Below you will find elaborated explanations of the types of therapeutic services I offer, including: individual therapy, adolescent specific therapy, couples therapy, family therapy and combined services for individuals with eating disorders and disordered eating. I enjoy working with persons of all gender identities and sexual orientations across ages 13 and up. 

 

Individual Therapy

When clients come into therapy, it is not unusual that they feel the problem is located inextricably within them. Our goal becomes how to look at the issues at hand with a slight degree of separation, so they can be properly examined without the shame and guilt that can cloud a client’s ability to self-reflect. Increasing this awareness allows my clients to access their innate strengths and assets and apply them to defend against the negative thought patterns that can easily lead to issues like anxiety and depression.

My approach stems from a background in Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Through these combined lenses, my clients leave sessions feeling empowered, confident in their abilities and with the clarity that comes from the interplay of both increased insight and application of concrete skills. Our work will be rooted in collaboration, where clients can define their goals and we then work towards achieving them together.

Couples Therapy

All too often, clients seeking couples therapy walk into session fearful that they will be blamed and identified as the problem in their relationship. This can lead to a lot of anticipatory fear and anxiety about entering into couples therapy and sometimes impedes the process altogether. My approach invites clients away from blame, to instead locate the strengths that each member of a couple brings to their relationship. We then collaboratively identify how to apply these strengths as a unified front against whatever is infringing on the relationship. This allows both members of the couple to feel empowered and to engage in problem solving in a space that is safe, constructive and collaborative. Common couples therapy related work includes:

-identifying and eradicating communication blocks

-increasing or re-establishing mutual trust

-boundary creation to support the growth of each individual within a couple

-coping skills to manage daily stressors that can be practiced independently as well as together

-management techniques for normal life transitions such as job changes, marriage and family planning

I aim to reconnect couples to the foundation that their relationship was built upon which often becomes distant in the course of daily life. My hope is that when couples leave a session, they walk out with both a sense of clarity and of deep empowerment as individuals and as a team. Over time, this approach will help to systematically diminish anxiety, fear and relational stress to allow couples to move through challenges with less tension and greater ease.

Family Therapy

Whether family therapy plays a role as an extension off of individual or couples therapy, or serves as the primary core of therapeutic work, it is almost always extremely impactful. My approach to family therapy allows each member to be seen and valued simultaneously as an individual as well as a member of a larger system. I strive to create space for each member’s voice while also clinically illuminating the dynamics at hand. Common family therapy themes include:

 -establishing effective networks of communication

-role changes

-parental skills training and education

-boundary setting

-re-aligning of family values and ethics that may have faded into the background during daily life

-or co-creating shared ethics for the first time

Family therapy will often begin centered around the identified issues or goals of a particular member or members, but then it organically extends to indirectly help other members of the family unit. In this way, family therapy becomes beneficial for everyone involved, even if it may not be initially clear what all the benefits will be. In family therapy, I apply a solution-focused approach where members are coached in how best to respond to one another’s strengths rather than becoming stuck in old patterns of blame, emotional escalation and recreating feelings of disappointment. Establishing these foundational tools allows any family system to become better equipped for the wide-ranging challenges that life can present.

Adolescent Therapy

Adolescence is an incredibly unique period in life, rich with intense experiences, immense pressures and newly acquired freedoms. There seem to be almost infinite influences that impact this period of life and lead to a wide variety of challenges. Some of the common issues that present themselves to my adolescent clients are:

-changing roles in a family system

-demand on performance academically

-peer-to-peer conflicts

-substance use, abuse and experimentation

-sexual exploration and pressures

-physical exhaustion and fatigue

-anxiety

-depression

-general identity construction

Navigating any of these experiences is difficult, and often family systems struggle in how best to be supportive to their unique teenager. Individual therapy is incredibly useful as it allows adolescents the much needed space to foster self-reflection away from outside influences, to set intentions and to have accountability from someone outside the immediate family system. The therapeutic model that I find most useful with adolescents, is one based on mentorship and mutual respect.

I work collaboratively with my adolescent clients to determine together when involving adjunct family therapy may also be beneficial.  They then have the opportunity in a supportive and safe environment, to teach their family members how best to help them navigate the current and evolving challenges in their lives. Often I find that families of adolescents are searching for guidance and it is their adolescent family member who will be the best teacher if given the skills to communicate effectively and an opportunity to be deeply heard. 

Eating Disorder/Disordered Eating Therapy for:

Individuals, Couples and Families

Whether you are seeking services for yourself, as a member of a couple, on behalf of a family system or as the parent of an adolescent, therapy is a critical component in the pursuit and maintenance of eating disorder recovery. Having the support and guidance of a trained eating disorder specific professional, allows one to avoid wasting valuable time with all too common therapeutic trial and error. An eating disorder, or disordered eating, has the ability to erode relationships and yet, relationship and connection is almost always a critical aspect of moving away from the eating disorder and into one’s identified life goals. Because of this, whenever possible, I strive to work in tandem with my individual clients and their support networks. My hope is to empower clients themselves to be the educators to their supports on how they can play a constructive role in this process.

Simultaneously, I offer skills and support to those loved ones in how to manage the very legitimate fears and anxieties that arise in relationship with someone with an eating disorder or disordered eating.

While the behaviors that present themselves are often the first and most readily identified issues, they merely serve as symbols for a wide array of completely unique constellations of underlying themes that can often go untouched and lead to relapse. In addition to addressing these behaviors in accordance with a client’s goals, our work will also likely include some of the following:

-psychoeducation about eating disorders

-skill development and application

-effective communication techniques

-increased use of insight

-acquisition of tools for constructive self-reflection

-self-advocacy

-trust building (in self and others)

-boundary setting

Having said that, the pursuit of recovery can be defined in many different ways and is entirely unique to each individual. I do not believe that there is one way of being in recovery. Your unique place in this process is for you to shape and explore. I look forward to witnessing and assisting in your exploration and helping you to achieve your defined goals.

 

 

 

-4700 Hale Parkway-Suite 380-Denver-CO-80222-

-(860) 402-8977-

All content is property of Allison Cohan, LCSW LLC