Sue Brazee, MA, LMFT Therapy Blog

Below are articles about my individual, couples, and family therapy services.

Improve Self Esteem

Improve Self Esteem

Therapy Can Help Improve Self Esteem

Sometimes low self-esteem can feel so painful or be so difficult to overcome. A healthy sense of self can make a profound difference in how we feel and function. Good self-esteem means self-respect, a sense of self-worth, a feeling of basic goodness about oneself. Low self-esteem can mean constant self-doubt and self-criticism, social anxiety and isolation, suppressed anger, loneliness, and even shame.

When someone has low self-esteem, it could be as a result of many things such abuse, neglect, negative self talk, criticism or co-dependency. Even over-achievers can also feel a sense of low self-worth. Those who constantly compare themselves to others, or are highly competitive and set unrealistic goals, may always feel less than adequate. Additionally, some people who have suffered a significant loss, from divorce, job loss, or even loss of health or youth, may have self-esteem issues. Low self-esteem comes from having a sense of no control over a situation.

Therapy can assist people to identify the cause of the emotional turmoil and set goals that will enable them to feel empowered and help them regain control. Low self worth is experienced in unique ways for each person. Therapy determines what self-defeating behavior is contributing to the maintenance of low self worth and lack of identity and challenges these thoughts and behaviors towards positive change. Through my work with clients, individuals identify relationships that are contributing to low self esteem and work to develop healthy boundaries to reduce the negative impact on the individual’s identity.

When you begin counseling, I will start by identifying those assumptions that are contributing to a sense of low self value. These could include the belief that “I am never good enough”, “there is nothing special about me”, or “I never seem to be able to find direction or purpose in life.” The emotions that are tied to these negative assumptions maintain a hold on an individual from feeling a sense of value and identity. By identifying and understanding events in life that contribute to low self worth and discovering a clear picture of a future without those assumptions, we are able to resolve these feelings and provide hope and release from harmful beliefs.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Anxiety

Anxiety

Get Support and Recover from Anxiety Issues

When you struggle with anxiety it’s painful. Sometimes it feels like there is no way out. You are not alone. Some level of anxiety is normal in human beings; however, excessive anxiety can interfere with relationships, sleeping patterns, eating habits, work, school, social situations and all areas of life. Anxiety can take several forms, including phobias, obsessive-compulsions, and panic attacks, and it is often associated with depression.

Anxiety is a normal response to human experience and survival. Not unlike the fight, flight, or hide response, humans need anxiety in order to act and to protect themselves from suffering. Because anxiety is normal, most people experience anxiety at some points in their life, however limited or mild. Yet, many people experience a heightened and uncomfortable level of anxiety causing one to seek treatment.

As a therapist, I approach a person’s anxiety with intense curiosity in an effort to help the person to understand and heal the source of the anxiety. Through the process of focusing internally a person can understand, unravel, and transform their anxiety. When it comes to treating anxiety disorders, research shows that therapy is usually the most effective option. That’s because anxiety therapy, unlike anxiety medication, treats more than just the symptoms of the problem. Therapy can help you uncover the underlying causes of your worries and fears; learn how to relax; look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem-solving skills. Therapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety and teaches you how to use them. I work with each individual client to address their individual experiences and help them to face their fears rather than avoid them. Collaboratively we work to make life changes to your situation in order to reduce the level of stress you are experiencing. In other situations, we may simply be trying to manage too much in our life and reprioritizing what we take on may be the start to living a healthier, less stressful life.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Recovering from Trauma, Abuse, or PTSD

Recovering from Trauma, Abuse, or PTSD

Support and Recovery for Trauma, Abuse and PTSD

If you have experienced a traumatic event, recently or years ago, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. A traumatic event frightens or shocks us, endangers our long-term well-being, causes us to fear for our life, safety, or sanity, or causes deep emotional pain, confusion, or fear. Trauma probably affects most people at some point in our lives. However, sometimes trauma does lead to long-term difficulties. The painful or frightening event may be replayed in memories, daydreams, and nightmares. We may avoid situations or people that remind us of the trauma. We may be emotionally numb, depressed, or anxious. Because trauma can cause you to feel powerless, helpless, and unsafe, it often has a negative impact on all aspects of your life, including your work and relationships, as well as your physical and mental health. If you experience trauma, talking about it with a professional as soon as possible can help diminish the chances of lasting ill-effects.

Whether the event happened recently or years ago, with the proper treatment, self-help strategies, and support, you will begin to face and resolve these destructive feeling and memories. I use a variety of counseling techniques in my work with trauma and abuse. The goal is to help you resolve the emotionally painful traumas, as well as the negative thinking and behaviors that block you from feeling confident, empowered and fulfilled in your life.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Anger Management

Anger Management

Improve and Resolve Anger Management Issues

Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems—problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life.

