I am always amazed at the transformative power of a simple conversation about issues. On one level, counseling is quite simple but also complex at the same time. It is a combination of honesty, skillful thinking, and emotional connection. Couples' counseling is an excellent example of the simple and complex. We know from research that the most important element in long term relationships is the friendship factor where both people feel a deep emotional connection. Sounds simple, right? Why can't we just be nice to each other? The answer to that question plunges us immediately into the complex nature of human beings: their hopes, desires, and personal problems. One spouse may be depressed or struggling with an addiction such as alcoholism. In another case, an affair has taken place which has rocked the relationship to its core. Also, do not discount the effects of the daily stresses of modern life such as career vs. family, long commutes to the office, and the intrusive challenges of cell phones, social media, and the internet. All of these can erode the important relationships in our lives. Counseling can be a place of refuge where we stop the distractions around us and focus on making positive and permanent change.
I have completed Level 3 Practicum Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, which is the approach I take with couples. It is based upon 40 years of research with thousands of couples by John Gottman. When I read his work, I became very excited because it confirmed my own experience of being happily married for 39 years to my dear wife, Celeste. It is a method that is easy to understand and addresses both the simple and complex.
I also have extensive experience working with men's issues including sex addiction and dependence on drugs and alcohol. For five years, I worked at Cypress Creek Hospital, an acute care psychiatric hospital. From that experience, I became very familiar with the complicated issues of depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. A number of years ago, I wrote a book, The Labyrinth of Shame, which is a study in how guilt and shame can paralyze a person, keeping them stuck year after year with the same problems. Dr. Menninger, one of America's most famous psychiatrists once wrote, "If I could convince my patients that their sins were forgiven, three-fourths could leave the hospital today." I completely agree. Shame over the past is a potent force that fuels so many of our unhealthy behaviors. Therapy is a good place to begin that healing. Life will never be perfect, but it can get a whole lot better. My commitment to you, as a counselor, is to walk with you so that we together can find the upward path toward a healthier spiritual, psychological, and even physical life. You are not in this alone.
My wife, Celeste and I, were married in 1978 and have two adult children. Although I am a native Texan, we have had a wonderful and exciting life together, living in Europe, Canada, and three different states; Texas, Missouri, and Washington. I have been an ordained minister since 1990 and attended seminary, Regent College, in Vancouver, B.C. I earned an MCS there in theology. My second Masters, in counseling, is from Houston Graduate School of Theology. I am a board certified, Licensed Profession Counselor with the State of Texas. I have a website where you can get more information, it is: www.talkwithkeith.com