We specialize in the following treatments:
Marriage and Family Counseling in Atlanta, GA
For each family member who is at-risk, there is a larger family system in place. If the individual is treated while the family is not, the cycle of dysfunction may continue or begin again. Any change in an individual affects both the individual and the family system. Many concerns can be addressed through family therapy including grief & loss, life adjustments, behavioral or school issues, conflict resolution, communication, and management of mental and physical illness. Not all members of the family attend each session. You can expect to learn more about yourself, how your family functions, and how to use your family’s strengths to better handle problems and change behaviors.
The right time to come to couples counseling is – when you decide you want to improve your relationship. In couples therapy, the relationship is the client. The therapist consults with the couple to define the problems they want to address and identify goals for treatment. The therapist will ask each partner about their history. Some sessions may occur without the other partner in the room.
The treatment plan generally includes a path for healing and building connection to strengthen the relationship. Strategies are provided for the couple to resolve conflict and learn new ways of interacting with each other. ARI therapists draw from a variety of techniques for couples counseling including the Gottman method, emotionally focused therapy, imago relationship therapy, and PREPARE/ENRICH.
Most discernment counseling participants are in a relationship that is broken. While marriage counseling assumes that both partners are committed to working on the marriage, discernment counseling does not. Rather, discernment counseling helps partners determine if they want to work on their marriage or if they want to proceed towards divorce. Preferably working with both parties, the therapist works to truly understand both sides of the partnership so clear options can be presented for the couple’s next steps…either towards reconciliation or towards separation / divorce.
Discernment Counseling is for couples when:
- One partner wants a divorce but the other party wants to work on the marriage
- Couples moving towards divorce who want to manage issues of regret
- Non-Married intimate relationships considering separation
- Business partnerships on the brink of dissolution
- One or both partners want to give the relationship one last look before abandoning the life they’ve built together
Discernment counseling is NOT for:
- Those living with the danger or threat of domestic violence
- One partner is coercing the other to participate
- Those unwilling to be open to the idea of staying together
What to expect:
Discernment counseling typically takes four total sessions of two hours each. A couple will meet with the therapist together, then meet individually with one-on-one therapy during each session.
The end result will be a decision of: should the couple be strengthened back to health with marital counseling, should they proceed with a divorce, or should the couple set aside some time with healthy boundaries to reevaluate the decision later. Your therapist respects where you are coming from but will also gently open the door towards reconciliation if it is at all possible. You will gain confidence and clarity for next steps going forward, whether it be towards an amicable divorce/separation, to take a time out and reevaluate at a later time, or to form a reconciliation plan for a healthy and happy life together.
Even if you have made the decision to divorce / separate, if you are willing to see if there is an angle you are not seeing… a path forward together, then Discernment Counseling IS for you!
Adults use words to communicate, while children use play. During the play therapy session, a trained therapist provides specifically selected play materials to facilitate the child’s expression of feelings, thoughts, experiences and behaviors. Careful selection of toys and activities is made with consideration of the impact they will have on the growth and development of the child. The play therapist involves parent(s) or guardian in the treatment process when it is therapeutically appropriate. At ARI, play therapists direct play in a fully equipped play therapy room to treat:
- Behavioral issues brought about by bullying, abuse, grief, loss, or other trauma
- Family issues and attachment injury caused by divorce, separation, and abandonment
- Mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and ADHD
- Conduct disorders, social skills deficits, and lack of motivation/self-worth
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” Plato
Every relationship has its own rules. Deciding early in the relationship what your shared values are and how to respect differences can keep you from spending years in harmful patterns. ARI therapists draw from a variety of techniques for premarital counseling including the Gottman method, emotionally focused therapy, imago relationship therapy, and PREPARE/ENRICH.
Anger Management has four components:
- Self-Expression through constructive communication
- Taking responsibility for your individual choices
- Expanding your tolerance and acceptance of others
- Delaying gratification by controlling your impulses
Anger is always preceded by warning signs. We all can learn to recognize these signs and respond in healthy ways.
At the intake session, the therapist will assess needs to develop a customized plan. As you work through the program, you will become more aware and self-determined, developing the skill set to make healthy and positive choices at the moment of anger – in real time.
Tracey Van Dyke is a Certified Anger Management Specialist, and offers personalized programs for individuals, couples, and groups. She can present at your school, church, or organization. Click here to contact Tracey for a free 15-minute phone consultation or to schedule a session!
Trauma may occur in childhood and throughout the lifespan. Abuse, neglect, abandonment, loss, separation, divorce, and addiction have lasting effects. Triggers and PTSD symptoms take a toll on your mental health and get in the way of healthy relationships. Therapists at ARI use a variety of methods to guide you through healing, including Emotional Freedom Technique, Rapid Resolution Therapy, EMDR, and clinical hypnosis.
Your partner betrayed your trust by going outside the partnership. We understand your anger and pain. What you are experiencing is a normal reaction called betrayal trauma – the emotional fallout and shattered trust from your partner’s behaviors. Partners experiencing betrayal trauma experience symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress such as flashbacks of the experience when you first learned of your partner’s betrayal and fear or anxiety that it’s happening again.
The recovery process for partners with betrayal trauma mirrors the recovery process for the sex addict. While the addict works to address the root causes of addiction, partners do their own work by learning to take control of their lives.
