Addiction Therapy

Addiction is a lifelong struggle; one that can be experienced with or without sobriety and recovery. Without sobriety, it can be and very often is fatal; directly or indirectly. Addiction is very powerful and should not be underestimated.

There are many types of addiction including alcohol, drugs, sex, and gambling. There are also many stages of addiction and depending on how much it has progressed, depends on the problems it has caused in the addict’s life.

All areas of life can and eventually will be affected if the addiction is allowed to advance to a severe degree. The seven main living areas are work/school, social, family, financial, legal, spiritual, and physical.

It is a very painful way to live for the addict and those close to him. It disrupts the entire family system and causes a great deal of emotional damage. Fortunately, there is hope; there is a way out. Help is within reach. There is a massive organized group of recovering alcoholics and addicts waiting to help save the next person. The 12-step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are incredibly effective. In addition, the addiction field of professionally trained counselors and therapists is easily accessible. Recovery is possible.

Alzheimer`s Therapy

Alzheimer’s is often referred to as the “long good-by” because it’s a disease that slowly invades the brain, interferes with the person’s ability to function normally causing them to become more and more confused, forgetful, agitated, aggressive, angry, and eventually completely dependent on others. It is progressive and fatal. The person afflicted with Alzheimer’s suffers because they know what is happening and they are scared because it is beyond their control. However, their spouse and family members are drastically affected as well. Besides the pain of the reality of what they are facing, there are many important decisions to make and most often everyone does not agree. Specialized consulting and therapy can be extremely beneficial. The entire family is dramatically affected by this disease. It is a very daunting process. No one should have to navigate it alone. Although, there is a huge network of agencies, support groups, and thousands of internet sites with information, many people find the internet search overwhelming. I believe that it is much more appealing and helpful to pick up the phone and speak with an experienced and knowledgeable person.

My Dad had Alzheimer’s which is where I received first-hand experience as a daughter and caretaker and is the reason for my creating a separate category for it on my web page. The Alzheimer’s epidemic is here. The numbers continue to soar and so do the costs. Families are lost and don’t know which way to turn. The primary caretaker and the adult children scramble trying to make the right decisions. It is much easier andmuch more effective to ask for help. Let me guide you.

Couples Therapy

Most of us spend our lives in pursuit of a happy, healthy, fulfilling, exciting, loving, relationship with a partner. Some of us find it and some of us don’t, but most of us enter one relationship after another in search of it, trying to figure it out. After all, it is a basic human need to want to share our life with someone. There are some common problems most couples are challenged with including poor communication, money management, different parenting styles, and growing apart. Infidelity often creeps in as well.

Most couples want to at least try to work things out and would find it very difficult to just walk away. Certainly, the underlying goal of therapy or of the therapist is to try to save the relationship by helping the couple work through their issues. However, there are many couples on the verge of divorcing who want help deciding to separate or divorce and then need help managing it. There is no reason to go through this alone and therapy increases the chances for change and a renewed relationship or at least a healthier divorce.

Codependency Therapy

Codependency was a really common term in the 80’s and ’90’s that came out of the addiction field to describe anyone involved with an addict (includes alcoholics and will be referred to as a male) who tends to “caretake” and “enable”. They generally lose sight of themselves the more wrapped up they get in the addict’s life, making great efforts to meet his needs and calm his chaos. Their life revolves around his while their own needs desires are put aside and sacrificed. The addict is very skilled at attracting codependents into his life and often has several; a partner, someone at work, a few friends, and usually his parents or a sibling. They often stay involved however fed up they are because they don’t want anything tragic to happen to him so they are in “protect and rescue mode” a lot of the time. Eventually, they become so tired of it that they break away and surrender to whatever fate awaits the addict, however, some never find their way out. The 12-step program also has CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) and the same professionals are available. Choose to recover from the burden of codependency.

