don’t move enough to feel energetic. This could be something in your mind—your view of yourself, negativity, pessimism, hopelessness and helplessness.
Life is hard at times. Depression can be a natural and normal response to the hard times. I can help you learn to ride through the hard times. I can help you find and use tools so that you don’t feel hopeless and helpless.
+ Anxiety Fear Stress
Do you feel uncomfortable in your body?
Do you think about things over and over—especially unpleasant thoughts? Do you constantly worry about the future?
Do you tend to imagine the worst-case scenario in most situations?
Do you frequently feel fearful?
Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling in our body. Sometimes we feel anxious and as we wonder why, we begin to think of all the undesirable things that could be making us anxious. Other times our thoughts are so negative our body becomes tight and edgy. Anxiety is our body’s way of revving us up to fight a perceived threat. Anxiety helps us survive but it can also be a miserable feeling. I can help you find ways to use that anxiety to your benefit. I can help you use tools to calm yourself down and focus on what is helpful.
Perhaps the most common reason people come in for therapy is because of pain associated with relationships: relationships with spouse, parent, child, friends and/or work. Individual therapy can help you figure out what you can change to make things better and how to accept the things you can’t change.
Are you struggling in your marriage or relationship? Are you unhappy but don’t want to separate/divorce?
All couples go through difficult times because relationships can be hard. The healthiest and happiest relationships involve two emotionally mature individuals who are working diligently and consciously on self-growth and understanding their partner. If you’re not careful, little annoyances become major frustrations over time. Did you know the average couple doesn’t seek therapy for 8 years after the onset of serious problems? It takes a lot of effort to overcome 8 years of resentment. And while it can be done, it is wiser to seek help sooner than later. I can help couples utilize tools to improve their relationship so that they like rather than tolerate each other. Think of treating your relationship better than you treat your car. Take it in for regular tune-ups. Preventive care can save money and headaches in the future. Avoiding pot holes is easier than changing flat tires.
+ More About Couples Therapy
We all wish to build the perfect relationship with a spouse or partner. No matter how much we love our partner, relationships will encounter obstacles that can block us from moving in a desired direction. Most of us have had more training in how to drive a car than how to steer a relationship that has gotten off course. Couples Therapy is a resource to use to identify the problems and then learn how to correct them before they become too destructive.
I encourage couples who are dealing with struggles to seek counseling early in a relationship before every day irritations create profound resentments. Resentment is the number one destroyer of relationships.
Therapy is hard work but the hard work can improve a relationship regardless of how hopeless it may seem, and that improving oneself is beneficial regardless of the outcome of that relationship.
Research shows that people who are happily married live longer, healthier lives than those who are divorced or unhappily married. A happy relationship appears to strengthen the immune system. Mental and physical health is worth the cost and effort. And like maintaining a healthy weight, it takes a lifestyle change with consistent effort— not just a one-time trip to the gym.
I am committed to the goals the couple brings to therapy. Each couple’s problems are unique and therapy is individualized for the specific couple.
+ How long are sessions?
Couple sessions are a minimum of 60 minutes. Some people prefer to do longer sessions, especially early on.
+ How often do we need to have sessions?
Frequency of therapy is negotiated. Usually sessions are longer and more frequent early on and then taper off. Patience and hard work are required since difficulties have likely evolved over a period of several years. There are assignments and readings to do between sessions. Once regular therapy ends it is recommended that couples check-in every 6 months to ensure continued healthy growth.
+ Will we always come to the sessions as a couple?
Initially, it will be helpful to have an individual session with each person to gather background history. Also, there may be times only one person can come to a session. The work during that session will focus on the individual and what s/he needs to change in his/her self.
+ If my partner is reluctant to seek counseling, should I come by myself?
Certainly. Therapy gives you tools to change what you can change and accept what you can’t change. It is also designed to give you more clarity and peace regarding your life and decisions.
+ Dr. Anderson’s Experience
Dr. A has a long history of training and experience in couples therapy. Education and experience highlights:
- 1984 through 1987 trained at the Oklahoma State University Marriage and Family Clinic
- 1985 earned M.S. in Community Counseling with emphasis in Marriage and Family
- 1987 to 1989 clinical residency at University of Texas Medical School with rotations in marriage and family, including MD Anderson Pediatric Unit.
- private practice in Houston since 1991
- 60+ hours continuing education with Drs John and Julie Gottman in the Gottman Method
- continuing education in Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
Thera-Coaching for individuals and professionals
Most people who seek counseling will benefit from a combination of therapy and coaching. Thera-coaching combines achievement-oriented work with psychotherapy. This is an excellent option for people who want the therapeutic support of a highly-trained psychologist in helping them reach their goals. Many business professionals can utilize this service and may be able to write this off as a business expense. Thera-coaching can be done in person or remotely via phone or Skype.
Sport psychology uses research to enhance athletic performance and improve the lives of athletes by improving their mental condition.
- Do you perform better in practice than in games?
- Are you an athlete who knows you can perform better than you do?
- Are you already a high-level athlete who wants to perform even better?
You might become intolerably anxious before events. You might get angry at your mistakes. You might freeze or tighten up when under pressure. Sometimes your mind can get in the way of your performance and your enjoyment. I can provide you with tools to help your mind work for you rather than against you.
+ What is sport psychology?
Sport psychology uses research to enhance athletic performance and improve the lives of athletes by improving their mental condition. Read more here.
+ What will we focus on?
We will identify strengths to build on and weaknesses to improve. Together we will discuss goals and their purpose. Common goals include
- Increasing focus and intensity
- Tuning out distractions
- Decreasing performance anxiety
- Dealing with adversity
- Coping with loss/failure
- Achieving optimum level of arousal
- Increasing confidence
+ What will we do?
Based on your goals, some interventions include but are not limited to the following:
- Visual imagery
- Group exercises
- Written work
+ Why I can help
I am a life-long athlete. I played women’s professional football for 4 yeras. I quarterbacked for the 3-time World Champion Houston Energy from 2000 to 2003. I continue to enjoy many sports as a player and a spectator. In addition to my many years of work with individual athletes, I have been a sport psychology consultant for:
- Ironman Sports Medicine Institute
- Plex Sports Performance Training
- Willowbrook Sports Complex
READ MORE ABOUT MY ATHLETIC CAREER HERE.
Dr. A is an experienced clinical and counseling psychologist specializing in:
+ Depression Grief Apathy
- feeling blah
- lack of energy
- no motivation
- problems finding purpose in life
- little hope for the future
- believing it won’t get better
- feeling agitated
- worried about the future
- constant unwanted and unpleasant thoughts
- ruminating on worst case “what-if”
+ Couple relationships
- marital conflicts
- communication problems
- loss of affection
- conflict with family
- problems with co-workers
- problems with friends
- discomfort with sex or sexuality
- low desire and lack of interest
- porn addiction
- desire discrepancy with partner
- gender issues
- high achieving but not satisfied
- low self-image
- poor body-image
- hyper-sensitive to mistakes and criticism
- imposter syndrome
+ Sport Psychology
- struggling under pressure
- debilitating anxiety about performance
- excessive anger
- coping with injury
- low confidence
+ Business coaching
- increasing confidence
- increasing success
- experiencing “imposter syndrome”
- coping with fear of failure
- handling perfectionism
- dealing with discrimination
- facing change (including retirement)
- gestational carrier assessment
- intended parent(s) assessment
- IVF, IUF assessment
- counseling to decrease stress