As a therapist, Judith Hanna provides a safe environment for discovery and growth. She works collaboratively with clients to identify and resolve the issues that impact daily living. Her style of therapy is process-oriented and relational. Ms. Hanna has a wide range of experience with a diverse population, with special focus on ethnic diversity, family therapy, and spirituality. Therapy is client-centered and strength-based. Clinical theories which inform her practice include: Jungian psychotherapy, psycho-social/developmental, object relations, self-psychology, and systems theory.
As a therapist the utilization of both action-oriented and future-directed therapies, as well as insight-oriented styles such as psychodynamic therapy are employed. This therapy style endeavors to help you develop insight into your unconscious feelings. With the use of dream interpretation and the collective unconscious, along with archetypal images and mythology the therapist and client collaboratively work to uncover, explore and become more connected to one’s authentic self. Psychodynamic therapy recognizes that people can also benefit from exploring early life experiences and past memories and that defense mechanisms such as denial, repression and rationalization can keep you stuck in maladaptive ways of being.
It is believed that thoughts about being stuck or trapped in one’s life can sometimes feel so overwhelming that taking any action might seem impossible. Therapy around these issues involves helping you be better able to keep your big picture, long-term goals in mind while simultaneously scaling back those goals into smaller, more manageable sub-goals comprised of specific, tangible steps. We will help you to continually check your progress towards both the sub-goals and the larger goals. You will learn that adjusting your plan is not a sign of lack of progress, but rather, a necessary and healthy part of forward movement. You will learn to recognize what things you have control over–and therefore can impact–versus what things are out of your control and therefore not worthy of ruminating on. You will learn to maximize your decisions and your actions based on what your reserves of energy are and you will actively test the theory that small steps can motivate larger change.
The first steps in managing issues such as depression or anxiety involve learning to categorize your thoughts based on what they are: thoughts. You will learn to recognize common depressive themes in your thinking, such as negative self-perception, pessimism, powerlessness, negative bias and demandingness. You will learn to develop a thorough awareness of your anxiety and to increase your tolerance for uncertainty. You will have the opportunity for practicing alternative thoughts and goals, both in the safety of the counseling environment and in your daily life. We also recognize that some people benefit tremendously from medication management and we will help you determine if and when medication may be an appropriate part of your treatment plan.
People often bring to their current relationships all of their past baggage (both real and perceived) and generally over-personalize their loved one’s behaviors based on that past baggage. Therapy around interpersonal relationship issues starts with identifying what you are actually reacting to–the present, or the past–and learning to work through your personalization tendencies. You will learn to recognize distortions of thought so that you become skilled in acknowledging the early warning signs that those distortions are at risk of occurring. You will learn to improve your communication skills. You will learn to base your actions on your assertive rights, while allowing your loved one access to those same rights. You will learn to thoroughly enjoy your experience with your loved one in the moment, rather than living in the past. If you are attending couples counseling you will have the opportunity for practicing your newly learned skills with you partner in the context of your relationship, treating each other as effective collaborators rather than critical opponents.