page rutledgeWHY CHOOSE ME?

Because you have anxiety.

I know first hand what anxiety feels like. I have experienced chronic illness with a parent, being the child of an alcoholic, being the mother of a child on the spectrum, losing a business, creating several businesses, and changing careers in a changing economy.  For a time I shut down my world and decided (waaaay prematurely) that my options were totally limited. Wrong. I learned how to change that, and so can you.

Here’s a sample of the “What if’s?”

What if I decide to go for this job interview and make a fool of myself? What if I totally bomb the presentation I have to make to the sales team at work next week? What if my coworkers find out I really don’t know what I’m doing? What if I have nothing to say to the guy/gal I’m dying to attract? What if I never meet the right partner? What if I can’t make it out of the grocery store before my panic grips me and I’m totally embarrassed?  Or the scariest: “What if I just can’t handle the death or heartbreak I am facing?”

These are the stories we tell ourselves. When we are anxious, these stories are presented by our brains as cold, hard facts when they are actually longstanding learned patterns (aka neural pathways) we readily accept as truth. They are not truths. This is your worry, masquerading as truth.

I help people who are tired of having their anxiety dictate their actions and run their lives.

I can help you manage your anxiety effectively

I am a licensed therapist who has spent a lot of time with the latest research on treating anxiety. Clients say they like my direct, compassionate (and sometimes irreverent) approach. I am not a believer in sitting around crying with clients, nor do I spend precious time digging incessantly in your past. When you work with me, we are looking for the way forward. We do that with a combination of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and mindfulness skills training. If you’d like some help from someone with a good bit of life experience as well as in-depth training, we just might be a good match.

I simply see no point in going it alone when a little help will considerably shorten the time you spend struggling. You don’t have to take my word for it; research meta-analysis (fancy lingo for a study of many studies) verifies that talk therapy works. And talk therapy is on the rise. People get that it is a more lasting solution than drugs offer to really working out life’s problems.

Here are the techniques I use to help you manage your anxiety

There are many ways to tackle anxiety and the insidious ways it leads to depression, but it always has three components: physical, emotional and thoughts. These are some of the ways I help you learn to manage all three.

  • I teach self-calming skills and help you set achievable goals
  • I skip the psychobabble, and teach you more helpful thinking styles
  • I don’t dwell too much in your past, keeping your focus on future choices
  • I help you find your own, perhaps forgotten, inner resources
  • I have the skills to induce in you a deep state of relaxation for fast, effective work
  • I assign helpful outside-the-session experiments or homework

On to the professional credentials…

I hold two Masters Degrees, one in Public Health & Policy, and another in Clinical Social Work (I am licensed in North Carolina), along with Graduate Specialist Certification in Gerontology (the study of aging). I am certified in Clinical Hypnosis, and have over 200 hours of additional training in this therapeutic mode. I am a contributor to the Star News Community Bloggers and have published a number of articles in the Star News, the NC National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Newsletter, and Cape Fear Living Magazine.