How can you benefit by betrayal trauma therapy?
- Establish your path forward.
- Set boundaries for emotional safety.
- Receive support from others.
- Get out of the role of policing.
- Identify your partner’s level of commitment.
- Make important decisions about your future and relationships.
A successful recovery plan serves as a guidepost for healthy living. ARI therapists who work with sex addiction are fully certified or working towards certification as CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). Contact us for more information on individual, couples, and group counseling options.
Sex addiction is a type of attachment disorder. The addiction goes through a cycle, in which sexual behaviors are used to handle emotional and psychological needs such as love, connection, and acceptance. This behavior alters brain chemistry, providing a temporary “high.” This is followed by feelings of shame, which leads to pain and isolation and the cycle begins again. Working with a licensed, certified sex addiction therapist will help you break the cycle of addiction.
We can help:
- Establish a sobriety plan.
- Identify and understand your addiction cycle.
- Receive support from others.
- Address shame and isolation.
- Learn to honor your commitments.
- Address past trauma.
- Develop relational skills for intimacy & connection.
There is hope, help, and healing. A successful recovery plan serves as a guidepost for healthy living. ARI therapists who work with sex addiction are fully certified or working towards certification as CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist). Contact us for more information on individual, couples, and group counseling options.
Professional and work relationships can be challenging at times. The stressors of deadlines, power differentials, different personalities, communication, delegation, and maintaining a professional environment in the workplace can often feel overwhelming and may make the workplace a difficult environment to navigate. Having a safe and comfortable place to learn and practice crucial communication, essential conflict management, and collaborative techniques allows the work environment to improve and the work relationships to strengthen. Working to build shared values while also learning how to respect differences can keep you from spending years in harmful patterns at work and in professional relationships.
ARI therapists are skilled in applying effective organizational techniques, teaching relational communication and conflict resolution skills, and utilizing systems theory to enhance business relationships. Relational counseling techniques including the Gottman method, emotionally focused therapy, IMAGO relationship therapy, as well as stress management and organizational behavior strategies are utilized to help build stronger work relationships and improve both personal professionalism as well as colleague and group collaboration in the workplace.
Unusual behaviors or decreased levels of functioning in social, school, or family life serve as warning signs for at-risk teens. Seek help if your teen engages in risky behaviors, substance use, or withdrawal and isolation. Seek immediate treatment for self-injury or urges to harm self or others.
Many teens suffer from debilitating issues such as depression, anxiety, and high sensitivities. Some teens (such as perfectionistic and high achievers) are adept at masking symptoms. When this occurs, symptoms may go unnoticed, placing the adolescent further at-risk.
Teens going through developmental challenges, relationship issues, or stressful life events such as a parent’s divorce or remarriage benefit from the emotional support of their therapist through individual and family therapy.
We treat teens for a variety of concerns including but not limited to stress, overwhelm, anxiety, depression, bipolar, eating disorders, cutting, OCD, ADHD, academic/career advisement, personality disorders, guilt/shame, relationship issues, gender identity, trauma & abuse, substance use, anger management, compulsive pornography and gaming behaviors. Teens also enter therapy at the institute to learn DBT skills such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
Bariatric Surgery Evaluations/Counseling
The decision whether to pursue gastric bypass surgery is complex. We provide pre-surgery psychosocial evaluations that are required by many surgeons and insurance companies as part of the bariatric surgery process. Additionally, one can benefit greatly from working through the emotional and behavioral aspects involved. Therapy for bariatric surgery candidates may include the following:
- address emotions that contribute to problematic lifestyle choices
- assess for addiction interaction, which involves multiple at-risk behaviors
- address the impact of family and friends on eating & lifestyle decisions
- modify unhealthy beliefs and address toxic shame
- break-through emotional barriers to physical exercise
- prepare for long-term behavioral changes in personal habits
- treat co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and depression
- assess psychological readiness for surgery, and the adjustments that follow
- enhance chance for post surgery success through preparation & support
- address identity, safety, and vulnerability issues that accompany weight loss
- establish a healthy body image & increased feelings of self worth
Emotional support from a licensed therapist throughout this process can be life changing. As you work through the issues pertaining to surgery, you can improve your chances of success by addressing your emotions and altering your habits towards a more happy, healthy you.
Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorders affect all types of people. Various factors may contribute to eating disorders such as genetic links, environmental and social pressures, and career or cultural factors. The following behaviors are cause for concern, as they could be potential warning signs of eating disordered behavior:
- persistent denial of hunger
- refusal to eat or restriction of calories
- binge eating
- purging through forced vomiting
- overuse/abuse of laxatives
- low body image / constant fixation on weight
- excessive exercise in order to burn calories
- food rituals involving a fear of getting fat
- high levels of perfectionism, with low self regard
Eating disorders are often accompanied by attempts to cope with emotional distress and states of overwhelm by controlling or consuming food. Early diagnosis and treatment is important in order to establish emotional stability and address contributing factors. Restricting calories, binge eating, and/or purging can be the cause of serious physical health problems.
Treatment of eating disorders includes addressing co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, OCD, and substance abuse. In most cases, the family is involved in treatment so that the individual’s support system can change in order to support more healthy behaviors and interactions. We work with males and females of all ages at various stages of severity including aftercare from residential treatment and those transitioning from Partial Hospitalization Programs.