Details on the problems he treats and how his counseling program works.
Almost everyone can benefit from counseling. Whether you are twenty years old or ninety three, a CEO of a high powered company or a student going through a graduate program, Dr. Phillips can help you. In life, we are all faced with challenges and obstacles which may seem insurmountable. Each of us brings our past with us into the present. And every situation is unique. When you visit Dr. Phillips, you may consult for a few sessions or require weekly counseling for several months. It may take time to see resolution. Some individuals see Dr. Phillips because they are interested in enhancing their lives. Others feel miserable and need help just to function and get through the day.
While women are more likely to ask for help, men can and do benefit from therapy as well. From those with high incomes to working folks, there is a wide socioeconomic range. Who succeeds in therapy? If you are willing to examine both your strengths and weaknesses and try new strategies for tackling challenges, you can be helped.
The purpose of the first session is to see if you can benefit from Dr. Phillips’ approach. He’ll assess your personality style, how you present the problem, and the context of your difficulty. During this time, he’ll attentively watch your responses, and begin probing ineffective habits. If you decide to continue, you’ll probably attend weekly sessions with monthly commitments.
The first step of treatment is establishing a therapeutic relationship. Clients find Dr. Phillips is “committed to the moment” and remarkably concerned and interested in them as individuals. This trust creates a relaxed and open exchange which allows the treatment to work. Interpersonal psychology, the main therapeutic focus, emphasizes communication and relationships. The cornerstone for happiness and mental health is directly related to a person’s ability to create and keep healthy relationships. Research shows people who have strong relationships and a caring group of friends and family have fewer mental health troubles like depression and anxiety. They have fewer medical illnesses. And when they get sick, they get well faster. And they live longer too.
A key concept of Dr. Phillips professional care has to do with responsibility. Individuals who view the world largely in their personal control are emotionally healthier than those who feel they are at the mercy of the world around them. Treatment encourages a shift in perspective from powerlessness and blame to potency and personal responsibility. “Why do people treat me that way?” is replaced with “How am I getting others to treat me that way?”
Another important concept is counter phobia. This literally means going against your fear. It is natural to avoid those things that scare us. But we know that people who tackle life’s challenges rather than find a way around them are more confident and less prone to anxiety. These individuals are mentally healthier and more satisfied.
Dr. Phillips helps his clients understand that the pursuit of happiness, unlike the pursuit of fun, is not directly achievable but a by-product of doing what is unnatural. When we become more mindful and understand that some solutions have poor short-term payoffs but good long-term payoffs, we move away from a life of impulsivity, addiction or unhappiness. And toward an existence of discipline, success and satisfaction.
Dr. Phillips’ multi-faceted approach focuses on the person as a whole. In addition to looking at strictly psychological issues, the individual’s health, career, finances, play and spirituality are all potential topics of discussion.
Dr. Phillips believes his clients are fully capable of being emotionally healthy. From this perspective, he relates to them as experienced equals. Therapy is viewed as a joint venture where both parties influence the course, the pace and the scope of the work. Humor is used since treatment is viewed as a challenging, rewarding and sometimes entertaining adventure where personal qualities are discovered and claimed. Dr. Phillips is sympathetic toward his clients. He views himself as the carrier of hope when hope does not yet exist within them.
Dr. Phillips teaches clients to understand and to be aware of the meaning and impact of their behaviors, and the behaviors of those around them, in depth. This allows us to be clear about what is happening in our relationships which, in turn, allows more informed decisions and more effective actions for constructive outcomes – in families, at work, or in public. Clients are encouraged to move out of reactive and unconscious selves and into observing stances where they can take more fully-conscious positions in life. A woman who over and again argues with her husband begins to see that she is allowing herself to be controlled by his comments and blindly defends herself to the same futile end each time. Gradually, she steps back and observes herself and takes more time to respond with new comments, suggested by Dr. Phillips, which take the discussion to a different and more productive place.