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PATRICIA MURPHY RAE

Therapist, LCSW, IMDHA

A CLOSER LOOK WITHIN
· SERVICES ·

TYPES OF THERAPY

  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

  • Hypnotherapy

  • Mindfulness-Based (MBCT)

  • Solution Focused Brief (SFBT)

  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Anxiety Therapy

On the outside, you have everything together, but on the inside things feel out of control. You have this lingering feeling of dread and anxiety that you can’t seem place with anything specific. It’s like an undercurrent that tugs at you day and night, a sense of impending doom. You’ve tried self-help tools and they help for a little while, but before you know it, that gnawing feeling of anxiety is back again.

You’re aware that you’re barely present and this makes you feel even more self-conscious. “Can people tell how anxious I feel? Am I acting weird? Am I overreacting?” These are but just a few of the thoughts that come racing through your mind. The spinning thoughts create more anxiety and self-doubt.

When it comes to decisions, forget about it. It’s pure agony while your brain considers this option, then the next option, and then right back to the first option. Decision-making anxiety stops you dead in your tracks. What use to be simple tasks in life, like going to the grocery store, now seem like a monumental ordeal.

Perhaps you’ve talked it out in therapy before. You connected some dots, got some insight, and even had some “ah ha” moments, but none of that helped you truly shake that dreadful feeling.

I will help you let go of the dread and self-doubt so that you can feel feel safe and settled. My clients move from feeling overwhelmed to feeling clear, confident, and capable.

Going beyond traditional talk therapy, we will explore the mind-body connection (also known as a bottom-up approach). I not only give you tools for coping with an anxious mind and body, but we will work to heal the roots of where the anxiety began. Our clients feel grounded and in control again.

ISSUES
  • ADHD

  • Adoption

  • Alcohol Use

  • Alzheimer's

  • Anger Management

  • Antisocial Personality

  • Attachment Disorder

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Borderline Personality

  • Child or Adolescent

  • Chronic Relapse

  • Codependency

  • Divorce

  • Domestic Abuse

  • Domestic Violence

  • Drug Abuse

  • Grief

  • Infidelity

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Life Transitions

  • Narcissistic Personality

  • Obsessive-Compulsive (OCD)

  • Parenting

  • Relationship Issues

  • Self Esteem

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Spirituality

  • Stress

  • Substance Use

  • Suicidal Ideation

  • Trauma and PTSD

  • Women's Issues​

MENTAL HEALTH
  • Dissociative Disorders

  • Elderly Persons Disorders

  • Impulse Control Disorders

  • Mood Disorders

  • Personality Disorders

SEXUALITY

  • Lesbian

  • Gay

 

ISSUES

CLICK for more information

 

CODEPENDENCY

What’s the difference between being a nice, thoughtful person and a codependent person?
Motivation, primarily. Motivation is the cutoff point—particularly in the context of social, romantic, and family relationships. When kindness is really manipulation; when you find yourself trying to control someone else’s feelings instead of being responsible for your own; when acts of selflessness become mutually destructive, for the giver and the recipient alike – these are all signs of codependency.

Simply put, codependency is broadly recognized as an addiction to caretaking, and the “caretaking” may involve any manner of relationship that is unhealthy—and even mutually destructive. For codependents, “our thinking is our drinking.” Codependency is marked by constant anxiety and worry about other people’s feelings, contagious moods,“ your problems are my problems” – and a relentless drive to take responsibility for things over which you really have no control.

How Can Counseling & Therapy For Codependent Behavior Help Me?

Codependency is a tough pattern to break, perhaps it’s rooted in earliest life.

But though recovery can be a long road, individuals with codependency can and do recover. You can’t undo a lifetime of codependent thoughts and behaviors overnight.

Here’s how therapy and counseling for codependent behavior can help get you back on the right track. Your therapist should help you to:

Examine why you are the way that you are… and yup, this involves confronting trauma. Your therapist won’t demand that you dive headfirst into unpleasant childhood memories. Ripping away your shell before you’re ready would only do more harm than it would do good. But in due time… understanding yourself will be the key to initiating lasting change.

Fully utilize the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This involves changing how you cognitively process (fancy phrase for “think”) about your role as a caretaker—for example, do you feel as though you have an enhanced sense of responsibility to take care of a particular person… and if you do, more importantly, why do you? Questioning—and adapting—how you think about your relationships can ultimately help you modify destructive behaviors. (And although it’s easier said than done at first—the doing part will become second nature).

