Therapist Approach


Holistic and results oriented counseling services   


Authentic-Life Counseling is proud to offer conventional as well as alternative mental health therapy to individuals, families and couples. Our therapist provide clients with  effective and unique approaches to counseling to help you live your best life. Our unique counseling techniques include mindfulness instruction, meditation instruction, and mind-body approaches to healing. 

Change is not easy. Improving emotional and mental health requires new emotional, mental or behavioral patterns. Our therapist are trained to provide clients with the tools they need to make these changes.    

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.

Authentic-Life Counseling provides solutions  within  the context of your whole self and offers treatment approaches that are as unique as you.

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

We are able to provide clients in the metro-Atlanta area our unique approaches to counseling via video therapy.

Call us for a free assessment.   


Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness teaches us to touch the present moment. Our therapist have extensive training in mindfulness practices which result from training and studying with Zen Buddhist monks and nuns for over 8 years. The present moment is the only moment we have to live our lives. In mindfulness, we are present and can begin to experience the peace and joy within us. In addition to emotional health our thinking patterns improve with mindfulness practice. Concentration is improved and the intensity of racing thoughts is diminished. Mindfulness also improves relationships as our capacity for compassion and loving kindness is cultivated.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a commonly used treatment for many psychological problems including anxiety and depression. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, we identify and change the irrational or obsessive thoughts that support maladaptive behavior. Changes in behavior are further supported through behavior modification exercises that can be used as reinforcement. By learning how our thoughts are connected to our behaviors and feelings, we can modify our maladaptive patterns of behaviors.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

When we have problems in our lives we often know what is wrong, but we don't know how to fix the problem. We may find ourselves using old patterns of maladaptive behaviors that keep us stuck or make the problem worse . If we learn new skills we can begin to fix the problem and fix our lives. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy provides a structured approach to therapy and focuses on building important life skills such as, tolerating stress, controlling our emotions and improving relationships. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy provides smart solutions and a framework for developing new skills.

Energy Psychology

Refers to a broad array of techniques that heal by aligning the energy in our body with our beliefs, emotions and behaviors. Many expression of Energy Psychology incorporate aspects of traditional psychology such as positive affirmations, with the stimulation of energy centers such as acupuncture points. Tapping is one form of Energy Psychology that is widely used and has been particularly effective in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although very simple to learn, tapping is very effective.

Psychodynamic Therapy

To a greater or lesser extent, we have all been impacted by our families and our past. Exploring our self-concept, coping skills, and childhood makes space for personal growth and useful insight.


When used in a therpeutic setting, hypnotherapy uncovers the beliefs, thoughts, or memories that we hold in our subconscious mind. The material in our subconscious mind may or may not be available to the conscious mind, yet it has a great impact on our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

The Therapy Process at Authentic-Life Counseling

Number of Sessions

The number and regularity of sessions is variable. Factor 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.

First therapy session

An assessment is completed during the first session in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of your mental health. We will explore the following:

  1. Your history. Including significant childhood issues, nature of significant relationships, work, education etc.
  2. Review your general physical and emotional health
  3. Review past successful and unsuccessful attempts to achieve goals
  4. Identify issues which trigger and intensify the problem.
  5. Identify goals for treatment  

Subsequent therapy sessions

Based on the information gathered from the assessment, we will begin to develop a treatment plan that addresses your mental health problem. While every client's treatment plan is different some common elements of therapy include: 

Review treatment goals and adjust as necessary. 
  • As your conditions change the treatments goals change. Your life is static and dynamic. We will review and change the therapy goals as needed.   
  • We are often not aware of the repetitive nature of our thinking, emotional of physical habits.  
  • Mindfulness teaches us to become aware of these habits and redirect our habit energy in a positive manner.
  • Diane Chrestman has over 8 years training with Zen Buddhist nuns and monks. A unique area of expertise we are proud to offer clients is mindfulness training 
Identify non-beneficial thinking patterns. 
  • Examples of thinking patterns that are not beneficial include obsessive or rigid thinking.
  • Provide homework assignments to help you identify and replace non-beneficial thinking patterns. 
Identify non-beneficial emotional patterns.
  • Examples of emotional patterns that are not beneficial are anxiety, depression, anger or fear.
  • Explore how to cultivate healthier emotional reactions such as peace, gratitude and joyfulness

Learn to set healthy boundaries

  • No one sets healthy boundaries all the time. When boundaries are not healthy they are either too passive or too aggressive. 
  • We will identify your boundary style and identify changes in communication to help set healthy assertive boundaries.  
Review the effectiveness of homework assignments

Therapy cost and structure

  • Initial Assessment Individual:
    • $160 / 55 min
  • Initial Assessment Couples:
    • $195 / 90 min
  • All Follow Up sessions:
    • $130/55 minute