therapy for social skills & confidence
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Problems with assertiveness and confidence often come from a deep doubt about who we are or whether we really have something to offer. We may have been punished in extreme or subtle ways for being "big" or standing strongly in ourselves. Being able to 'stand strong' but still be open, connected, and receptive to the feelings and ideas of others (and have the flexibility to alter our positions in response to others but not folding like a house of cards) is a hallmark of psychological maturity.
Whether you are shy, anxious, afraid of rejection, or find that you are constantly misunderstood by others, you may benefit from strengthening your social skills. I can provide you with tools for smoother interactions with others - and depending on your situation, this could include skills for improving your communication, assertiveness, interpersonal sensitivity, anger management, confidence, or relaxation. We can also practice these skills in session so you'll have a safe place to try them out. Learning, practicing - and then actually using - these tools can lead to more productive and serene relationships at home, work, or in the community.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If you felt confident, you'd more easily assert yourself; if you asserted yourself more effectively more often, you'd feel better about yourself! Improving your ability to be assertive--not passive, not aggressive, not both--is all about being clear about your boundaries, knowing deeply that you have every right to set boundaries, and committing to doing so again and again. I can help you discover and practice the skills that work best for you in setting and keeping good boundaries. Even if you don't yet deeply feel you have a right to set them, you can often "fake it 'til you make it" and improve your life experience as we work on helping you truly feel "allowed" to assert yourself. On a deep level, you may feel that you can't or aren't allowed to assert yourself. If so, this kind of belief system is probably one you've held for a long time, and may seem amply borne out by experience. But just because it goes deep and has been around awhile doesn't mean you can't challenge it, and change it. This is courageous work, and it doesn't take forever! My role is to guide you to use the perspective you have today to challenge the old beliefs as they come up in your daily life now. And once you've got it, it's like riding a bicycle: you know it forever and never (or rarely) fall off.
main phone: 303-547-3700
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