When Words Are Not Enough...
Have you noticed how hard it can be to talk about difficult things? That you are tired of talking about the same thing over and over, but not feeling any better? Have you realized what you need to do to change, but never were able to make that a reality?
Let’s face it, working on difficult issues or dealing with traumatic experiences is HARD! It can be exhausting. It can feel less like growth and more like being stuck, spinning your wheels endlessly.
At Berger Counseling Services, we focus on growth through change. Instead of sitting down, endlessly reviewing how things went wrong, we work together to actively move from envisioning transformation to setting it in motion. Our goal is for you to see the fruits of your labor quickly and efficiently, instead of waiting years to blossom into your new you.
Traditional therapy can have us rehashing the same old situation on an endless feedback loop. We can get stuck in our own heads, wondering how we’ll ever break free of our past. Or we can feel like we’re back at school, finishing worksheet after worksheet without feeling any better.
Why Experiential Therapies?
You remember that feeling - being stuck in a feedback loop of saying, doing, repeating the same things over and over again. Knowing what you need to do to change but just not able to take the steps in the right direction. Your head and mouth know what to do, but your behaviors and emotions stay the same. You might use your intellect and words to get out of situations, but you keep finding yourself back where you started.
Instead of getting stuck, we can break free of old thoughts and habits by doing something. Imagine a time that you stressed about a project, a conversation or task. Once you got started, it all fell into place, right? Or you problem-solved the situation until you either gave up or accomplished the task. Either way, you did something, made choices and followed through. That is the foundation of experiential therapies - doing.
When we are asked to do, instead of talk, we often re-experience old thoughts, feelings and actions. What would it be like to practice changing those aspects while in a safe, comforting environment? When we use experiential activities in therapy, we feel, believe and experience all the same stress and anxiety that happens in real life situations, but without any real life consequences.
Picture this - Without being told how to accomplish this task, go halter a horse in a field. I bet a lot of thoughts and emotions were stirred up! Thoughts like "How could she set me up to fail?," "There's no way I can do this hard thing!," even "The horse is going to hate me, I shouldn't even try." Or the request kicked up a lot of emotions - fear, loneliness, excitement, surprise, anger. You might have felt things in your body like numbness, tingling, butterflies, heart palpitations.
What would be the worst thing that happened if you did not accomplish your task? Not much, right? When we engage with art, play, games and horses in therapy, we are able to try on new hats, decide if a coping strategy would actually work in the real world, do things differently and explore new ways to build relationships. All within the safety of an activity with no real world consequences.
Why Pick Experiential Therapies?
There never seems to be just the right time for therapy. Let's face it, spending money and time on ourselves does not always seem like the right choice. Experiential Therapies allow change to occur quickly and efficiently. We work from our first meet and greet towards saying goodbye.
We keep our caseload small to ensure that you have our full attention. Our clinicians are there for you in between sessions for support. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of training and accreditation. Our clinicians regularly train others locally and nationally.
Who Is This For?
Will it work for me?
Life was already complicated enough before everything turned upside down. When change, trauma and loss enters your world nothing makes sense anymore. Let us help you feel supported through these difficult times. We know that now might seem like the worst possible time to spend time and resources on these issues, however there’s no time like the present to get started in healing.
You may have tried therapy before for you or your family member. You may not have seen any difference or wondered what your child was doing behind closed doors. You may have been asked "how did that feel?" a million times without feeling any better. You might believe that nothing can change - it's game over.
At Berger Counseling Services, we believe that the whole person needs support to change. Instead of having someone do all the work, we believe that everyone in their world has a part in growth. Sessions are focused on building healthy relationships with ourselves, others, family, friends and our scholastic or work environment. Support means taking baby steps in the right direction while we are helped by others.
...I stink at art
...I don't know anything about horses
...I can't imagine playing can help
Don't worry - no prior experience is required to grow through experiential services! In fact, having a background in art, play or horses is not necessary. Now your wondering, if you'll be spending all your time learning how to draw, paint, groom or play. Nope. In fact, the act of being asked to do something that is outside your comfort zone is what we are targeting through experiential services.
Imagine this, you are provided a variety of art materials to use. Maybe some of the materials are known to you, like markers, pencils, colored pencils or crayons. Others are new to you, you're not even sure how to use chalk or oil pastels, clay or water colors. So do you choose to use the tried and true or something new?
Let's take that example one step further. You've picked your material and now it's time to depict a current issue in your life... I bet you started to experience some discomfort. Maybe a few thoughts like "this is too hard," "she's setting me up to fail," "how can she do this to me?" are percolating in your head. Maybe you start to experience some feelings like overwhelmed, angry, irritated, frustrated or anxious. Or began to have body sensations like increased heart rate, butterflies in your belly or tension in your shoulders.
Think back to the last time you thought, felt or experienced that. I bet that might be some of the reasons why you are looking for services to begin with. Experiential therapies rely on trying things that might feel uncomfortable or being able to see things in a new light. No prior experience necessary!
Instead of talking, let's do something. When we create, explore and represent our innermost roadblocks, issues or beliefs we can start transforming them into something new. For many people, talking can be overwhelming. Or we can talk all day long without changing a thing about our situation. Either way, we do not grow or change. When we create art, depict our world in a sandtray, or engage with horses, we literally can see how our stuff is playing out in real time. Our therapists are trained in supporting change in that moment – so you can practice in a safe, supportive setting how you would like to do things differently.
Experiences speak louder than words. At Berger Counseling Services, we help you do instead of talk. We integrate art, play, games, sandtray and horses to figure out how to grow into your best self.
How does this work?
We know that change is hard. Services start with understanding your world, what your dreams and goals are for your life. We create a plan together that’s not one-size-fits-all. Our shared plan is tailored to your individual needs. We start to add skills to manage big, scary thoughts and feelings, then practice them through activities until we have mastery. Only then do we delve into those hard, deep concerns, but don’t worry! You’ll be supported the whole time.
Once things have started to change and growth is becoming, we start to see you less. This lets you practice in the real world more. Our goal is to say goodbye as quickly as possible. We know you’ve got this, now we just have to get you to believe it too!
Reach out today to start the healing. Call, email or click here to complete an on-line form. We will review with you how we hope to help. If it seems like a good fit, we schedule a time for a free, 15 minute in person or virtual meet and greet. We believe that decisions on our future need to be done privately, with support. After our meet and greet, you won't have any pressure tactics from us. We want you to decide that we're the right fit before starting services. If we are, then we schedule an intake assessment to fully understand your world, goals and struggles. Then the work begins!