If you have an anger problem, you may know it but not know what to do. Or, you may not know it; the nature of anger may lead angry persons to deny they have any responsibility for the problems to which they contribute. If you find yourself feeling tense and frustrated with yourself and others, if you find yourself unable to enjoy people and life, if you yell often, if you argue with others frequently, if people seem afraid to speak their minds to you or disappoint you, it is possible you have an anger issue.

Anger control is difficult for many people. Emotional outbursts, physical aggression and violence are just some of the results of anger problems. Psychotherapy is a valuable tool for people who need help controlling their anger. By working closely with a therapist, a person who struggles with anger can learn what lies at the root of their frustration and rage. They can identify what their anger triggers are and learn healthy ways to avoid or cope with those situations. Emotional regulation is a key component of effective anger therapy and empowers a client to face uncertain and stressful circumstances with control and emotional balance that benefits their mental and physical health and the well-being of those around them.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Stress Management

Stress Management

Resolve Stress Management Issues with Therapy

When stress overtakes your life it can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the right tools. Stress is often defined as the body’s response to the demands of life. Stress really includes the mind and emotions as well. Stress is the internal, conditioned reaction of a person to perceived external pressures. Stress is experienced as thoughts and feelings, as well as physical processes.

Stress can be caused by almost anything. Stress may be caused by both positive and negative life experiences. Some of the more common, highly stressful events in life include:

  • Losing one’s job
  • Getting divorced or going through a breakup
  • Getting married
  • Being discriminated against
  • Having a child
  • Moving
  • Getting a promotion or raise
  • The death of a family member
  • A diagnosis of serious illness

Since these events are often normal parts of the life cycle, it is clear stress is a normal part of life. Few people will deny being stressed at least once in their lifetime, but for many, stress can be ongoing and unbearable. Chronic stress can contribute to a myriad of mental health and physical health issues. Such things as disrupted sleep patterns, change in appetite, self medicating with drugs and/or alcohol, diminished productivity at work, relationship issues, change in physical health, headaches, depression and decreased intimacy may all be related to high levels of stress.

Therapy can be effective to assess the internal and external stressors that are contributing to the excessive stress reactions. I work with my clients to better understand what may be triggering stress responses. Managing stress is all about taking charge: of your thoughts, emotions, schedule, and the way you deal with problems. Clients learn such stress management techniques as relaxation techniques, boundary mastering, taking control of their environment, learning to say “no”, avoiding triggers, adapting to certain situations, be more assertive, time management, and reframing problems.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Grief and Loss

Grief and Loss

Support for Dealing with Grief and Loss

Grief is a reaction to loss that can encompass a range of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and is experienced differently by each person according to his or her culture, background, gender, beliefs, personality, and relationship to the deceased or loss of a loved one. Feelings common to grief are sadness and yearning. Guilt, regret, anger, and a sense of meaninglessness can also be present.

In my work with clients I recognize and understand the deep pain of loss and the resulting grieving process. Grief counseling is about joining with the one who is hurting. No one person grieves in the same way. When I am going grief therapy, I work with clients to provide support and understanding as they move through the personal process of envisioning life without the loved one through death or the end of a relationship. Grief counseling is never about minimizing the loss you are experiencing, and it is never about minimizing you as a person. Even if you are still grieving over a loss many years ago, I will try to meet you where you are, and help guide you through the next step, towards a better life, moving through this time of pain and being able to find some joy in your life again.

Often times, people find it helpful to looks for ways to symbolize and create ways to positively remember their loved one and how this influence continues in life going forward. While the stages of grief are not easy, moving through them, rather than remaining stuck at a stage allows your life to continue to reflect your loved one. It is also an opportunity to address any unresolved areas of life that may be making the grieving process more difficult. It is my goal to help my client, find a sense of enjoyment and purpose in life that both honors the memory of what is lost, but also allows you to continue to invest in life and the relationships in your life.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Support and Recovery for Eating Disorders

Are you struggling with overeating, undereating, purging, body image or an obsession and preoccupation with food, body and weight? Together we will delve into your struggles with food and weight and learn to identify the underlying feelings and unmet needs that require attention. We will take a deeper look into your history and how your eating disorder developed in order to help you cope with your past and present circumstances.

I will also support you in developing a more loving and compassionate relationship with yourself and your body in order to move beyond the debilitating effects of your eating disorder behaviors and into the rest of your life. In our work together we will identify beliefs, attitudes and behaviors around food, weight, exercise and body image. Learning to connect to feelings and needs underneath the obsessions and compulsions will be examined. We will work to discover your authentic self that has been covered up and protected by your eating disorder. You will learn to experiment with intuitive eating, moderation, and letting go of black and white thinking. It is my goal to assist you to find more ways to empower yourself and your process of recovery. I believe in a collaborative team approach and depending on your individual needs, I may incorporate your family doctor and provide nutritional support service.

