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, as well as tending to my 30+years-long marriage.

Here’s a sample of the “What if’s?”

What if I go for this job interview and make an utter fool of myself? What if I bomb the presentation I have to make 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 person 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 another panic attack? What if I lose my lover or partner because I can’t please them?

These are the stories we tell ourselves. When we are anxious, our brains say these stories are cold, hard facts when they just masquerading as the truth. It’s possible that the problem you believe exists doesn’t. Or that simply having fresh eyes on it gives you a new perspective. I help people who are tired of having their anxiety dictate their lives make effective changes.

I can help you tame that inner bully

I am a licensed therapist who spends a lot of time with the latest research on treating anxiety. Clients 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 techniques. If you’d like some help from someone with a lot of life experience, and an insatiable need to keep learning from the best in our field, we will be a good match. Saying what hurts, out loud, to a compassionate listener, is effective. Why not give it a try?

I 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. Humans need to communicate, and to feel heard and understood.

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

There are many ways to tackle anxiety, 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 (it’s really not a bad word!)

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. I also hold Graduate Specialist Certification in Gerontology (the study of aging) and have undergone in-depth training with the Institute for Relational Intimacy. 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.