How I Work

how i work

A holistic approach to mental health counseling

Ideally, mental health counseling should include the emotional, mental, personal, relational and spiritual aspects of your life. Counseling should be individualized to meet your needs in the context of your whole self,  and not in the context of individual and separate parts. By attending to your whole self, we can focus on holistic dimensions of wellness and healing.

A holistic approach that includes traditional and alternative mental health services

Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness teaches us to touch the present moment. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bi-Polar
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Trauma Recovery
  • Unresolved Childhood Issues
  • Phobias
  • Mental Health Help is Available at Authentic Life Counseling.
  • Call today: 770.378.6835

the process

The number and regularity of sessions is variable and dependent on many factors including your personal needs, current level of functioning and resources.
first session
An assessment is completed during the first session in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of your issue and the nature of your suffering. 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.
subsequent sessions
Based on the information gathered from the assessment, we will begin to develop a treatment plan which includes the following:
  • Identify the specific goals you wish to achieve
  • Explore thought processes which include identification of irrational or obsessive thoughts involved in maintaining your suffering
  • Explore how to cultivate seeds of peace and happiness
  • Assign and review the effectiveness of homework assignments
cost & structure

Diane Chrestman, LCSW, DCEP, CcHT

  • Initial assessment: $150/90 minute session
  • Follow up sessions: $115/55 minute session
A limited number of sliding scale cost structures are available. A limited number of evening and weekend appointments are available.
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