Learn how to regain self- (as opposed to other-) focus: When taking care of another person becomes your sole modus operandi, you neglect to take care of yourself. Your therapist will help you identify constructive ways to love yourself and to heal from codependency. These techniques could involve in-office meditation, mindfulness, or psychotherapeutic yoga, or out-of-office activities that help you reconnect with the things that you love doing.

Learn how to help others constructively: Recovering from codependency doesn’t mean that you must refrain from helping other people—but it does mean that you can no longer accept your role as “doormat” or “problem-solver”. Your therapist will help you to develop healthy practices for helping others without shouldering the burden of a dead-end problem or a toxic relationship.

 

HYPNOTHERAPY

What is the difference between Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis is the state of being completely relaxed, like when you are lost in a movie, engaged in a great book, or working on a project with such focus that you lose yourself in it. In this state of flow, time seems to fly! This state can also be seen in brain imagining, EEG, as Theta Brainwaves. Of the 5 frequencies (beta, alpha, theta, delta & gamma) that our brain experiences, the theta brainwave range is the one in which the body and mind’s natural self-healing processes are activated and optimized. Theta brainwaves are present during deep relaxation, dreaming, meditation, and hypnosis. Theta brain waves produce in the right hemisphere of the human brain. The frequency range of the theta brainwave is 7 Hz. During this theta-wave state the Programmed Mind, or (ego) takes a vacation and the Subconscious Mind goes to work for you. One of the great aspects of the Subconscious Mind is that it never forgets anything, and it allows for infinite potentialities from which you can draw on. Being in the state of hypnosis feels good because the theta wave range stimulates the release of Beta-Endorphins.

Hypnotherapy is guided focused state of awareness, similar to being completely absorbed in great music. In this state, my clients can turn their attention completely inward to find and utilize the natural resources deep within themselves that can help them make changes or regain control in certain areas of their life. It is best described in a quote by Heraclitus 544 BC, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” This means that man can and will change in an instant with an empowering belief. Under every fear is a limiting belief, once changed the symptoms go away.

Hypnotherapy Sessions are designed to clear the underlying causes of Anxiety, Fears, Stress, Binge-Eating, Social Anxiety, Depression, Phobias, Obsessive Worrying, Chain Smoking, Insomnia, School Issues, Test Anxiety, Relationship Issues, Bad Habits, Boredom, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders, Obesity, Anorexia, Bulimia, Sports Anxiety, Fear of Flying, Fear of Driving, Trichotillomania and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

 

ADDICTION

Warning Signs of Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Drug and alcohol abuse or misuse—excessive or inappropriate use of a substance—can be difficult to define, and people’s opinions, values, and beliefs vary significantly on the topic. For some, any use of an illegal drug or any use of alcohol with the primary purpose of intoxication constitutes abuse. For others, abuse is indicated by recurring, negative consequences, such as:

  • Failure to meet social, work, and academic obligations.

  • Physical injury or illness.

  • Alcohol- or drug-related legal problems, such as arrest for driving while intoxicated.

  • Relationship problems with intimate partners, friends, and family.

  • Impulsivity, such as spending money excessively.

  • Diminished interest in other activities.

  • Short-term memory loss or blackouts.

Signs that Substance Abuse has become Addiction

Substance abuse can lead to substance dependence or addiction when both the amount of substance used and the rate of use increase. People who experience drug or alcohol addiction feel unable to control the impulse to use, and they often experience withdrawal symptoms in the sudden absence of the substance. Alcoholism, for example, occurs when people become chemically dependent on alcohol, and those who are addicted may become ill if they suddenly stop drinking. People may also feel psychologically dependent on a substance and continue to use it, particularly under stressful circumstances or to alleviate other psychological problems. Some people deny or are unaware that they have a problem with addiction, and sometimes a person’s substance dependency and abuse remains hidden from loved ones.

Signs of chemical dependence include:

  • Increasing tolerance, or the need to consume more of the substance to reach the desired altered state.

  • Requiring the substance throughout the day.

  • Seeking the company of other users and cutting off social ties with non-users.

  • Dismissing or resenting expressions of concern from loved ones.

  • Avoiding other activities and failing to meet obligations.

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of the substance.

  • Hiding use from family and friends.

  • Binging—using heavily—for many hours or several days.

  • Feeling unable to quit.

What Leads a person to Misuse Drugs or Alcohol?

