Areas of Speciality
Symptoms I Can Help You Manage
Hello and Welcome to Authentic-Life Counseling
I'm Diane Chrestman, LCSW, and from my office in Suwanee, Georgia I provide an approach to therapy that is "results-oriented."
For therapy to be effective, there needs to be a time and space for clients to "tell their story".
I provide a safe and non-judgmental environment where you can talk about your history as well as the incidents that make your world feel like it is crumbling.
Once I have a good sense of why you have come to therapy, it is time to roll up your sleeves and begin the hard work of changing the ineffective responses and patterns that no longer serve you.
You have limited control over the problems that are causing you pain, but you have unlimited control over how you respond to those problems.
Creating new patterns is not easy. But until new emotional, cognitive, and behavioral patterns are identified and developed it is unlikely that you will cope or respond to your problems any differently.
You won't be leaving your appointment without "homework assignments".
The homework assignments are designed to help you live and love and adapt to the crazy roller coaster of life more effectively.
The value I bring to your journey is in identifying tools that will help you realize the changes you want.
Change and growth are not necessarily easy, but with the right tools, the process is definitely easier.
A Buddhist Psychology Approach to Therapy
My approach to psychotherapy is quite different because I am one of the few therapists in Georgia that utilize a theoretical approach of Buddhist Psychology.
One of the main differences between Buddhist Psychology and many "Western" therapeutic approaches is the lens through which "mental health disorders" are defined and treated.
In very general terms, Buddhist Psychology focuses on conducting a personal investigation to understand your suffering. Freedom from that suffering relies on personal autonomy, building strength, and more than a dab of courage and diligence.
Consider an analogy of your sense organs. Your eyes, nose, ears, skin, and mouth provide sensory data about your environment. The sensory input from the eyes, which allows you to see colors, shapes, and objects is not better or worse than the sensory input of sound waves you receive from your ears. Both provide information about the environment. One is not better or worse than the other.
In the same way, Buddhist Psychology is just a different experience of recognizing what is going on around us and within us. The therapeutic approaches of Buddhist Psychology provides very beneficial perspectives in regards to how we respond to those conditions.
Buddhist Psychology is not a theoretical approach that requires the exclusion of any spiritual belief including Christianity. It does provide a path that helps us to be free from suffering through self-examination, awareness, and personal autonomy. I work, and am spirituall cross-pollinated by clients of many faiths, which is quite beautiful.
Counseling Services Are Offered Either Online or In Person.
Our office is located at 4485 Tench Rd,Bldg 1200, Suwanee GA and conveniently serves the local communities of Suwanee, Sugar Hill and Lawrenceville, GA.
My Name Is
Diane Chrestman, LCSW
For over 10 years I have been providing therapy to clients in Georgia, and I feel grateful to be doing the life's work that I was intended to do.
l obtained a Master's Degree from Georgia State University and later obtained additional certifications in "alternative" treatment approaches such as Energy Psychology. I hold a professional License of Clinical Social Work from the state of Georgia.
In 2019 I published Zenergy Mindfulness which examines perspectives of energy and Buddhist Psychology for mental health healing. I have also contributed to several on-line publications most often related to the topic of mindfulness and meditation and offer regular meditation instruction to the community.
My greatest education however, bar none, has been the education I received sitting on my meditation pillow.
"Diane is amazing! She is very professional, knowledgeable, and posses so many tools and techniques. I thoroughly enjoyed my visits and have learned so much from her. She’s a rare gem!"