Individual, Couples and Family Psychotherapy

Understanding motivation, and integrating knowledge and awareness into decisions and choices made in life, define Dr. Scheel’s practice, whether it is for the individual seeking to know what drives their proverbial ‘bus’ or the couple or family seeking to repair, create or rebuild relationships.

Dr. Scheel strives not only for excellence in treatment delivered, but also to provide a very safe, discreet, judgment-free, environment for which to engage in psychotherapy. It is important to be comfortable during the process and find a therapist who is a great fit for you.

What is Individual Psychotherapy?

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is the process of understanding the psychological motivations which fuel our behavior, thinking, and feelings. Knowledge is power. Better decision making and life choices are possible as a result of gaining insight into our deepest thoughts, wishes, feelings, and fantasies – What makes us tick.

What Kinds of Issues are Treated In Individual Psychotherapy?

Dr. Scheel has been treating individuals, couples, and families for more than twenty-five years and is expertly trained in general mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, relationship, and intimacy issues.. She is highly trained in a variety of psychological theories which enables her to understand people and issues through a variety of lenses.

Causes for these issues vary from childhood, family, and interpersonal issues, to predispositions to anxiety and depression, sexual and physical trauma, cultural and/or religious expectations that are in conflict with how the person feels. Sometimes, the person limits their potential because of fear of risk-taking, fear of failure or success, inability to be happy in life and so makes decisions to keep themselves down. Fears of all sorts, guilt for past or current behavior or guilt for wanting to be happy, shame and sadness all influence our thoughts and decision making. Fears build defenses, often without us knowing; therapy enables what is unknown or forgotten (repressed,) to be known and experienced toward positive outcomes.

Why is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Useful in Psychodynamic Therapy?

Symptoms are physical and experienced manifestations of conflict and pain and vary from anxiety, depression, self-defeating and self-destructive behaviors like shopaholism, addictions including alcohol and prescription drugs, cutting, porn.

Symptoms and self-defeating and destructive behaviors are treated utilizing Cognitive Behavioral techniques. Sometimes, insight into the problem or issues is not enough to make changes. Sometimes retraining how we process others’ reactions, perspectives and feelings is necessary. Sometimes negative thinking about self-concept interferes with the ability to meet goals or take risks. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment works well with these issues.

Sometimes people enter therapy to understand who they are and some times they enter to deal with long standing depression and/or anxiety.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder and affects and influences how we feel, process, and behave in life. As there are many reasons why people become depressed here are various theories to explain their causation and numerous approaches and treatments available.

Depression can be a manifestation of psychological issues resulting from guilt, internalized anger, self-blame, struggles, or losses in relationships or symbolic losses stemming from what we feel has been denied, withheld or taken from us. Depression is often related to events, circumstances and relationships from the past whose effect is felt in the present and remains ongoing and into the future.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a warning; the fear of what lies ahead or the anticipation that something dreadful is about to occur. Everyone gets anxious sometimes, but if fears and worries are so frequent that they interfere with your ability to relax and function, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety has many causes and explanations. It can have a psychological root; repressed anger, guilt over sexual feelings, fear of competition, or other unexpressed emotions or unconscious conflicts or fears can manifest by anxiety.

Sometimes separation or social anxiety sets in as a response when feeling insecure during childhood. When children feel worried about parental responses, are regularly criticized or shamed, or are not able to feel close to a parent, anxiety can set in later in life. Like depression, anxiety can have a biological root or learned by a child growing up in a household where a parent has anxiety. Often, anxiety is a manifestation of deeper thoughts and emotions which feel unable to be expressed; we repress what feels difficult or we experience with shame and guilt. Anxiety, in this sense, is a warning and line of defense agains what lies deeper.

Couples’ Therapy

Why do Couples Seek a Therapist for Help?

Couples come to therapy often with a multitude of complaints about their partner. Often diagnosis involves acquiring a detailed understanding of the issues, behaviors, frustrations, losses, hurts, and loss of connection each partner is experiencing.

Over time, there may be patterns of behavior or communication that negatively impacts a couple and/or family. Many times, as hard as they try to resolve the conflict on their own, couples may continue to fall back into learned patterns that affect the couple’s ability to relate and connect with each other and cause disengagement and loss of attachment in relationships. Sometimes couples no longer know how to relate after their child-rearing days are over.

What Else can Cause People to Need Couples Therapy?

Causes can be as simple as a loss or lack of communication or disparate ways of communicating. Sometimes couples have suffered serious losses and betrayals in their relationship that are known but never discussed. Couples are increasingly stressed by work and the impact of culture and social media.

Sometimes one or both partner turns toward substances, porn, shopping, solo activities that give an indication that the couple is struggling. Often times couples argue over issues pertaining to money, sex, or family. The real hidden issues emerge over time which may include power struggles, feelings of abandonment and disengagement, anger, or need for excitement which may be missing in the relationship. Sometimes couples no longer know how to relate after their child-rearing days are over, especially if pregnancy occurred during the early stages of the relationship.

What Types of Approaches are Used in Couples’ Therapy?

Dr. Scheel may use varying methods in order to get couples on the right path. Some of the methods used are as follows:

  • Insight-oriented psychotherapy – most useful where couples understand what their needs are and how they are camouflaging their needs or expressing them via arguments or disengagement. Helping couples speak the truth about their feelings, wants, and desires are critical.
  • Cognitive/behavioral treatment – issues are re-framed so that each person can understand the feelings and beliefs of their partner in order to gain acceptance that different perceptions and perspectives are valid.
  • Attachment Theory – enables couples to understand their “style” of attachment in relationships so that better understanding can occur in circumventing old patterns. For instance, if one partner has an avoidant attachment style they may retreat under duress leaving their partner feeling abandoned or anxious, particularly if the other partner has an ‘anxious attachment’ style. Couples can then learn how to understand and respond to each other styles in empathic ways.

Helping couples create a relational infrastructure and repair damaged relationships is a strong component to healing as a couples therapist. Treatment of sex and sexuality issues require utilizing insight-oriented and relational psychotherapy and addressing symptoms, when occurring, with Cognitive Behavioral Treatment. Exercises are often given for couples to discuss in sessions and to carry out at home. Couples are encouraged to discuss their experiences when they return to their next appointment.

Family Therapy

Whether a family consists of young children living at home, adult children living away or blended families with step and half siblings, family therapy is a rewarding way to gain insight about each member’s perspective, beliefs, thoughts and dreams so that the family can grow closer together.

Family therapy enables family to communicate difficult feelings and thoughts in a safe and appropriate environment. Often, families enter therapy when there are significant issues or the family is in distress. Issues like eating disorders, other addictions or behavioral problems, divorce, volatility or rage, inappropriate boundaries or absence of mutual respect compel families to seek help. Sometimes family members simply do not know how to speak to each other. Sometimes children are scapegoated (blamed) for parental discord, or triangulated (used) as the parental weapon or cushion, or the parent is living vicariously through their child which is negatively affecting the child. Sometimes families want to understand a child’s sexuality.

Much can be gained, repaired, understood, learned or re-learned in family therapy. Sometimes it is as “simple” as understanding which comes through listening, empathy and respect; sometimes families need help in doing this.