Many people suffer from feelings of depression, anxiety or just plain "feeling stuck." Talking to a therapist  is the first step to finding mental health and changing the way you experience life.

If you are struggling with any of the obstacles listed below or want help with any issues on this page, please reach out for help. It is worth it!

Therapy Helps - Mental Health and

Overview of Services Offered

Anxiety

Life Transitions

Anxiety feels like excessive worry or unease. Oftentimes, it is irrational and you can't explain where the worry comes from. Anxiety can serve to keep you safe or it can limit your ability to function in life.

 

We will help you identify the root of your anxiety and give you tools to manage the debilitating fears that often accompany it. 

Life transitions are HARD. School, family and work rarely adequately prepare you for the transitions you face on a regular basis. Navigating these life changes can lead to stress, anxiety and depression.

Talking to me will help you successfully work through life transitions and embrace the past, present and the changes that lie ahead, all of which make you who you are today!

Addiction

Substance abuse is often triggered by a history of trauma or PTSD. Substance abuse is a disease of both the brain and body and any substance use can wreak havoc on your life.

Motivational Interviewing helps you identify hurdles in your sobriety journey. Exploring your trauma history also enables you to  better understand what triggers you to use. We can help you learn how to lead a fulfilling life in sobriety.

Work/Life Balance

Living in California has become a challenge for many. The cost of living continues to increase and even while you may have a high paying job, the expectations on your time have likely taken away any semblance of social/family life or balance you imagined you would have. You may have a hard time prioritizing your physical and mental health as well as time with your friends and family. It might even feel impossible to do anything other than work in order to live.

Through therapy, We will help you relearn the importance of balance and self-care. We often use a more directive approach that will hold you accountable for your own health and decisions that influence your life balance. You will learn strategies that work for you to manage all the pieces of the puzzle that create your life.

History of Trauma/PTSD

Trauma comes in many forms and has many faces. It impacts everyone in different ways, as you try to learn how to cope with your own trauma history. Mental imbalance is a result of trauma and can lead to chaos in your life.

There are many strategies in dealing with trauma. A narrative approach allows you to tell your story and recreate your identity based on how you experience life moving forward. The trauma will always be a part of your history, but it is time to stop letting it control your life.

Family Stress

Almost every family has "family drama." Family drama can start with the kids acting out and parents not knowing how to positively change their behaviors. Family stress includes difficulty communicating between different generations. Each member of the family brings their own "baggage" into the family system, which ultimately makes it everyone's baggage. As children grow into adults, the family system often restructures as relationships shift and individuals try to enforce new boundaries.

Through individual and/or family therapy we will help you negotiate relationships and boundaries within the family as they continue to grow and change. Your family will never be perfect, but your experience within the family will improve!

Depression

Feelings of depression can highjack your day. You may not feel like getting out of bed. You may stop eating - or you may binge eat. It feels like you are in a very dark cave and cannot get out. What's worse, you can't always identify why you feel so sad. And no matter how many people try to cheer you up or tell you to "snap out of it" you just can't seem to put a smile on your face.

As hard as it is to do, scheduling daily activities and time with loved ones may be the secret to overcoming bouts of depression. We will work with you to help you identify triggers for depression and strategies to manage the depression. Don't let depression define you!

School Success

Pre-Marital or Marital Counseling

No matter how much you talk, you feel like your colleague, partner, family or friends are not hearing you. Are they listening? Communication is a two way street that involves both sending and receiving a message. Relationships can fall apart if poor communication persists.

We can work with you individually or as a pair/group to teach you how to communicate more effectively. In couples or family sessions, you will bring real issues into the room and learn the best way to communicate your thoughts and feelings related to the issues. Your relationships will improve as a result!

Relationships tend to develop through multiple phases. For some couples, the ultimate goal is marriage and starting a family. Unfortunately, making the jump from dating to marrying or couples to families carries unimagined stressors. Individuals often begin to take their partner for granted and may realize that neither one had a clue what a lifetime commitment really entails. Additionally, relationships may begin to feel stale as you transition out of the honeymoon phase and into the "life" phase. What does it take for your relationship to remain passionate and fulfilling?

Working with your partner in couples counseling gives you the opportunity to prepare for upcoming challenges before the stress takes its toll on the relationship. My training with The Couples Institute in Menlo Park has given me the tools to work collaboratively with you and your partner on improving your understanding of each other and communication with each other. I will help you join your lives without losing your individual self.

There are so many stressors facing students of all ages today. Not only do they need to worry about school work and homework, they also may go to school frightened of being bullied, worried about how they look, worried about school safety and they may be carrying the weight of their family on their shoulders when they go to school. Life happens and life impacts kids' ability to succeed in school.

We have an uncanny way of connecting with school-age children and helping them feel both heard and understood. When they are able to unload some of the weight they bear onto their therapist, they become better able to focus on school and academics. 

Communication

Los Gatos Counseling Center

Debra Pace, Director

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, #101506

Offices in Los Gatos and Downtown Monterey

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