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MY APPROACH TO THERAPY IS TO HELP YOU DISCOVER YOUR HIGHEST SELF

therapist holding pen and notebook

Authentic-Life Counseling provides results oriented counseling in Suwanee, GA

Your Higher Self Is Waiting.

 

Authentic-Life Counseling offers therapeutic approaches, including mindfulness instruction, meditation instruction, Buddhist Psychology, Energy Psychology, and more traditional approaches such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.


Our evidence-based approaches to counseling are intended to help you make positive changes and restore balance to emotional and mental health.

We serve the Suwanee, Buford, Sugar Hill, and Duluth areas in our office located in Suwanee, GA. 

Clients in the metro-Atlanta area may access services via video therapy.​

Call me for a free assessment. 

Buddhist
Psychology

I have utilized many theoretical approaches throughout my career which now spans 15 years.

 

I believe that Buddhist Psychology has been the most beneficial in helping clients understand the causes of, and solutions to, mental and emotional suffering. 

 

Understanding and treating mental illness and wellness from a perspective of Buddhist Psychology is not common. But it is very effective. 

To learn more read the answers below to frequently asked questions.  

 

Do You Have To Be Or Become Buddhist To Benefit From Buddhist Psychology?

No, you do not. The suggestions or insights derived from Buddhist Psychology, like other psychological perspectives, investigates the functions of the mind and subsequent affects on human behavior. 

 

Buddhist Psychology is secular and does not require adherence to any particular belief or worship. I work with clients from many different faiths.

What Is The Difference Between Buddhist Psychology and Western Psychology?   

While there are similarities between Buddhist Psychology and Western Psychotherapy one primary difference lies in how mental illness is perceived.  

​Biological abnormalities such as chemical imbalances are a primary focus in Western psychotherapy. Mental illnesses are “diagnosed” after a particular cluster of symptoms reaches a certain level of intensity or frequency. Therapy often addresses the symptoms associated with the disease. The diagnostic criteria are somewhat subjective. ​For example, a diagnosis of depression requires 5 symptoms for 2 weeks.

​What if you have had only 3 symptoms for 8 weeks? Although subjective, the diagnostic criteria are very important because they determine subsequent treatment planning that often include medication(s). In addition to identifying the pathology of mental illness, outside conditions such as one’s family of origin, race, gender, or socioeconomic status are considered a primary influence on mental well-being.

​Buddhist Psychology has a very different paradigm. Mental, emotional, and physical patterns are viewed as effects of various causes and conditions. Therefore the diagnostic lens of  Buddhist Psychology is much less rooted in identifying pathologies. Buddhist Psychology assumes that human beings, because of their nature, are susceptible to various types of thinking patterns and emotional reactions. Not because of a pathology or abnormality. 

Buddhist Psychology does not dismiss the notion of mental illnesses. The brain is an organ, and like all organs, it is susceptible to illness. However, Buddhist Psychology recognizes, unless a person is severely mentally ill, we have personal autonomy, and can greatly influence our mental and emotional health. Buddhist psychology cultivates beneficial mental and emotional practices and becomes less influenced by negative conditions. 

 

What Are The Benefits Of Practicing Buddhist Psychology?   

One of the greatest benefits of practicing Buddhist Psychology is learning how to be “OK” even when life becomes painful and confusing. Pain, loss, confusion, anxiety are part of the human condition. If you are alive you are going to experience them. 

The benefits of Buddhist Psychology in learning to understand, accept and change your responses to difficult situations. Rather than expending tremendous effort trying to change the outside conditions that are causing pain, you learn to change your response to them.  

Buddhist Psychology assumes unlimited personal autonomy and ability to be free from emotional and mental pain. Buddhist Psychology also assumes to be free from mental pain, one must assume responsibility which requires discipline and fierce courage. Both of which are present in you.

A benefit of Buddhist Psychology is deepening your understanding as to the causes of your pain and how to respond more effectively. The approach uses physical, mental and emotional exercises and practices to develop this capacity.

The Process

Change takes work.

 

Taking responsibility for one's mental health requires the grit and determination to change old patterns.

 

During your therapy, we will explore new emotional, mental, and behavioral changes to promote a healthy heart, mind, and body.

 

The number and regularity of sessions are variable. Factors that impact the number of sessions include the current functioning of the client, their resources outside of therapy, and the nature of their conditions or problem.

Your First Therapy Session

An assessment is completed during the first session to comprehensively understand your problems.

During the assessment we will explore the following:​

  • Your history. Including significant childhood issues, nature of significant relationships, work, education etc.

  • Review your general physical and emotional health

  • Review past successful and unsuccessful attempts to make positive changes

  • Identify issues which trigger and intensify the problem.

  • Identify goals for treatment  

Subsequent Therapy Sessions

Ideally, mental health counseling should address the emotional, mental, physical, relational, and spiritual aspects of your life.

 

Your problems do not exist within a vacuum. If your problems are holistic, the solutions should be holistic. 

A valuable component of my role in our work together is to help you identify how to make positive changes.

After completing an assessment, we identify specific steps you can take to achieve positive changes and reach your goals.

 

Homework assignments are suggested changes to emotional, cognitive, or behavioral patterns and are critical to subsequent sessions.

The homework assignments for each client are different because our problems are very different. Personality traits, the influence of gender and culture, the availability of resources, and many other conditions merge to create our problems. 

 

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