Deborah Ann Tallarico

Licensed Professional Counselor
Counseling - Psychotherapy - Expressive Arts Therapy
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Counseling & Psychotherapy

What Is Counseling and Psychotherapy?      

Counseling and Psychotherapy both involve an interactive process between a counselor and a client in which the communication of thoughts, feelings, memories, beliefs, frustrations, desires, and hopes are shared. It is a deep listening and responding process that can allow you to better understand yourself and can help foster growth, and change.

"Psychotherapy" and "counseling" are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they are very similar with quite a bit of overlap, there are some subtle differences as well. Technically speaking, "counseling"  may refer more specifically to advice giving or guidance, and can involve two people working together to solve a problem. Counseling may be considered to be a relatively brief treatment that is behaviorally focused. "Psychotherapy" on the other hand is generally a longer term treatment which focuses more on gaining insight into chronic physical and emotional problems. It's focus is on the patient's thought processes and way of being in the world rather than specific problems.

Together, "counseling" and "psychotherapy" assist and treat people who are experiencing difficulties with ways they think (self-criticism, destructive thought patterns) or feel (moods, overwhelming emotions) or act (destructive behaviors), or who are seeking personal growth or positive change in some area of life such as a relationship, or career. They both involve the development of a trusting therapeutic relationship, and the use of dialogue and psychological techniques that help guide the client to self understanding. Through this process, clients may experience relief from their symptoms or problems by gaining a clearer understanding or insight into their situation and by making changes in behavior or thinking patterns. Counseling and psychotherapy may also assist in resolving conflict, improving relationship communication, and improving self-esteem.

Topics/Issues Commonly Addressed in Counseling & Psychotherapy:

Anxiety-  Attention Difficulties- Body Image issues-  Careers/ Employment- Childhood Abuse/Trauma - Communication-  Conflict- Couple/Marital Counseling- Creativity-  Depression- Dreams- Eating issues/disorders- Emotions- Family Issues- Friendships- Grief/loss- Hope- Illness- Love- Pain Management-Parenting- Personal Growth- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder- Relationship Issues- Smoking Cessation- Spirituality- Stress- Stress Management- Transitions- Wellness... 


Therapeutic Modalities:

Cognitive Behavioral Approaches- Dream-work- Eco-therapy- Emotionally Focused Approaches- Existential Approaches- *Expressive Arts Therapies  (including painting, drawing, writing, journal-work, poetry, voice, movement, mandala making)- Gestalt Approaches- Jungian Approaches- Meditation- Play therapy (with children)- Systems Approaches- Visualization / Guided Imagery- Yoga / Breath Work... 

(*more info at Expressive Arts tab above) 

Benefits and Risks of Treatment: Counseling and psychotherapy can improve your sense of well being and relationship to others, and yet specific results cannot be guaranteed. Counseling/psychotherapy is a personal exploration and may lead to major changes in life experience and perspectives. These changes could affect significant relationships, work, life circumstances, and self-understanding. Counseling/ psychotherapy might also open up levels of awareness that could cause pain, anxiety, and distress. A supportive environment as well as the therapeutic process can usually help clients move through difficulties into a state of well being. Some clients may choose a limited knowledge of themselves rather than risking this kind of distress, and this is respected. You, as the client, have significant responsibility for the outcomes of the therapeutic process as you choose how to live your life as a result of the awareness and knowledge gained through counseling and psychotherapy.

Alternative treatments:
There are other treatment options available as an alternative, or as a compliment to individual counseling and psychotherapy. These options include group therapy, family therapy, 12 step groups, support groups, medication, herbal remedies, nutritional counseling, cognitive therapy, behavioral modification, massage therapy, expressive arts therapy, acupuncture, exercise, yoga, meditation, guided imagery, EMDR, hypnosis, assertiveness training, spiritual direction, and others.


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