Dr. James C. Strickland
Dr. Kerry Torrell
- I don’t have issues in my life!”
There are always going to be issues in life. Thinking that life is going to be issue free is a delusion. If you walk around in life thinking there are no issues or problems, you are living in denial and that is unhealthy. The healthy part is realizing there is an issue and perhaps seeking help.
- “What is Denial?”
Denial is when a person continues to repeat dysfunctional behaviors but thinks everything is fine. That’s denial. Denial is also a lack of awareness and awareness is necessary to recognizing that there is a problem.
When a person sees themselves in the same frustrating or dissatisfying situation, they need to take notice. A great metaphor for denial is clumsy people. Clumsy people don’t watch where they are going, don’t look where they are walking, step on something, trip and fall, and/or bump into things. They kind of lumber through life, lacking situational awareness. In addition they are unaware that they are placing themselves or someone else at risk by their behavior.
Addictions whether it be to drugs, gambling, alcohol, food, shopping, video games, texting, exercise – - are forms of denial. Many addicts say “Oh, I can stop any time I want. I just don’t want to.” That is the ultimate denial.
If you repeatedly find yourself in the same unhappy, unhealthy place, it’s time to pay attention and recognize that you do indeed have an issue that needs to be resolved.
- “Therapy is only for the weak!”
This is a myth that has been proven to be untrue. The person who goes to therapy is actually the strong one and will end up being stronger because instead of living in the delusion they have no limitations. They realize they can’t see themselves objectively and need somebody who is not immediately involved in their issues to take a look and see their blind spots.
- So why would I come to you for therapy?”
I practice Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). REBT is considered an Evidenced Based Treatment (EBT) whose effectiveness has been validated through research and has been shown to bring about lasting change. At one time the efficacy of all therapies was unknown. As researchers began to study various therapies, they discovered that some treatments were proven to be more effective than others. We can’t say that untested therapies are not effective, it is just that no one has taken the time to study them. If you don’t want to take a chance, the highest probability of getting help is with an evidence based therapy because it has been proven effective. I have more confidence that a positive change will come about using evidence based treatments because I have the research to back it up. Not only do I use evidence based treatments in my practice, but I teach them to my clients so that they can use them.
- “Why would you teach your skills to your clients?”
I want to teach it to my clients as I have learned it so that they can get the maximum benefit for the rest of their lives, not just for the time that they are in therapy with me. When therapy is complete, they take with them their education and can use it wherever they go. I teach them to not only be less distressed, but more resistant to becoming distressed.
- “So you have all the answers?”
No, unfortunately, I don’t, but I problem solve all day long so I usually have something in my “knowledge storehouse” to help, that I can pull out at any time. I also work closely and collaboratively with my clients. Through that we find the answers necessary for them to live an emotionally healthy life.
- “So when do I start feeling better?”
I am a “get down to business” type psychologist. My attitude is “You have an issue. Let’s get it solved.” My goal is to give a client hope and have them feeling better from the very first session. I see my clients once a week for 45 minutes, but I want them to feel the relief the other 167+ hours of the week.
- “Do you really think I can help myself?”
In almost all cases, I do. So give me a call and let’s take a look at your situation and see what we can do for you.
- Phone: 631-486-5140
- eMail: DrStrickland@DrJamesStrickland.com
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