Individual Therapy

Clients seek individual therapy for a variety of reasons: some are experiencing difficult and perhaps overwhelming emotions; some are experiencing challenges in navigating life transitions; still others find themselves experiencing low self-esteem, critical self-talk, and a lack of self-acceptance. Often, unwanted behaviors can surface when trying to manage these challenges.
One goal of individual therapy is to replace self-criticism and low self-esteem with a sense of self-acceptance and agency. Instead of feeling stuck in old patterns, we can instead learn to feel empowered, to feel that one can make appropriate choices that will result in a more fulfilling life and healthier relationships.

Individual therapy can support you in:

  • Identifying and expressing authentic emotions
  • Recognizing self-defeating beliefs and replacing them with more realistic and encouraging self-talk
  • Becoming less critical and more compassionate with self and others
  • Becoming more assertive in expressing your needs and wants using effective communication skills

At Limerick Counseling Center we treat:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Body Image Issues
  • Anger Management
  • Stress Management
  • Low self-esteem
  • Life transitions

Our clinicians are happy to work with children, teens, and adults utilizing a variety of treatment modalities.

    Couples Therapy

    Healthy, supportive couples establish a balance between connectedness and autonomy that is maintained due to mutual respect and emotional generosity.

    What hinders couples from achieving a healthy happy relationship?

    Even if couples commit wholeheartedly to being in a relationship, it is often difficult to maintain the relaxed and satisfying interactions that initially brought them together. All couples experience differences due to the fact that they are unique individuals. When couples lack the communication skills and empathy to effectively work through their differences, these issues can devolve into destructive power struggles and a source of ongoing conflict.

    These conflicts can increase both partner’s anxieties:

    the fear of not being respected
    the fear of losing their loving connection to their partner
    These underlying fears, overtly or passively expressed as anger, can serve to further fuel the original conflict. The couple is now in a destructive downward cycle in their interactions and communications.

    Some goals of couple’s therapy are for partners to:

    • learn more effective communication skills
    • better hear and understand each other
    • learn to have more empathy toward each other
    • increase their level of emotional intimacy
    • improve their ability to resolve conflicts without escalation

    At Limerick Counseling Center we wish to support the bond you share with your partner. Our goal is to explore ways for you to best express your compassion and love for each other with the goal of building or restoring the secure and loving connection you both seek.


      Sex Therapy

      At Limerick Counseling Center, we have several clinicians trained in Sex Therapy and are dedicated to supporting couples to resolve sexual difficulties and to guide couples towards enhancing their sexual relationship.

      When couples are experiencing sexual difficulties, they often feel left alone with a sense of awkwardness and shame. The truth is, you are not alone! The majority of men and women experience sexual difficulties at some point in their lives.

      Sexuality is an integral part of every person’s sense of self and identity. So, the same way an individual’s sense of self can be impacted by stress, anxiety, medical issues, relationship issues, and any kind of life transition, the same way a person’s sexual experience can be impacted by changes in life. Sexuality is not something that functions ‘automatically’. Every individual’s sexuality is embedded in their emotional experiences and will be more pleasurable in the context of emotional safety and joyfulness.

      At Limerick Counseling Center, we practice Sex Therapy through this integrated lens. The exploration of sexual intimacy will be embedded in the exploration of all aspects of the individual’s life and history as well as the exploration of the relationship dynamic including communication, conflict resolution, and overall emotional connectedness.

      Sex Therapy can be provided for individuals, but we encourage couples to attend therapy together so any difficulty can be treated through trusting collaboration.

      The format we usually choose is:

      • to see the couple for an initial session together
      • to then see each partner for 1-2 individual sessions
      • to then continue with mostly couples sessions

      At the beginning of the therapeutic process, we might ask the couple to attend for several consecutive weeks. After that initial phase, depending on the clinician’s assessment, sessions might get spaced out a little further. Sex Therapy at times includes ‘Homework Assignments’ that can require more time in between sessions.

      Difficulties treated:

      • difficulties regarding sexual desire
      • difficulties with arousal
      • difficulties with orgasm
      • sexual pain

      Often the referral to a urologist or obgyn will be part of the treatment plan.



        EMDR Therapy

        Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

        What is EMDR and what can it treat?

        EMDR is a therapy that can be administered from the comfort of our office, or virtually, using video chat. EMDR can be used to get ourselves “unstuck” from problematic behaviors and thinking patterns that can contribute to various symptoms including depression, anxiety, and destructive relationship dynamics. EMDR is also effective in treating PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks, hypervigilance, nightmares, and severe anxiety.

        Is EMDR for me?

        Have you ever felt like you overreacted to someone? Your partner or your child? Or a coworker? Or a road rage situation? Did you feel afterward that you could have been more rational, calm, or mature in your reactions? Have you ever thought to yourself, “I am not good enough”? or “I can’t possibly do what that person can do”? Even if, realistically, you know that you ARE good enough, that you are quite capable of performing that task? If your answer is yes, then EMDR might be useful for you.

        How does EMDR work?

        The concept behind EMDR is that many of us experience uncomfortable, frightening, life-threatening, shaming, and other painful events in our childhoods or as adults. These events, when not properly addressed leave an emotional imprint on our psyches.

