Common Concerns

Why See a Psychologist?


Individual Adult Therapy:

  • Troubling relationships (certain patterns on repeat, feeling trapped in a dysfunctional cycle, or feeling stuck with a particular person)
  • Engaging in behavior that you know is not good for you, but you don’t know how to stop (arguing with colleagues, getting angry with loved ones, avoiding responsibilities, or procrastinating on important tasks)
  • Finding it hard to stop certain worries, troubling or obsessive thoughts, or anxiety-provoking ideas.  When it gets bad, you feel almost like you have lost control of your life/self.
  • Relying on substance, food, or certain behavior (casual sex, porn, screen time) to relieve tension or to feel better.  Or relying on certain rituals (e.g., frequent uses of shower) to calm down.
  • Finding it hard to control an inconvenient behavior (e.g., an inability to get rid of things that you no longer need).
  • Ongoing but vague feelings of isolation, helplessness, insecurity, fear of the unknown/uncertainty, or a general lack of control, drive, or purpose.  Feeling a discrepancy between the real-you with feelings you can’t articulate, and the facade-you that you construct to face the world.

Find out more about Individual Therapy with me, and common Therapy Q&A.

**For symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder & Asperger’s (ASD), addiction, and other conditions such anxiety, depression and borderline personality disorder, please visit our Mental Health Kit 


Couples Therapy:

  • Ongoing communication difficulties: 1) angry fights that escalate but resolve nothing; and/or 2) disengagement (silent treatment, withdrawal, or avoidance) that keeps the peace short-term but drives a wedge between you that leads to chronic feelings of loneliness, hurt, resentment, or despair
  • Disagreement that breeds distance and/or hostility: might due to significant differences in lifestyle choices, intimacy preferences, parenting values, financial practices, and ties with extended families and friends
  • Relational crisis resulting from betrayals (e.g., sexual and/or emotional) or from other secrets being exposed that unravels the relationship
  • Ongoing physical and/or emotional volatility that leaves one partner feeling helpless and unsafe
  • Wavering between leaving and staying, feeling stuck in chronic ambivalence
  • Wanting out, but feeling guilty/worried about how it might impact children and families

Read more about how a tense marriage affects kids.

Do’s and Don’ts on how to child-proof your divorce.

View my SCMP articles on marriage as well as other topics.

If you and your partner are not at a place where therapy is an option, visit our Relationship Kit for self-help tips.  You have a lot of power over how your relationship can change course!  Love is a verb, not a noun!

What brings couples in to see a therapist:


Adolescent Therapy: (for older teens, check out Individual Therapy)

  • Having a condition that interferes with learning at school (e.g., ADHD, ASD, anxiety, depression)
  • Social isolation, withdrawal, or inhibition (shy)
  • Substance use, excessive gaming
  • Relationship difficulties, cutting, eating disorder, rapid mood shifts, intense emotional outbursts
  • Behavioral difficulties (physical or verbal aggression, bullying behavior)
  • A lack of direction, hopelessness about the future, active or passive suicidality (“I wish I was dead.” “I wish life didn’t have to go on.”  “Why do I live? What’s the point?”)

Find out more about child/adolescent therapy with me, and free parenting resources.

**What to do if my teen refuses treatment?

**Tips to deal with a Teenage Mood Storm.

Child Therapy:

  • Irritability, crying spells, frequent tantrums, disturbed sleep
  • Struggling with confidence: reluctant to try, giving up easily, avoiding new/difficult tasks
  • Defiance (e.g., talking back, fighting/arguing/rebelling), angry outbursts and emotional meltdowns
  • Behavioral difficulties (physical or verbal aggression at home or school, bullying behavior)
  • Struggling academically: poor focus (i.e., a wandering mind), poor speech organization (e.g., jumbled-up sentences), and poor time management (e.g., taking forever to finish homework)
  • Having a condition that interferes with learning at school (e.g., ADHD, ASD, anxiety, depression)
  • Self-harm behavior such as cutting, burning, skin-picking
  • Social isolation, withdrawal, or inhibition (“shy,” or targets of school/online bullying)

Check out some common issues that your child might be struggling with:

ADHD, ASD, DefianceTeenage DepressionMotivation and Confidence, Sibling Conflicts

Find out more about child/adolescent therapy with me, and free parenting resources.

Learn more about diagnosis.


If you want to know more about psychotherapy…

**A video on psychotherapy.

**Myths vs facts on therapy.