Stacey Rempert LCSW-C                                               (410) 206-8573          
 Clinical Social Worker, Trauma Certified                                   staceyrempert@gmail.com                      
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Psychotherapy for Depression, Anxiety, Addiction,Trauma, and more...

Seeking treatment can be an important first step on the road to recovery and enjoying your life.  Psychotherapy facilitates healing from depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma and other personal issues.  My goals are to help you:

1) Develop a new way to see your "symptoms" using a strengths-based approach
2) Learn healthy strategies to handle your emotions
3) Gain insight about the root causes of your negative beliefs and self-destructive behaviors
4) Provide a safe space for you to express your thoughts and feelings in productive ways
and most importantly:
5) Discover your own wisdom and inherent goodness.

Everyone is different, so rather than using a "cookie cutter approach," I see therapy as a collaborative effort tailored to your unique experience and needs.  Some clients want traditional "talk therapy" only, while other clients are interested in trying more non-conventional and creative approaches to healing. My experience has been that the longer a client keeps coming to therapy, the more open to trying new techniques that person becomes. A trusting and stable therapeutic relationship creates a safe and comfortable atmosphere in which clients are willing to try something unfamiliar.


Here is a description of some of the creative modalities I find most helpful:


YOGA: Yoga is an ancient practice that combines breathing techniques, specific body postures, and mental focus.  Benefits of yoga are both physical and emotional, and are especially helpful for those struggling with anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Anyone can do yoga; it's a myth that you must be flexible!  I am a registered yoga instructor through the Yoga Center of Columbia, and I have had many years of
personal practice as well.  I also completed two specialist certificate programs through Yogafit that target helping clients heal from trauma.  Clients share that as a result of regular yoga practice, they are better able to stay present even during stressful situations, and have a sense of "more room to breathe" within their bodies. I use different types of yoga such as Gentle yoga, Restorative yoga, and more active Vinyasa yoga practices.  Breathing is a key component of yoga and provides an even deeper experience.  Some breathing techniques decrease anxiety and induce calm, while others energize and  ground the body as well as ease depression. I can't say enough about how powerful breathing exercises are! Every time I have done yoga and breathing exercises in session with a client, that person has left saying they feel so much better and want to do it again! Additionally, they often start using the breathing exercises throughout the day to manage their moods.

GUIDED IMAGERY: Guided imagery is a gentle and effective technique that can be used in a variety of ways.  While it is not considered traditional hypnosis, it does shift the brain into a more relaxed and receptive state.  When using this technique, I create a calm atmosphere with soothing music and soft lighting to help clients have an embodied experience.  Guided imagery can assist clients in seeing themselves differently, accessing different aspects of themselves, stopping nightmares, changing a behavior, or revisiting a specific memory in more detail.  Many clients report real and lasting changes as a result of using guided imagery.  Some clients also choose to record a guided imagery session on their phone's audio recorder function so they can listen to it whenever they like.  Repetition is key for rewiring the brain to think and behave differently!

ART: I've found that art can be a missing piece in therapy for clients who have had multiple rounds of therapy in the past.  Sometimes, it's much easier to express thoughts and feelings through imagery rather than words.  When we are born, we can't understand words yet, but we do take in information with our other senses, especially sight.  Images transcend the limitation of words and thus using art in therapy provides a more effective way to communicate. Collaging is popular because it doesn't require any formal artistic training or talent.  Rather, clients will pick out images that resonate with whatever issue is being addressed at the time.  Art can also be part of the guided imagery process, and it's most powerful when it is a collaborative effort between the client and therapist.                                                

If you'd like a bit more information about how I approach specific issues, please read on:

ADDICTIONS and SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR

Since we are all doing the best we can with what we have available to us at the time, sometimes the only relief from difficult emotions we are able to find comes from drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, shopping, gambling, sex, or other compulsive behaviors.  The problem is that the relief is only temporary, and our “coping strategies” can create negative consequences which ultimately increase the level of stress we experience. The negative consequences often include additional difficult emotions such as shame and embarrassment for having engaged in the behavior yet again.  The level of emotional intensity increases and then becomes intolerable and so we try to alleviate them by using what is available to us at the time (drugs, alcohol, etc.).  Thus, the cycle continues and worsens until we are ready to change our behaviors. Therapy is an effective tool to help you learn new, healthier coping strategies. Once you have options, It is then up to you to decide how to handle difficult emotions.  Breaking this cycle can be very challenging, especially if we have been relying on our old coping strategies for a long time.  It takes time and dedication to create new behaviors and patterns of thinking. One of the best predictors of how successful therapy will be is the amount of effort a client puts into it between sessions. One or two hours a week with a therapist is a great start, but ultimately it will take sustained effort on your part. Unfortunately, there is no "magic pill" and anything worth having takes hard work and persistence.

