as quoted in Psychology Today…

Susan M. Pava, Therapy

For times when life gets messy

Life’s path is rarely a straight one. Our life story is seldom linear, what we expect, and almost always is complex. These are the times we need a helping hand.

Life is Messy

We all experience stressful periods. Times of major life transitions disrupt our equilibrium and ability to cope effectively given new situations and circumstances. We can experience anxious or depressed moods, changes in our daily habits, feel overwhelmed or on the verge of panic. We may no longer enjoy the things we used to, the activities, tasks and friends we once held dear. We may notice changes in our sleeping and eating habits and even engage in reckless and dangerous behavior.

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Life’s Challenges

Difficulties arise with both expected and unexpected events during our lifetime. Transitions mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in the book of life.

Expected Events

  • First job
  • Marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Empty nest
  • Retirement

Unexpected Events

  • Loss of a job
  • Divorce
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Illness
  • Loss of social standing

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In the middle of the journey of our life
I found myself within a dark woods
Where the straight way was lost.

– Dante Alighieri

The Only Constant In Life Is Change

Whether we want it or not, change happens every second of every day. There’s no way to stop it, prevent it, or avoid it; we simply must accept it as a given and release the struggle. We don’t have to agree or even like it, but accept we must.

To be human is to be fallible and yet still lovable.

We have complicated feelings and thoughts about transitions. Yet there’s no growth without pain. That’s just reality. Only the dead feel nothing.

I’d Love to Help

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new.

– Socrates

My Approach & Philosophy

Life is painful. Life is stressful. Life is glorious.

With transitions come adjustment and sometimes this means acclimating to new roles and situations that may present challenges to our well-honed beliefs–how we see ourselves and others around us and how we experience both internal and external factors. When the narrative of our story changes abruptly and without warning things like anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mood disorders often present themselves.

Self-discovery is the personal process of understanding our core beliefs, recognizing their impact and then adapting some of the unhealthy ones in order to create a rich and meaningful life. We’ll spend time talking about your goals, the things that matter to you most. Then we’ll address those thoughts and behaviors that are getting in the way and replace them with healthier cognitions leading to more functional and constructive actions to reach those goals.

I practice Evidence Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, including Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Here all work is heart-centered and grounded in mindfulness.