Individual Counseling

There are differences between counseling and psychotherapy.  Counseling is generally short-term, focused on a specific problem in the present and is a time during which you will receive support, advice and guidance, and learn new skills.  The focus is on behavioral change rather than on underlying causes of the behavior.

Psychotherapy is often more long term and focuses on understanding and changing problematic and fundamental patterns of thinking, feeling, behaving, and the ways in which you relate to your self and others.  Many  people wish to change, but cannot seem to do so.  Psychotherapy helps you overcome obstacles to change by examining and changing the root causes of your problems.

Both counseling and psychotherapy require a strong commitment to change, the willingness to tolerate some discomfort to get where you want to be, compassion for self and others, and a curiosity about how your mind works.  Therapy is most effective when you put consistent effort toward self-reflection and change.  I will support you in a process of self-empowerment to overcome obstacles, make positive change, and live a more fulfilled life.

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Whether you are new to therapy or have had a prior history,  I am particularly interested in making that first visit comfortable and productive.  Aesthetically, my office is a very pleasant, comfortable and calming.  During our time together, I want to get to know you and want you to get to know me as we determine whether the counseling relationship will be a good fit for us.12476327-autumn-colors-of-oirase-river-located-at-aomori-prefecture-japan

I have many years of counseling experience.  As such, my counseling offers assistance for a very broad array of topics.  I work with individuals and couples regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.  Our shared journey will be in mind working toward an outcome that will help get you where you want to be.

Following are a few of the most common issues addressed by individual counseling. Each issue is accompanied by prompts or questions to enhance your understanding.

Individual Counseling

Depression:   Is the sadness caused by transitional life circumstances and situations? Or has the mood been more chronic in nature? Counseling can help identify the type of depression troubling you and what can be done about it.

Grief:   Have you experienced a loss of someone close in your life or perhaps a transition or absence of something you were familiar with? Grief associated with loss is a potent emotional state which, through counseling, can be processed in a number of healthy channels.

Transitions:   Life if full of unpredictable developments, and some changes are more challenging than others. Life changes, e.g., job, relocation, separation, divorce, empty-nesting, aging, blended family, recovery from substance use – All of these are situations to which effective counseling can provide relief and resolution.

Anxiety:   Do you have a general sense of ill-ease, are a worrier, have anxiety or panic attacks, think too much ahead instead of being ‘in the moment,’ engage in compulsive behaviors, obsess about things to come, even if you have no control over them? Counseling can help identify the conditions and mental patterns which yield anxiety, as well as equip you with tools to anticipate and defuse situations which may trigger anxiety.

Personal Growth:   Are you anticipating an upcoming life change or about to embark on an adventurous new path? Or perhaps you are seeking to unblock obstacles which have been chronic challenges.  Counseling can help you identify new opportunities and enhance already existing opportunities for personal growth.

Lifestyle:   Is it time for a change?  Are you tired of the same ‘ole way of being, stuck in a rut, wanting more challenge and excitement in your life? Do you feel you have hesitated in acknowledging and engaging in a way of life that is more fitting to who you are? Counseling frequently provides clients with renewed perspectives and outlooks, facilitating personal choices for lifestyle change.

Myles Hassler Atlanta, GA

Myles Hassler
Atlanta, GA

Fears:   So, what is it that you are avoiding?  Social settings, confrontation, relationships, assertiveness, objects, open places, animals? Fear has some evolutionary value, but in the modern paradigm often manifests as a debilitating emotional state. Counseling can help you cultivate a healthy relationship with your fears. Counseling can empower you to examine, face, and challenge your fears.

Workplace Dynamics:   The workplace can be challenging – difficult co-workers, difficult boss, toxic work environment, boredom, pressure of deadlines, time management or balancing work with home.  I have a significant amount of workplace experience as well as decades of clinical experience in EAP (employee assistance programming).  I am knowledgeable about organizational behavior so I can help you strategize for optimization.

“Coming Out” Transitions (individuals or from marriage):   Exploring or contemplating change can be extremely difficult whether in a relationship or not, and it is difficult for all parties concerned.  Feeling guilty is common if one is contemplating a transition from an existing relationship, and confusing and devastating if you’ve been the individual feeling left behind.  For individuals it can be a life-long contemplation or the beginnings of a new and exciting time in your life, but full of adjustments. Counseling can help navigate the emotional turmoil of “coming out” transitions.

