This issue has become more prevalent and the improvement, growth and freedom I’ve seen clients experience through treatment, is inspiring. I’m experienced in treating Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and specific phobias. I find that most of my clients start to experience some relief in the first few weeks of treatment.
It is always my practice to work collaboratively with my client’s other health care providers to achieve the most comprehensive care. In addition to the gold standard of one-on-one therapy, I also offer social anxiety groups for teens and in the future, we’ll be extending these groups to adults as this issue is one of the most common, and disruptive, mental health issues impacting millions every year.
The good news is that with intervention, relief is very possible.
Knowing how to help people work through depression is a must in psychotherapy. I understand how debilitating and isolating depression can be. Working with depression is complex and requires a multifaceted approach. First and foremost, I offer empathy and support but that is rarely enough to facilitate change. I also help my clients identify the thoughts, beliefs and behaviors that reinforce their depression and keep them trapped. The next step is to nudge and support my clients towards taking action and keeping them accountable, especially since taking that action may be hard to do.
I work with couples at every stage of relationship. Dating, pre-marital, marital, and post-marital. I also support clients with issues surrounding the blending of families and co-parenting concerns. As a divorced father of two teenagers, and successfully managing our own family blending over the years, I can appreciate the complexities this stage of life brings.
When working with couples, my first objective is to listen to each person’s experience of the relationship to gain understanding and get a sneak peak of the many complex dynamics in the relationship system. I work with each person to establish specific goals for counseling, often weaving them together to form mutual goals that each person will feel good about working towards.
I create customized homework, based on what is happening in the session. This homework is to be learned, practiced, and implemented between sessions. My experience over the years has validated that this is where the growth and change happens – between sessions. Homework may also include resources, such as handouts, worksheets, suggested books and articles, YouTube videos, and TED Talks.
I meet with some couples weekly and other couples on a bi-weekly basis, depending on several factors. I recommend weekly therapy for couples who are facing down a recent tragedy or crisis like the initial throws of discovered infidelity, or a recent death or family crisis, to name a few.
Bi-weekly sessions can also work well for most couples’ concerns, like issues surrounding communication, parenting, money, intimacy, extended family systems as well as frequent fighting and bickering, rebuilding trust and infidelity work that is out of the crisis stage.
It is hard work to participate in couples counseling and I only work with couples where both members are committed to working on the relationship.
I enjoy working with high-school-aged-teens, boys and girls ages 14 to 18, who are open to participating in therapy. I do not work with teens who are being forced into therapy, or situations where therapy is a punitive measure. I find that teens benefit the most when they feel they are an active part of the process, which is why I like to work collaboratively with them to come up with treatment goals that make sense and motivate them versus mandated to them.
I also like to involve family in the treatment, because ongoing support for the adolescent comes down to the family network or “system,” and sometimes that family system needs some support, too.
I’ve successfully helped adolescents dealing with social anxiety, general anxiety, OCD, depression, low self-esteem, family relationships and peer relationships.
Common relationship dynamics I address include friendship, dating, engaged, married, sibling, parent to child, child to parent and coworker. I believe that couple and family therapy is the most efficient way to address relationship problems and frequently help my clients work toward that where appropriate.
Marriage Family Therapist, MS, LMFT
I’m a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in private practice in Maple Valley, Washington with more than 20 years of experience. My systemic perspective in treating individuals, couples and families has guided my practice and inspires my commitment to the innovation of treatment for my clients.
That journey started in 1998 when I worked as a Residential Counselor, helping adolescents with court ordered treatment for drug and alcohol addictions. This experience, although extremely difficult, inspired me to start graduate school to become a psychotherapist.
I’ve worked in a variety of therapeutic environments including University Student Counseling Centers and medically supervised Health and Wellness Programs. In 2012, I opened my private practice providing individual therapy as well as couple, family and group sessions. I’ve enjoyed contributing to organizations dedicated to our local psychotherapy profession, most recently serving on the Board of Directors for Family Systems Therapists Northwest.
Through my multi-disciplinary approach, I bring a unique combination of collaboration, honest feedback and clear guidance to facilitate the change needed to reach treatment goals. I always start from a foundation of care and respect as it’s an honor to be entrusted with the issues and concerns in my client’s lives.
These unprecedented times call for a holistic approach to managing our mental health. Now is the time to equip individuals and families with the skills necessary to nurture resilience and strengthen our ability to connect in authentic ways. I consider it a privilege to do the work we do, together. Please reach out for more information or with questions about what our work together may look like.
