"I want to be happy."
There is a question I have included on my initial assessment form for nearly two decades. It asks, "What are your main life goals?"
The vast majority of my clients answer with something like, "I want to be happy. I want to have a healthy family. I want my kids to be well-adjusted and happy. I want to travel."
Most people come to counseling with an earnest desire to figure out how to feel happier. Yet, to my knowledge, there is no such thing as "happiness counseling." So I decided to offer this, explicitly, as a focus of my private practice work. You will see on my website, and most other therapists' websites, the problems we address; problems to be solved like anxiety, PTSD, depression, relationship conflict. The problem with addressing problems is that people often assume they have to take a deep dive into the problem itself to figure out the solution. That isn't always the case, and in fact, can just keep you in the problem, longer.
In happiness counseling we almost exclusively talk about what you want to experience. So many people go through life never having learned how to think and behave in ways that will bring them the more happy, positive experiences they want to have. We are socialized, to an extent, to think that we must struggle, pay our dues, or prove ourselves before we can feel good. As a result, we don't always learn the skills to feel good no matter what is happening in our lives.
This is what happiness counseling with me achieves: we will spend far less time talking about your problems than we will exploring what is going right in your life and how to get more of those more positive experiences. I will teach you the language to use in your self-talk, the lense through which to view your experiences, and how to communicate with others to align yourself, more and more, with feeling happy.
I look forward to guiding you on your happiness journey and I can tell you already - it will be exciting to talk about!