Stress:   Stress has cognitive and physical elements as a result of situations.  What is the source of the stress? (What is happening now?)  What is the physical impact you are aware of? What physical impact of stress might you not be aware of?  What are the implications for staying the same or changing to adapt? What methods can be employed to diminish or alleviate the stress?

Blended Family Issues:   It can be difficult for those forming a new relationship to navigate pre-existing family dynamics.  How does your significant other feel about your family? How do you feel about theirs? This can be particularly challenging for couples with pre-existing children transitioning into a combined household.

Self-esteem:   Not feeling good about oneself is a terrible armor to carry around. Unfortunately, impaired self-esteem is quite prevalent among individuals today.  Whether it stems from a challenging upbringing or not, it can be changed.  Learn to examine negative self-messages. Maintain patience with the process. Learn to value the good that is inherent in all of us. These are key ingredients to improvement.  Healthy self esteem IS a process, not an event!

Brief Therapy:   Brief therapy is just that – short-term in nature.  Some issues require only a short duration of counseling.  We set goals, look at the challenges that are getting in the way, and implement change strategies to work them through and monitor success. Brief therapy is also good for those who have completed an extensive counseling program, but recognize the need for an occasional “tune-up.” Brief therapy is also a useful form of counseling for those who may feel they need deeper exploration, but do not know where to begin. Sometimes, a small manageable personal project inspires more rigorous reflection.

Family of Origin:   Those who may have had difficult upbringings or challenges beyond the norm sometimes find it hard to move beyond. They carry their history like a tattered piece of luggage and allow it to interfere with everyday, here-and-now life.  It is easy to adopt a “victim” mentality to a difficult past.  However, self-victimization will prevent you from leading as fulfilling as you deserve.

Assertiveness:   Those who find it difficult to speak up, to set limits, appropriate boundaries, say “no” in a non-aggressive manner, are usually susceptible to depression, low self-esteem and anxiety disorders. It can be hard to give themselves permission to speak to whom they are. Usually there is a ‘fear’ (and irrational) of  what will happen if they speak their mind and how will it be perceived. Most people are their own harshest judges, keeping their thoughts and feelings hidden inside. Counseling can help you recognize your own inherent worth and the worth of others. Counseling can show you tools and methods for dealing with intimidating behavior, to speak your mind without ‘fear,’ and to resist a situation which you feel is contrary to your nature.

Balancing Life/Work/Family:   Life is more fast-paced than ever.  It’s not getting any easier as the Internet and information age has taken off to new heights.  But if you ask the question, “What is the worst thing that could possibly happen if I don’t do that?” you might be amazed at the realization, “Probably little!”  Rather than feeling trapped by your urgently perceived responsibilities, let’s prioritize what’s really important and enjoy the feeling that ‘letting go’ can bring to your life.

Codependency:   Are you so busy taking care of others that you forgot how to take care of yourself?  When relationships get too ‘entwined,’ identities can be eroded. When boundaries are not established or respected, and unhealthy caregiving is present, dysfunctional patterns are a result.  Dysfunctional patterns usually lead to depression, fighting, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness.   Being your own individual is not a detriment in relationships – it enhances them!  Shedding codependency requires establishing new relationship dynamics with your partner or partners. Counseling is an effective way to address codependency. Counseling assists in boundary development, promoting each other’s strengths, practicing assertiveness, and teaching how to “hear” it as well from the other partner.

Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual/Transgendered:   My practice usually splits pretty evenly between heterosexual and gay/lesbian/bi-sexual clientele, whether it be for individual counseling or couples’ counseling.   I am certainly comfortable with transgendered individuals and invite clients with that orientation to call for consultation.

HIV/AIDS:   Having a chronic illness of any kind has its challenges.  A recent diagnosis can make life seem like it has stopped in its tracks. Emotions can run rampant and fear is a frequent visitor in the beginning.  Although the advances in treatment have been prolific, the transition issues common after diagnosis are still present.  Counseling can certainly assist in this new journey.

Additional Services

Consultation is available if you are working with clients, couples, or an individual experiencing mental health concerns. Please call Myles Hassler’s counseling offices for more information.

Contact Myles Hassler

2801 Buford Hwy NE Suite 470 Atlanta, Georgia 30329 678-427-0566 wmhmyles@aol.com

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