Copyright © Carolyn Swearingen, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.
If you're considering individual therapy, you might be feeling stuck or overwhelmed or like you just need someone to talk to or some extra support during a difficult life transition. You may be wanting to work on feeling better within yourself or on maintaining satisfying relationships with others. Individual therapy can help you feel more empowered by providing you with the skills and insights that can help you improve your life and restore your sense of well-being and fulfillment. If you are hoping to reduce feelings of distress, improve your relationship with yourself or others, enhance your understanding and ability to overcome issues you are struggling with, and utilize more helpful coping skills, individual therapy could be a very helpful resource. Some of the areas in which I have particular knowledge and clinical training include:
Because each person is different in what they want to work on in therapy and how they approach their life, I work collaboratively with clients to meet specific individual needs. Each person's life develops in a particular context with multiple influences shaping one's way of being in the world. Factors such as cultural background, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, personal values, family context and relational history uniquely shape each person's sense of self and ways of relating to others. I work with my clients to help them understand how past and current life experiences have impacted and currently affect who they are today. Through this type of dialogue we can work together to put current struggles into a larger life context, help you to gain a sense of perspective, foster a deeper sense of self-awareness, develop more helpful ways of thinking about and reacting to life's challenges, create a broader sense of meaning and purpose, and utilize your strengths to facilitate desired changes.
I place great value on the therapeutic relationship as the basis for healing and change. I therefore strive to create an atmosphere of safety and trust so that you can feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings in an accepting environment emphasizing understanding and support. My therapeutic style offers warmth, care and compassion, as well as feedback and ideas about how you may work to improve areas of your life you are seeking to change or manage more successfully. With me you will develop a relationship with someone who genuinely cares, really listens, is nonjudgmental, and is fully present and attentive.
Therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length and are once or more per week. Some people choose to meet more than once a week either for extra support during a particularly difficult time, or because they find more frequent meetings help them deepen the therapeutic process.
The length of time you will be in counseling depends on what you are wanting and the issues that bring you in. Some people find they benefit greatly from a fairly short period of counseling, while others find that counseling continues to be helpful to them over a longer period of time.
Carolyn Swearingen, Ph.D.
2161 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123