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Call Us Today!
(707) 840-0396
Call Us Today!
(707) 840-0396

Counseling and Therapy

Couples / Individuals & Temperament Counseling
My approach has proven to help couples and individuals create success in their relationships. For 25 years, I have specialized in marriage counseling and individual therapy.
When there is anger, spouses feel as if the love that was once there has disappeared. In reality the love is only buried underneath all the anger and disappointment. Couples make the mistake of thinking that the disappearance of the love that was once there is proof that divorce is inevitable. These couples cannot imagine how that love could possibly return. The love does return, automatically, when new skills are in place.
Healthy anger is useful. But anger in couples and individuals that doesn’t lead to better relationships needs “anger improvement.” After anger is improved and disappointment is fully dealt with, couples and individuals describe that their love is deeper, stronger and more solid than before.
If one partner enters couple counseling genuinely looking at and changing oneself in order to make the relationship work but the other partner is not willing to look at how one is contributing to the problems, couples counseling doesn’t exist. It’s really two people having individual therapy under the guise of couples counseling. Individual therapy is nonetheless very important. Couples counseling achieves more if both partners actively work toward improving their way of relating and communicating.

Temperament Counseling

Clients who follow through do well. Some achieve astonishing results. I think this is partly true because of consideration of temperament in all of my therapeutic work. Every client learns what temperament they are on the Myers Briggs, Enneagram and Highly Sensitive Person Scale. This explains why certain problems exist for them and points a way to resolving those.

Dr. Pierce Howard in The Owner’s Manual Of The Brain states that temperament has great importance in each of us from the time we are infants through all our relationships. Temperament according to Dr. Howard accounts for at least 60% or our personalities and behavior.

Most therapists have little training, experience, or expertise in incorporating temperament into their diagnosis or treatment of couples or individuals. I have 25 years experience integrating temperament into my way of working with couples, teenagers and individuals. I am currently writing about temperament in therapeutic work and will be giving seminars to psychotherapists on Temperament Therapy in the near future.

When individuals learn vital things about the genetic basis of temperament, they experience relief and appreciation for themselves and for others.

Temperament Therapy provides the know-how to raise responses and consciousness to a higher level. Someone said, “The greatest high is consciousness.”

Articles About Therapy

New York Times article 9/22/06
“Understanding and Empathy Aren’t Enough In Therapy”
by Richard A. Friedman, M.D. [abridged here]:

“What’s not to like about understanding and empathy? … There is one little problem with psychotherapy when it relies on empathy and understanding alone.… They often aren’t enough to get patients to change, let alone grow. Recently, I saw a 48 yr. old professional single man … who had been in therapy … for six years (for) chronic depression.… ‘I had a miserable childhood, … father (was) alcoholic who shouted all the time … mother (was) a nonpresence, brother … on drugs.’”

“I asked him about what he did during his days. He was unemployed and supported in part by the neglectful parents whom he railed against. As is typical of narcissistic patients, he viewed his environment as having failed him and felt he had not gotten the recognition in life that he deserved. ‘What do you hope to accomplish in therapy?’ I asked him. ‘I just want to feel better and get rid of this depression.’ ‘Tell me, how do you feel about your current therapist?’ ‘Oh, she’s terrific. Warm, understanding, always available. But I don’t feel like I’m any better.’…”

“After six years … this patient had little sense of his own role in his unhappiness.… I tried something a little more challenging: ‘I don’t get a sense from what you’ve told me that you feel responsible yourself to do anything to improve your life.’ … (He) sat bolt upright … crossed his arms and replied icily: ‘I’ve been working very hard all these years in therapy. You have no right to say that.…’ He had been working hard all right – to maintain his status as a victim … (This) was something he was loath to surrender.…”

“His therapist had never challenged his stance, … reinforced it with years of unquestioning empathy and understanding.… He had a difficult childhood, but so have lots of other people.… What he was lacking was any notion that he had any responsibility in shaping his life now. (He then said) ‘So now you know my story. What kind of treatment do you recommend? ‘… I told him that his central problem was not all these collected injuries but his view of himself as someone who was wronged and deserving of special treatment from the world. Nor did he have major depression that required medication; rather, he had chronic dissatisfaction. He’d had five years’ worth of empathy; it was time to grow up, call it a day and get back to (employment).”

“I suggested a brief course of therapy to last no more than six months, with one precondition. He would have to get a job, … to be able to cover his rent and decrease his dependence on his parents. He signed on.”

“We … live in a blame-addicted culture that is…reflected in everything from reality TV to bad psychotherapy.… It’s easier to whine about the past than take some responsibility to change one’s life …therapy can become a sterile ritual of self-reflection without responsibility to or action.”

“When I last saw (him), several months after he finished treatment, he was still working and financially independent. ‘I didn’t really like you at first,’ he said. ‘You weren’t nice, but I think you helped me.’”

Call Us Today At ♦ (707) 840-0396

Helen Gallant, LCSW, BCD
In Business Since 1988
License #2769

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Phone

(707) 840-0396

Address

McKinleyville Office
1587 Timothy Rd
McKinleyville, CA 95519