        Vulnerable and highly emotional parts of self become stuck in these past events – events that are sometimes considered traumatic experiences. These experiences can be major traumatic events like violent assault, combat experiences, physical abuse, and rape, or they can be seemingly minor events like being shamed by a teacher, bullied at school, heartbroken or betrayed by a partner, or hollered at while eating dinner. Even one major trauma is enough to leave an emotional mark. The more minor events tend to be the most damaging when they are chronic. Often these repeated wounding experiences are also accompanied by emotional neglect, even if our parents kept us clean, safe, healthy, and well-fed. Sometimes our caregivers simply did not know how to support us emotionally, never mind guide us through processing painful emotions.
        The impact of unresolved experiences can be quite debilitating in our everyday functioning. They can lead us to overreact, to behave in immature and maladaptive ways, and to not believe in ourselves.
        EMDR has been scientifically proven by numerous case studies to decrease symptoms and improve functioning. It is a gentle process that utilizes Alternating Bilateral Stimulation, or ABS, to allow the rational side of our brains to soothe and comfort the “stuck” emotional and wounded parts of our brain.

        ABS can be accomplished using alternating beats in headphones or alternating tapping on the body (done by the clients themselves). A trained EMDR therapist will use ABS while gently guiding the client through disturbing memories with the goal of clearing the disturbance. Once the rational thinking part of the brain is able to connect with the wounded, scared, triggered highly emotional part, the client ceases to be triggered by similar events in the present.

        Clients are now better able to act as their best adult selves because their highly reactive emotional parts of self are no longer triggered. EMDR can allow individuals to become their most rational mature selves, even when experiencing stressful events such as marital conflicts, complicated parenting challenges, and professional challenges. For some severely traumatized individuals, daily tasks such as driving, being outside, and simply feeling emotionally and physically safe in the world can be become more normalized and comfortable experiences.

        How can Limerick Counseling Center help?

        Several of our therapists have been using EMDR for years to improve the lives of our clients. We have found EMDR to be one of the most effective therapies for resolving difficult issues that have not responded to other approaches in the past. Feel free to inquire about additional details on EMDR and its profound healing potential.


          DBT Therapy

          What does Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) encompass?

          Behaviors generally happen for a reason. Often, people begin using unhelpful behaviors such as fighting, drinking, substance use, or self-harm to cope with difficult or painful situations.
          While these unhelpful behaviors may provide some initial relief, they eventually become habits that are hard to break. DBT focuses on replacing unhelpful behaviors with more effective coping strategies. DBT is effective with individuals, couples, and families.
          DBT-informed therapy incorporates five steps that are worked through sequentially.

            1. Practicing mindfulness – teaching one to be fully present in the moment and focusing on the “here and now.”
            2. Acquiring distress tolerance – learning to better cope with painful experiences
            3. Developing emotion regulation skills – promoting a deeper understanding of emotions to help better cope with stressful situations
            4. Walking the middle path – learning to view issues with flexibility and curiosity – instead of with extremes, judgment, and rigidity – this enables more compromise and harmony in relationship struggles
            5. Interpersonal effectiveness – improving ability to balance wants and needs of self and others, acknowledge the perspective of others, and more effectively communicate around conflicts – results in more successful interactions with others.

          Working through all five components of DBT with a DBT-informed therapist teaches skills that can be applied throughout many aspects of life, and can support clients in pursuing happier relationships.



            Family Therapy

            Who can benefit from family therapy?

            Most families just want to get along and be happy. Unfortunately, when unaddressed, day-to-day stressors, ineffective communication styles, and defensive behaviors can become destructive over time. These dynamics can threaten a family’s ability to function harmoniously, compassionately, and effectively, even if trying their best to do so. (If you are struggling with these or similar issues, family therapy may be a helpful option for you.)

            What is systemic family therapy?

            Family therapy is the process of meeting a family, assessing their issues, and guiding the family members to better understand the underlying source of their conflicts and destructive patterns of relating. Depending on the particular needs of the family, the entire family or subgroups can be present at any given session. The therapist will maintain a safe space so that conflicts are not allowed to escalate and become destructive.

            The family therapist will model honest, non-judgmental, and curious communication with individual members in an attempt to discover their underlying emotions and how THEY are experiencing day-to-day life within the family. The therapist will also identify chronic destructive behavioral patterns that often become ingrained in family interactions. These negative patterns, once identified and better understood, can be replaced with healthier productive communication patterns and effective conflict-resolution skills.

            How can Limerick Counseling Center help?

            As Marriage and Family Therapists, (most of) our clinicians are specially trained to competently and effectively work with families. Feel free to inquire about additional details on family therapy and whether it’s a good fit for you.




              Play Therapy

              What is Play therapy?

              Play therapy is a form of counseling or psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with clients, especially children, to process psychosocial challenges.

              Children may not yet have the self- awareness and the words to express the thoughts and emotions that accompany complex experiences; the younger the child, the more likely she is to lack these skills.

              Rather than being able to describe their emotions regarding a situation, children might say ‘I have a stomach ache’ to describe their discomfort and their desire to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
              This, however, does not mean the ‘belly ache’ is not real; children tend to experience their emotions as physical symptoms much more frequently than adults would.

              Because children lack the ability to verbally express their needs, play is a more natural way for them to express themselves. The child’s experiences can be reenacted in play scenes. This allows her to externalize the issue and process the internal turmoil that may be attached to the experience. With the gentle guidance of the play therapist, the child can experience empathy and validation and potentially explore solutions to these internal conflicts.

              In Sand-Tray therapy the play scenes are staged in a portable sandbox the therapist provides.

              Play therapy is thought to help propel children towards healthy growth and development, emotional modulation, decreased aggression, social skill development, empathy, and trauma resolution. Play therapy can also increase a child’s sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem.

              Elements of Art therapy are helpful at a variety of developmental stages ranging from toddler to adult. This modality helps the brain to express emotional and mental states through colors, shapes, and tactile activities. It also encourages internal states to become visible. The act of engaging in authentic self-expression can result in emotional release and a heightened sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance.