I work with individuals who are struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety, which may be related to issues that include relationship stress, unhealthy boundaries, job stress, unresolved grief and loss, trauma life experiences, etc..
I help clients identify the underlying causes and/or meanings of their symptoms so that they may become more aware of how these may be affecting their ability to function more effectively and to live more Authentically.
I work from a Depth-Oriented perspective. I believe that unless one truly understands what triggers them or pushes their buttons, the issues will continue to resurface and manifest in various, often disturbing ways, which may include continued emotional distress, relationship problems, and/or physical symptoms.
I work with couples who are struggling in their relationship because of problems that may include finances, communication, sex, kids, in-laws, abuse, boundaries, respect, roles, chronic health problems, job stress, infidelity, etc..
I work with the couple and also individually with each member of the couple, as sometimes there are issues in the relationship that are best discussed or explored individually.
My Philosophy about Couple's Work
I believe that the majority of relationship issues are the result of not being Authentic..that is, not being who we really are, for whatever reason.
I work with Couples to identify areas of inauthenticity and then coach and counsel them on how to become more authentic with each other so that each person feels accurately and lovingly “seen” and “heard” by their partner.
Sometimes we hide who we are in our most intimate relationships because we fear being hurt, rejected, and/or abandoned, or not being seen or heard. This fear may be rooted in unresolved business from our families of origin. Sometimes it is rooted in experiences in past relationships. Sometimes it is due injuries inflicted in our current relationship.
I believe that while it may not be (and is usually NEVER) the intention of either partner to injure the other, either verbally, emotionally, or physically, this often happens because of our own personal wounds that have not yet been healed. Sometimes injuries occur because we simply do not realize that what we are doing is wounding our partner.
When we are to unable to communicate clearly with our partner about our needs, wants, and wishes, we may act in ways that we think are effective in communicating these needs, wants, and wishes, based on what we learned in our childhood homes. However, these behaviors usually end up hurting our partners, because they require that our partners be able to accurately interpret them. This often leaves us feeling unheard, and ultimately hurting.
Many of us did not receive proper modeling in how to communicate effectively in intimate relationships, or what we did receive in terms of training or modeling was not effective, may have been abusive, or may have been lacking altogether. We then carry this model into our most intimate relationships and hope for the best.
I help clients develop a different, more loving and accepting model of communication so that they can more fully enjoy their relationship, without fear and unnecessary frustration. Often this requires and involves doing trauma work first so that the unresolved issues from childhood can be reprocessed and adaptively integrated in the memory network.
Children & Teen Issues
I work with Children (10 years and older) and Teens who are struggling because of problems at home or school, because their parents may be getting a divorce, because of some crisis situation or traumatic event, or simply because they feel like they don't “fit in".
They may be showing signs of depression and/or anxiety. They may be having problems at school or staying focused on getting things done. They may be having problems managing their anger and getting into trouble at home and school as a result.
My approach to working with Children and Teens is similar to my approach to working with adults in that I help young people understand how their symptoms, attitudes, and behaviors are or are not working for them. I help them to develop insight that allows them to change ineffective behaviors and attitudes, thus reducing emotionally distressing symptoms.
I work with families who are struggling with various issues that may include blended family issues, healing after divorce or loss of a spouse/parent, healing after a violent episode in the family, communication, unhealthy or ineffective boundaries, balancing school, work, and play activities, education about special needs children, etc..
Everyone is provided the opportunity to talk about their perspective of the family issue and is encouraged to look at their contribution to the family issue. I believe that often family problems arise because members of the family, who do not feel seen or heard in the family, behave in ways that may, at times, be extreme in order to be noticed.
I help families identify ways in which they can ensure that all members are appropriately acknowledged and respected, so that once therapy is over, these skills will help them to resolve future conflicts within the family without further wounding.
© 2007-2016 Renee Miller, PsyD, LMFT, Inc 18021 Sky Park Circle Ste E2 Irvine, Ca 92614