DEPRESSION

Depression is sometimes seen as strictly a medical condition in the brain that is easily treated with medication.  While medication can be very useful and sometimes even life-saving for people struggling with depression, there are usually underlying issues that contribute to the depression and must be adequately resolved in order for a person to feel genuinely “happy” and not just “better than before.” I’m not a psychiatrist and I cannot prescribe medication.  If you already have a psychiatrist or other doctor who prescribes medication for you, I will want to coordinate treatment with him or her in order to provide the best possible care.

Healing from depression is not a matter of simply overcoming by force of will, or “thinking positive thoughts.”  It can be complicated, and overlap with other things such as anxiety or addictions.  Thus, treatment usually includes several different approaches such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an exercise and nutrition program, mind-body techniques, and medication when appropriate.  Sometimes people mistake grief for depression, and if that’s the case, then I can help you move through the stages of grief in a way that will improve the symptoms that you have been thinking of as “depression symptoms.”

TRAUMA AND PTSD

Most people have experienced some sort of trauma, whether it’s an isolated incident or multiple events. In particular, childhood abuse and neglect can have far-reaching effects into adulthood and throughout a person’s life, despite the fact that the abuse occurred many years ago. Unfortunately, many people have never had the opportunity to heal these old wounds and be able to reclaim the parts of themselves that were lost. 

If you have a long-standing history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and neglect, it makes sense that you may be experiencing any of the following:

  • Avoiding people and places that remind you of the trauma
  • Panicking in social situations you cannot escape
  • Heightened startle response to sudden noise or movement
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Reliving the trauma in dreams and flashbacks
  • Trouble trusting others and having intimate relationships
  • Using substances to escape your feelings
  • Engaging in self-destructive behavior
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Feeling like you’re facing everything alone

While I can’t erase the abuse from your past, I can help you see it very differently, as well as give you a safe place to explore what happened. I can also teach you ways to lessen the intensity of the emotions attached to the abuse so that you can start to breathe again and regain control of your life. I use a lot of mind/body techniques when treating trauma, including yoga, art, guided imagery, and body awareness exercises. When you finally realize on a deep level that what happened is over, and doesn’t define who you are, then healing can occur. Therapy to heal from trauma requires patience because it requires that we go slowly.  If we go too quickly, you will feel more overwhelmed and will probably quit therapy.  Trauma treatment has different stages and is different from other types of treatment. It's well worth the effort though since healing is absolutely possible!

ANXIETY

Many people feel anxious from time to time, but when feelings of anxiety occur regularly and begin to interfere with your job, relationships, or other aspects of your daily life, it’s time to pursue professional treatment. Chronic or persistent anxiety creates not just psychological distress, but also physical discomfort.  Many physiological conditions such as headaches, digestive problems, fatigue, high blood pressure, and chronic pain are caused by and exacerbated by anxiety.  You might be one of the many people who have lived with anxiety for so long that they don’t even realize the long-lasting effects on their bodies.   If you suffer from debilitating panic attacks, persistent worries, social anxiety or fears/phobias, I am here to help. The good news is that anxiety is treatable and the body can heal as well, if given the proper tools and opportunity. I use several combined approaches including cognitive behavioral therapy, stress management techniques, and mindfulness based practices.  My goal is to help you experience freedom from the immobilizing effects of anxiety and improve your quality of life.

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The human brain is extraordinarily complex and has the amazing ability to change over time. This is great news for anyone seeking therapy!           
  The only day you'll ever have to make changes is TODAY. 
"Some day" and "one day" aren't days of the week!


                                                                                            
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