Domestic violence therapy

There are many forms of abuse; emotional, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse (and some books specifically site social, financial, religious/spiritual abuse as well), which people suffer at different times of their lives by perpetrators they know and usually trust. This could happen throughout childhood and/or in adulthood. When it occurs in adulthood between intimate partners, it is called “domestic violence”. Of course, the children of that household then become victims as well. The perpetrator (referred to as a male) needs/exercises power and control over his victims. He may control them by restricting who they can see, when they can leave their house, how much money they can spend, and imposes ridiculous expectations and then insults them and punishes them for not being able to meet those expectations.

There is a cycle of violence that has 4 stages: “tension/violence building” → explosion/violent incident” → honeymoon” → “back to normal” → and back again to tension building. Each phase of the cycle can last anywhere from several months to just a few days. Most often the victim needs to leave the relationship without any chance of saving the relationship; it’s more about saving her life and her sanity. There is help for the perpetrator as well, but very few are willing to admit they have a problem and refuse to get any help. Statistically, most victims leave and return 7 to 8 times before they leave for good. Most victims tolerate the emotional and verbal abuse much longer than sexual or physical abuse.

mental health Therapy

Many people are aware of their mental health problems and have been successfully treating it most of their lives, while others have been struggling and battling their symptoms with less success for years. There is also a high percentage of people who suffer unnecessarily with undiagnosed mental health problems, especially depression. Many symptoms become exacerbated during difficult circumstances that would otherwise be manageable. This can be a gift because it’s a big enough problem that you or your friends notice and you seek help either from your doctor for a medication or from a therapist, or both.

There are varying degrees of severity of depression and the other diagnostic disorders sometimes making both the diagnosis and treatment very challenging. Many disorders do not have a medication to treat it and none of these disorders are “curable” in the way we think of physical ailments. In many cases, therapy is an essential part of successful treatment.There is an entire diagnostic book dedicated to mental health disorders called the “DSM-IV”. It includes characteristics and symptoms, their presence, frequency and severity, which guides the therapist or doctor in arriving at diagnoses. There are many categories of disorders some which are inherited like schizophrenia and depression and others that are a result of environment (family, school, work, childhood) and life circumstances such as attachment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders. Addiction is usually a result of a combination of genetics and environment. Codependency is not a recognized disorder.

Personal Growth therapy

Personal growth is a process that produces personal change and progress. It must start from within you. Self-exploration and honesty are key.

We are all looking for answers and solutions. We want to improve our lives and become a better person. We are all seeking abundance, healthy relationships, and most of all happiness and love. It is precisely while we are in the process that we learn and grow with each of life’s experiences, gain valuable lessons, set healthy boundaries, heal old wounds, build our self-esteem and self-worth, recover our sense of self and become empowered.

Personal growth also includes a spiritual path (with or without religious affiliation), which requires that we consider and discover who we are and what our life purpose is in relationship to the rest of the world. In order to grow in this area, there absolutely must be forgiveness, a daily practice of gratitude and appreciation, and we must learn not to judge others or ourselves.

Personal growth is a life long journey. May each of you embrace all that life unfolds. Do not let the pain of the past hold you back. Choose to change and heal.

Family Therapy

Our family of origin is at the core of our being. It is the source of the majority of all of our beliefs, behaviors, interests, traditions, culture, attitudes, childhood and adolescent experiences, traumas, praise, our sense of self, our attachment to others, our approach to life. However much it damaged us or enriched us, it was a key component in our development of self. We have our family to blame or to thank.

The family is a system. Each member is interconnected to the other and affected by the other both positively and negatively. Think of a mobile, when one piece moves, all the pieces move. The system survives by obtaining and maintaining equilibrium; it must have balance. Each member knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly, adapts to accommodate this. Anything or anyone, that knocks it off balance will naturally be blamed and rejected. Typically, there is one member who seems to take on this role in the family. Then the rest of the members adapt in order to re-acquire balance again. Family problems manifest in each member differently.

Many of us need to recover from the damage and trauma brought on by our family of origin. Although, this can be very painful, it is extremely liberating. Working on family issues increases understanding and empathy and facilitates acceptance so that relationships can heal.

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Avenida paseo de la Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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Monday – Saturday
10:30 AM – 7:00 PM