Are you having other issues and want to get help? As a Licensed Therapist and experience counselor I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. If you have any questions or would like to inquire about an appointment, visit my contact page.

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Life Transitions

Life Transitions

Therapy and Counseling for Transitions in Your Life

If you have experienced major changes in your life – such a losing a job or relationship, moving, or entering a new phase of life like retirement or “the empty nest” – stress is a near certainty, and quite normal. Whatever the degree or intensity of the event, every transition we experience has one thing in common. It forces us to make changes to our existing life. And with change, comes resistance. A major life transition literally closes one chapter of our life, and starts a new one, putting us in a new place and direction that we have not walked before. It is often a very difficult adjustment as we endure intense feelings of fear, doubt, and uncertainty.

Therapy can help you make changes in yourself to adjust to changes that are occurring in your life. There are times however, where change is the result of a major life transition and our ability to adapt to the new environment is beyond our skill level. Therapy offers individuals or families a process to work through what this life change means. Questions such as “How will I relate to people now that I am retired and am unemployed” or “What will I do now that my children have left home” are addressed and the answers worked into how the future is experienced and lived.

Often when faced with a change we look for ways to incorporate this into the life we are leading. In the case of a major life transition, therapy helps to determine how the life we are leading will adapt to this transitional shift. This can cause questions for people as to who they are and how they identify themselves. In the situation of children moving out of the family home, although you will always remain a parent, your immediate circle of influence has shifted. Making sure there are nutritious meals, that your children are home safe each night, and being there on a daily basis to encourage them has shifted. You may now be faced with a lot of idle time to fill, and the voids that are left may leave you feeling helpless, or unproductive. In therapy we work together to help identify these issues and the other adjustment issues as you move forward through the many life transitions that help to create the person that you are currently today.

Are you searching for a licensed therapist in Yorba Linda, CA? I can help! As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. Click to view all of my Individual Therapy services.

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Work and Career Issues

Work and Career Issues

Resolve Your Work and Career Related Issues

Work and career issues can cause a constant unsettling uneasiness. Your career is your identity – it shapes your life’s purpose, and when complications in your career can and do occur, as they often do, it can consume a person psychologically and make them question everything. Fear, anxiety, grumpiness, and an uneasy pressure in the stomach are symptoms that people commonly describe when dealing with career-related issues. Lack of sleep happens when the stress of work takes over, further aggravating the problem and making it even more difficult to perform focused work.

Many of us feel that success at our work is necessary – regardless of the cost. As a result, we sacrifice our health, relationships and social life just to advance our career. The situation can become worse if we cope with the stress of work in a way that harms us.

Having a therapist to discuss work or career related issues is a very healthy activity that will help you look at your career development objectively. Emotions like stress keep you locked into a reactive state that makes management of career and work issues even more difficult – and your productivity suffers as a result. Therapy provides a neutral space to think about what truly motivates and satisfies you, and, whether you are currently addressing these needs. The therapist will assist you in looking at the bigger picture and support you in attaining a healthy balance between the different competing needs in your life. By identifying any imbalances or negative patterns of behavior, you have the chance to appraise your situation and to think about how you can regain a sense of purposefulness or direction in your life.

Benefits of Therapy for Work and Career may include:

  • A regaining of purpose and motivation
  • A stronger sense of your own ability to adapt and change
  • Assertiveness techniques for achieving your goals
  • More satisfying relationships
  • A deeper sense of your values and core beliefs

Are you searching for a licensed therapist in Yorba Linda, CA? I can help! As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. Click to view all of my Individual Therapy services.

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Parenting Issues

Parenting Issues

Family Therapy Can Help Resolve Your Parenting Issues

It almost goes without saying that being a parent is one of the most rewarding and profound experiences one can have. Many parents find themselves challenged and stretched beyond their imaginations when it comes to their children. While parenting can be joyful, fun and rewarding, it can also be challenging, frustrating and trying.

I have a great deal of experience working with parents in various states of stress. I understand how deeply responsible parents feel, and how important it feels to “get it right.” In therapy, parents learn:

  • How their own upbringing affects what they each bring to their family
  • The difference between discipline and punishment
  • How to better understand misbehavior
  • How to impart empathy and self esteem to their child
  • How to embrace, appreciate, and incorporate differences in parenting styles
  • How to be effective advocates for their child in any type of institutional situation, educational, medical or legal
  • How to partner as parents to provide consistency and security for your kids
  • How to be an effective step-parent

I will assist you in better understanding your child’s personality and their perspective. This will help you see that your kid isn’t doing things or saying things just to drive you crazy.

Are you searching for a licensed therapist and experienced counselor serving the Yorba Linda, CA region? I can help you! As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist I work with individuals, couples and families who are searching for help and support with many different issues. Click to view all of my Family Therapy services.

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