Becoming a mother for the first time was an incredibly vulnerable experience for me and I struggled with issues and traumas of my past controlling my emotions. I experienced being a mom through anxiety, fear, sadness, guilt, feelings of isolation and helplessness. I was fortunate to be referred to Alisa who has a unique expertise and approach that is both sensitive and challenging. She is supportive while simultaneously helping me identify tools and resources to help me feel stronger, more confident and understand the triggers that cause unhappiness. I can see Alisa’s past experience as a doula and professional therapist allow her to understand the deep demands associated with being a new parent and how one manages, particularly if you struggle with mood disorders.
Alisa has been instrumental in helping me navigate motherhood (and my other relationships), identifying what makes me happy and just as importantly, what triggers unhappiness or anxiety for me. I’ve reached many “breakthroughs” with her, from overcoming overwhelming fears to improving communication in my relationships. Alisa is also extremely committed to her clients progress. Our session/issues don’t just end when the time is up. She is focused on long-term improvement, and connected and available during my most vulnerable periods. This type of support is invaluable.
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In the beginning I was drowning within myself, letting external forces rule every moment in my life. Pain, anger and fear ruled me and dictated my every action and reaction. Through self destructive behavior, divorce, love lessons and raising my son, Alisa has helped guide me in to becoming the man I was all along by striping away and identifying my inner demons. Together we have worked to gain freedom in my life I would not otherwise have achieved by using the tools we have cultivated along the way.
Alisa is warm, caring and uniquely understanding, but more importantly she is strong in her conviction. Alisa’s strength is why I continue to work with her; never wavering in our path and giving me the freedom to explore the answers on my own terms. These answers have become gifts by working together. There are no words that capture my feelings of gratitude toward Alisa and our work together.
– Client C
I would say without hesitation that my work with Alisa helped turn my life around. I didn’t want to go in to therapy, but could no longer tolerate how unhappy I’d become. Worse, I wasn’t sure I could, or deserved to feel better. Looking back I am always shocked by the despair I felt in that period of my life and how fundamentally my situation has changed.
This is thanks in very large part to Alisa, who proved an exceptionally compassionate and insightful counselor. Over more than three years of consultations, I could always rely on Alisa’s attentiveness and her observational skills. Moreover, she had a gift of interpreting clearly and tactfully the issues that were distressing me.
Therapy is work; it requires the active participation of both parties. Alisa made that work far smoother, more enlightening and ultimately more rewarding than I had thought possible. With her help I left behind a destructive pattern of relationships, found a loving life partner, and have started a family of my own. I can’t recommend Alisa highly enough, and know that anyone seeking her help is in excellent professional hands.
– Client E
Working with Alisa has been amazing. Becoming a mother (and life in general!!) suddenly presented some unique challenges: I felt lost and unsure of my own footing and I noticed my other intimate relationships were becoming strained as well. With Alisa’s gentle guidance and encouragement, she helped me address some of the reasons behind the challenges I was feeling, as well as implement coping strategies to achieve greater intimacy.
It has been an empowering, enlightening and at times, challenging process which would not have been possible without Alisa’s trust and compassion. I’m grateful to be working with her, and recommend her without reservation.
About seven years ago, following yet another ill-advised relationship that ended very badly, I first met with Alisa Hafkin. I had reached what felt like a real low point. I was doing very well in my professional life, but my personal life and my own emotional well-being were in a shambles. I was riddled with anxiety and in the depths of sadness. I felt stuck in the same pattern of low self-esteem leading to poor choices. Even though I sort of understood my behavior, I didn’t seem to know how to actually break out of it and find real happiness with myself or lasting intimacy and love with an appropriate partner. I had tried talk therapy before and had limited success; mostly I felt better in the moment for having “talked it out” with someone, but behaviorally nothing ever really changed and many years later I was still in the same rut.
When I met with Alisa, I had some idea of what I was seeking; a therapist with whom I could have a REAL dialogue, with a real give-and-take and honest feedback. I knew that I didn’t want someone who would just use “active listening” skills with me, offering an empathetic ear but no honest conversation. I told Alisa this when we met and she instantly understood and engaged in a very candid and specific dialogue with me, and she has continued to do so for the many years since then. I can always count on her to be totally present and engaged, always prepared and with a seemingly flawless memory for my own family history and background, and to really TALK to me like a person, and not just a patient–to disagree with me sometimes, to challenge me always, and to offer her very real and thoughtful and specific analysis of the situation. That has made all the difference. She is completely warm and compassionate, and establishes a very safe, trustworthy, peaceful office environment. Her insight and analysis are so laser-sharp. She is an excellent listener, and she truly cares. Through our work I was able to first accept love into my life, and then take the steps to leave an unhappy relationship and subsequently build the foundation for a truly healthy and wonderful one.
Over the past seven years, she has helped me experience personal maturity, growth and happiness that I never could have imagined all those years (and therapists) ago. My relationships with my family members have improved. My relationships with my co-workers have improved. I am now deeply, happily married with a child on the way. I have learned how to better manage my own anxiety, negative self-talk and fears. I no longer seek out unhealthy choices and self-sabotaging behavior the way that I previously did. Fundamentally, my life has BALANCE and EASE where it never did before. And it has more love in it than I could have imagined. I am certain that I could not have found this without Alisa’s patient and astute guidance, her unending support and our work together for all of these years. I cannot recommend Alisa enough. I have sent countless friends her way. She is the real deal.