I offer counseling to teens, college students and adults of diverse backgrounds, lifestyles, spiritual affiliations, and sexual orientation.
You are welcome to show up exactly as you are, whether you are experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, or any type of relationship problem. Maybe you are trying to figure out a new direction for your life, feeling alone, or just uncomfortable in your own skin.
I will help you sort through your thoughts, feelings and behaviors to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationships. I can offer support and encouragement as well as coping skills and strategies to create change. I believe in the ability to heal and find deeper life satisfaction.
A strong romantic partnership can be one of the most fulfilling relationships you will ever have. I work with couples who are motivated and ready to work on communicating their needs and understanding the needs of their partner. Whether you are in a new relationship, have been living together or have been married for years, everyone has past experiences that influence how they participate in the relationship. We often get stuck in patterns.
Maybe trust has been broken through infidelity or dishonesty, maybe a spark has faded or you feel that you don’t really know each other anymore. Both partners need to take responsibility and action towards creating a new way of functioning in the relationship. We can work on putting the pieces together, bringing the love back and deepening your connection and intimacy. And if a separation is necessary, saying goodbye as peaceful as possible.
I can offer services online through Skype or Facetime. Lets talk to find out if this is a good option for you.
While I often help people with anxiety, depression, life transitions, grief and all sorts of relationship challenges, here are some topics of special interest to me, that I have researched and worked with more extensively.
Our sexuality helps us experience life more completely through the deepest sensations of pleasure, connection and sometimes also suffering. Maybe you feel that something is missing in your sexual life or you are awakening your sexuality for the first time.
Many people have learned to avoid or disconnect sexually, due to traumatic experiences. You can heal and recover your sexuality, claiming it as your own. Others find themselves in cycles of unhealthy behavior, acting out to seek pleasure and connection but usually finding shame and emptiness.
In relationships we can have sex without intimacy and intimacy without sex! Lets discuss how to make sexuality a more fulfilling part of your life, within yourself and others.
When your marriage is ending, there are many emotions involved. For some, divorce wreaks havoc on their lives. And others, may feel a new sense of freedom. Most people that have gone through it would agree that it changes your life and priorities. If you are in the contemplation phase or even if its been awhile and you still can't seem to get back on your feet, we can sort through your feelings and discuss how to adjust to the changes, or find out what is getting in the way of you moving forward. You may find that ending a significant part of your life, no matter the circumstances, eventually becomes a wonderful new beginning.
Everyone experiences trauma at some point in their lives. Any distressing event can overwhelm and imprint the psyche with lasting effects including anxiety, anger, sadness, PTSD, relationship problems, self esteem and even physical symptoms. Many people turn to unhealthy coping habits that serve as a distraction for awhile but at some point, it can take more energy to suppress or avoid emotion than it does to confront it!
Healing can take place when one allows these suppressed emotions to come to the surface where they can be processed safely and compassionately. Sometimes, just being able to talk honestly and reflect on the impact of an experience can bring great comfort and clarity. Other times, it may be helpful to use methods like EMDR, which can help maximize the benefits of therapy. We can discuss how this works and if it may be a good option for yo
Healers, Empaths and Highly Sensitive People
I come across many sensitive and empathic people who feel there is something wrong with them because they feel things so intensely. Also, those in the healing arts can become overburdened by the energy that is taken in from those they care for. Sometimes it is noticeable and other times it is not. We must recharge and care for ourselves in order to show up for others.
Research shows that highly sensitive people have more finely tuned nervous systems. This can cause overwhelm as they may be deeply affected by an overly stimulating environment, where things such as light or sound or the feelings and behavior of others are intensified. They feel emotions more intensely at both ends of the continuum, from joy to sadness. I often hear it being described as a blessing and a curse. This can create anxiety and stress without even being aware of what is going on. We can explore what this looks like for you and how you can use your sensitivity for its positive attributes while also protecting yourself from becoming too overwhelmed .
Creative and Artistic People
I also tend to see many creative people whether or not they are engaging in their artistic abilities. I will encourage you to be actively creative whether your interest is in music, art, theater or any range of creative talents. It will make your life more fulfilling.
Humans have always used art to express their deepest feelings, establish connection to the gods or others, and also to reflect the times. It is a search for meaning, and the expression of meaning made visible, drawing us in to a symbolic world of emotional experience. I often like to use art and writing exercises in therapy for those who are interested.
We often go about our days without really paying attention to what we are doing or feeling, especially when overwhelmed with life. Mindfulness is a quality that each of us possess and can learn to cultivate through practice. I can teach you how to meditate and/or be more present in your daily life, as I know it to be the best way to refresh and calm a busy mind.
Being mindful can guide you to a better relationship with your thoughts, feelings, circumstance and people in your life. With practice, you can reduce conflict and find an increase in self-acceptance and self-compassion. We can practice mental exercises, question your negative self talk, and develop skills or activities to help you gain clarity and a deeper sense of well being.
Copyright © 2018 Allison Rice, San Luis Obispo Therapist - All Rights Reserved.
Photos by Kelly Donohue Photography