Psychological, biological, social, and physiological factors might all play a role in whether or not a person comes to abuse drugs or alcohol. A family history of substance abuse can make a person more vulnerable to addiction, and social factors, such as peer pressure and ease of availability can increase the likelihood of a person developing a problem with drugs or alcohol. In addition, once a person begins using heavily, physiological changes often take place, and that person may then become physically dependent, requiring him or her to continually use the substance in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Alcoholism tends to run in families, although not all children of people addicted to alcohol become addicted themselves, and there is some debate among psychologists about the degree to which alcoholism is genetic. Some researchers are searching for an addiction or alcoholism gene, while others point out that simply witnessing a parent drink in response to stress increases a child’s likelihood of choosing to drink in response to stress. Studies do show that genes, such as those that have an effect on the way a person responds to alcohol, may be responsible for about half of the risk of developing alcoholism. Some of these genes increase a person's risk, while some may instead decrease the risk of a person's developing alcoholism.

Research indicates that the vast majority of people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol have an underlying mental health condition or significant emotional/psychological difficulty. About half of all people with mental health diagnoses will face challenges with drugs or alcohol at some point in their lives, usually as a result of using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.

People who misuse drugs or alcohol often do so as a way of coping with experiences, memories, or events that emotionally overwhelm them. Whether they are equipped with appropriate coping strategies or not, people who misuse substances rely on the immediate gratification of drugs and alcohol as an alternative to facing the issues at hand. In the long term, however, reliance on drugs and alcohol will almost surely worsen any emotional or psychological condition. Chronic self-medication may be a sign that therapy is warranted in order to address an underlying condition or difficulty.

Therapy for addiction recovery can help people who are addicted set achievable and empowering short-term goals as they work to overcome their addiction. Once sobriety is achieved, adaptive skills can be developed as the person works to regain physical and emotional health, and through therapy, begin to explore the source or cause of the addiction with the person in treatment as the person begins to employ the new coping strategies. Together, we can work to set long-term goals that may include rebuilding damaged relationships, accepting responsibility for actions, and releasing guilt.

With therapy, a person who has become dependent on drugs or alcohol is often more likely to overcome an addiction, and several types of therapy are helpful in this process. In particular, cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing therapy—a person-centered therapy that relies on the person's inspiration to change—have demonstrated effectiveness in this arena. Therapy provides a supplemental form of support for someone who is attending a self-help group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous; in fact, some therapies are specifically geared toward facilitating 12-step programs.

 

NARCISSISM

If you think you may suffer from narcissism (or simply have narcissistic tendencies), and wish to:

  • Learn to relate better with others so your relationships are more intimate, enjoyable and rewarding

  • Understand the causes of your emotions and what drives you to compete, to distrust others, and perhaps to despise yourself and others.

  • Recognize and accept your actual potential so you can tolerate criticisms or failures

  • Increase your ability to understand and regulate your feelings

  • Understand and tolerate the impact of issues related to your self-esteem

  • Release the desire for unattainable goals and ideal conditions and gain an acceptance of what's attainable and what you can accomplish

then therapy is a great option for you.

In therapy, you and I will begin to develop a therapeutic relationship of respect and collaboration in which we can begin to identify the protective personality modes and defenses a narcissist may use for emotional protection, as well as the underlying triggers that cause the need for emotional protection. Here are some common triggers experienced by people identified with narcissism:

  • Feelings of emotional abandonment

  • Feelings of inner defectiveness

  • Feelings of lack of control or security

  • Sense of emotional deprivation

  • Fear of ridicule or shame

It is important to help the person with narcissism to manage these underlying feelings of shame by teaching self-compassion and healthy self-soothing strategies, as well as learning to re-parent their inner hurt child.

Developing an Inner Healthy Adult/Parent

The job of therapy is to help the person with narcissism learn to re-parent their inner hurt child. The inner child is responding to early attachment trauma or some other type of lack of emotional attunement as a child. Without going into a complete analysis of the causes of narcissism, suffice it to say a developmental component exists.

Developmentally, as a child, the person with narcissism was not properly emotionally regulated in the inter-relationship with the parent(s). This may have caused the child to develop protective defenses for their inner sense of shame.

Teaching the person with narcissism to re-parent their inner hurt child, through the process of imagery, is effective and powerful for initiating healthy change in the person’s inner world.

Therapy can be short term to help you manage during times of stress or crisis, or can be provided on an ongoing basis to help you achieve and maintain your goals. Often, including family members or significant others in therapy can be helpful.