WHY WEmerge SYSTEMS
The gold standard for social anxiety treatment is individual psychotherapy using a Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) approach. CBT is a well-researched, evidence-based approach that is highly effective (when it is fully adhered to).
We’ve witnessed a discouraging trend while treating teens for social anxiety, using individual therapy. They learn the skills in session but are often reluctant to follow through on the behavioral change part of treatment, involving social tasks (outside of the session) that induce the very fear they are avoiding at all costs. Without the real-world application, teens remain stuck in their social anxiety. We developed the WEmerge approach because we understand sometimes standard therapy isn’t always going to get the job done.
THE WEmerge APPROACH: HELPING TEENS SHIFT
Our 12-week group therapy program combines 3 core pillars that support participants as they apply learnings in the real-world: thoughtful education, group experience to accelerate skill-building and supported exploration to build resilience.
We’ve combined CBT with a unique application of concepts from Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Therapy to develop more effective options for decreasing anxiety, increasing more effective self-management skills in relationships, and increasing flexibility and resiliency to meet life’s challenges. Participants will practice social engagement with other group members in session, which builds a base level of confidence. They work up to the harder task of engaging in social tasks out in the real world. It is a graduated approach with much better outcomes.
WHAT SETS US APART?
What sets WEmerge Systems apart is that we are not only equipping your teen, but we are also equipping you as their parent – you will be prepared for how to reinforce and support your teen in this process while activating your role as a parent in new ways.
We do this through monthly group coaching sessions, together with all parents of teens currently enrolled in the program. There is a total of 3, 45-minute Zoom group coaching calls for parents. This is a requirement of the program.
This program is a system like any other and it requires all parts to work together to sustain positive change. We all have a role to play; you have your part, your teen has their part and we have ours – we are a three-legged stool. We’re creating the solid structure of a healthy functioning system where social anxiety is no longer controlling how your teen shows up in life.
What We Work Toward
- Teens will experience the tools, education and practice to help them develop balanced thoughts and feelings about self and others.
- Target areas include: How to start, maintain and join a conversation, express an opinion, order in a restaurant, call a business, ask for help, respond to perceived critique, attend social events, to name a few. Practice areas can be customized to individual needs.
- Your family system will be equipped with the skills and understanding to sustain positive change.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- Pre-program consultation (parents) and individual session (teen) with Kyle
- First Virtual Parent Group Coaching
- Teen Group Sessions 1-4
- Second Virtual Parent Group Coaching
- Teen Group Sessions 5-6
- Mid-point individual session (teen) with Kyle
- Teen Group Session 7-8
- Final Virtual Parent Group Coaching
- Teen Group Sessions 9-12
- Post-program individual session (teen/parents) with Kyle
COMMITMENT FOR TEENS
- 40 hours total; about 3 hours/week, which includes:
- 12, 2-hour weekly sessions
- 1 hour of homework/practice each week
- 3 individual sessions to track progress
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We’ve created this innovative approach to treating social anxiety in response to a growing need, highlighted by a pandemic and social isolation, and we’re committed to offering a quality program that will support our community.
Our program provides over 30 hours of professional therapy and support for you and your teen, enhanced by a customized curriculum. Your investment includes:
- 12, 2-hour sessions, a total of 24 hours, of group therapy for your teen + Program Guidebook
- 3 individual therapy sessions for your teen
- 3 virtual group coaching sessions for parents + Parent Guide to support teen’s progress
- 2 individual parent consulting sessions with Kyle to review goals and assist with progress
- Pre and post assessments for your teen; these are validated diagnostic tools used to assess Social Anxiety using peer-reviewed and established best practices
- Support available throughout the program and in-between sessions
- Limited enrollment to provide a highly individualized, quality experience
Weeks 1-4: Focus on education and foundation-building; how anxiety works and the 3 components that drive our experience: cognitive, physical and behavioral
Weeks 5-8: Build from in-session experiences to “real-world” experiences that challenge long-held beliefs and build confidence, give and receive feedback
Weeks 9-12: Reframe experiences, integrate new tools to adapt thinking, regulate emotions, increase flexibility and resilience, practice new communication skills
- In-session activities gradually become more challenging, preparing teens to take more risks outside of session – we call these activities “merging,” and they enable teens to experience real-world application of key concepts
- Highly individualized experience with a small group of 4-6 teens selected for program fit
- Comradery and confidence are built with a tribe of peers facing common challenges, together
- A wide variety of creative resources explored inside and outside of session; books, Ted Talks, music, articles and other blended learning tools to engage and retain learning
- Family systems coaching, parents explore new ways to support teen’s developing skills at home
- Teens explore and share their experience with merging inside and outside of sessions