Dr. Brownlee’s practice is informed by her research on close relationships, depression, and anxiety. The impact of positive and negative attachment relationships exists on a spectrum, healthy relationships provide protective factors; for example in times of distress, trusting that you can turn to someone who cares about you can prevent long-lasting symptoms and diagnoses such as PTSD. On the other side of the continuum, if you feel isolated and lonely during challenging times, the impact of isolation can increase symptoms of depression and anxiety and potentially lead to long-lasting mental health disorders.
With our STRONGER TOGETHER approach, we work to identify the strengths and challenges in past and current relationships. We create a safe environment in the therapeutic space, which fuels trust in the therapeutic relationship, a key foundation in successful therapy.
If you are seeking individual counseling the STRONGER TOGETHER approach is designed to help you navigate challenging relationships, including the relationship with yourself. Because we understand problems through a systemic lens, we focus on the varying areas in your life that are impacting your ability to form, maintain, and thrive in close relationships. We also understand that the problems in the present often stem from our past, and in order to do our best work, we must address past hurts. Often we focus on the avoidance of emotional expression, or the ineffective ways that emotions are expressed in times of need (ex. yelling that you need to be comforted). We always consider the function of behavior, and address what you really WANT from others, and how that might be better expressed in order to get what you need in your relationships (comfort, care, connection). We understand that there are often historical blocks, that may not feel present but influence the ability to feel safe in your relationships. For example, we assess and treat the impacts of negative events like growing up with disconnected parents, growing up with divorced parents, sibling rivalries, difficult life events in adolescence and early adulthood, early use of substances, abusive relationships, and sexual assault. If you feel like these situations do not apply to you, you are not alone. Often our clients cannot recall a “significant” trauma in their lives, however, they have had many small experiences of rejection, isolation, feeling embarrassed and ashamed, being excluded or unfairly blamed. We are able to help those individuals gain insight about the impact of these experiences and work towards healthy emotional expression, setting boundaries, identifying toxic relationships and building safe networks of social support.
If you are seeking Couples Therapy, the STRONGER TOGETHER approach will help you and your partner address the challenges in your relationship, with direct feedback, guidance, compassion, and a clear roadmap. The STRONGER TOGETHER approach with couples begins with a thorough assessment of the current issues, identification of past stressors, conceptualization of ongoing issues ( you and your therapist will identify the negative cycle that you and your partner engage in regularly), and develop strategies to communicate about what’s REALLY going on (anger and shutting down are often used to protect ourselves from feeling deeper hurt, sadness, and fear).
If you are unsure about your relationship and are looking for some guidance, the STRONGER TOGETHER approach will help you to identify if your relationship is healthy, fulfilling, and meeting your needs. If you recognize that your relationship is unhealthy, we can support you to support the process of ending your relationship. We understand this can be one of the scariest things you’ll ever do, and we don’t take it lightly. However, we understand that breaking free from an unhealthy partnership is one of the most empowering and freeing experiences. We work with both couples and individuals to navigate the challenges of contemplating the end of a relationship.
Types of Therapy We Provide:
Types of Intensive Therapy Retreats: