Discovering Your Strengths

For those challenged by the complexities of life with issues such as anxiety, depression, grief, parenting issues, teen issues, or the challenges specific to young adults in our global society, a holistic, mind/body therapeutic approach can be found at Guidance & Growth.  With life’s challenges, it is easy to become bogged down by information and conflicting emotions that leave us feeling overwhelmed. In the midst of our challenges, clear communication can become a tangled mess to unravel. Taking time for yourself with Guidance and Growth gives you the opportunity to view your current challenges with clarity, and relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing. Together we will identify and build upon the strengths within-the ones that were there all along.  Discover your strengths as Guidance leads to Growth!

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With many years experience working as a professional counselor in schools around the globe, my passion is in providing services to children, teens and families--especially young adults. My approach integrates up-to-date therapeutic methods in combination with the type of wisdom gained only from experience. Since 1995 I have been licensed to provide Counseling in the state of Texas, and still work in this capacity with residents of that state. In 2020 I formed Guidance & Growth to meet the needs of those responding to stress and trauma by providing coaching services. I truly believe that growth and healing is found within the relationship between therapist/coach and client whether the relationship is of a counseling or coaching nature.  The difference between the two services is that counseling may be more long term and address specific mental health (DSM) diagnoses.  Coaching may be more informal and can be shorter term.  Both have specific treatment goals and methodologies.

 

I love to continually learn new things that add knowledge and tools to my practice. Currently I am studying PsychoNeuroEnergetics, and previously received training in Somatic Experiencing; both these are body-based therapeutic methods. I work under the assumption that all humans have an innate drive to thrive in life and that healing is often a process of unlearning destructive patterns. I validate all expressions of culture, religion and spiritual pursuits and can respectfully work within a wide range of belief systems.  Proffesional Memerships are with The American Counseling Association (ACA), The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Issues In Counseling (ALGBTIC) and Nederlandse Orde van Beroepscoaches (NOBCO). I will work with you as an individual to provide the Guidance that leads to your Growth.

 

CONTACT

The first session is free, Contact me for an intake appointment debracantrellcounselor@gmail.com

I am available for onilne sessions and hold “walk and talk” sessions with children and teens in the Den Haag/Wassenaar/Leiden area, or visit me in my home office….

Navigating the day to day while juggling emotional challenges can be overwhelming. Seeking help takes courage and shows your commitment to finding a better life for you and for those that you care about.  You deserve the best! Discover your strengths and they will carry you beyond the challenges you face.

Addressing All Ages

Young Children (age 3-5)

Middle Childhood (age 6-10)

Teen and “Tween” (age 11-17)

Adults

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Young Children

Age 3-5

The developing child can be a mystery at times as their developmental stages seem to simultaneously take forever to get around while at the same time slip away far too quickly. One certainty however, is that our responses to the needs of young children must evolve as they grow, and even as they regress-only to grow again!  My work with young children is play-based, as play is the language with which they most readily find expression. The great thing about this way of working is that it can be fun for both the therapist and the young child alike, as the child learns, names, explores, and eventually manages emotions. A key factor in the therapeutic process is guiding the child to discover appropriate ways to express their emotions; thus leading them to a greater sense of autonomy while keeping safe and strong bonds with the caring adults in their life.

For Parents:

Children at this stage benefit from sessions with the parent’s presence during a portion of the time coupled with private time with the therapist. Communication between the therapist and parent is an important aspect that provides a platform to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment, and the adaptation of responding strategies employed both by the therapist and parent.

Middle Childhood

Age 6-10

The therapeutic process for middle childhood is similar to that of early childhood as it also benefits from a play based approach.  Additionally, educational tools are helpful for this stage to foster the discovery of self awareness as the child in this stage becomes less ego centered and grows in their awareness of their impact upon others. At this stage, children often respond well to casual interactions with the therapist that may include a walk outside, a ball-toss game or other physical activities.

 

For Parents:

Children at this stage benefit from sessions with the parent’s presence during a portion of the time coupled with private time with the therapist. Communication between the therapist and parent is an important aspect that provides a platform to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment, and the adaptation of responding strategies employed both by the therapist and parent.

Teen & Tween

Age 11-17

The complexities associated with teen and pre-teen development are as challenging now as they have been through the ages, if not more so.  As the world changes, what we know of as the “communication gap” between teens and their parents have also morphed into areas that can be daunting, even to the most seasoned parent. My experience with teens and tweens informs my idea that growth and healing from mal-adaptive patterns of behavior and expression can happen within a trusting relationship with a safe adult outside of the family. Therapy for teens can be ineffective without a strong positive relationship with the therapist, with trust being the foundation to which the relationship hinges on. I have had the privilege to spend many years of experience in building these types of relationships, and I learn something new in each interaction with my teen clients.

 

For Parents:

The role of the parent is integral in the treatment of tweens and teens, however the presence of the parent during therapy can be minimal. However, communication between the therapist and parent is an important aspect of treatment, especially regarding communication styles as this alone is a common troublesome aspect in parent/teen relations. As teens and tweens strive to find autonomous and individual expressions, interventions outside the family can literally be life saving when employed skillfully.

Adults

All ages

In every life stage, challenges can arise, and when they do, support from an empathetic and experienced therapist is a valuable tool for growth and discovery.  Healing is often the unlearning of patterns.  With the perspective that therapy provides, difficulties can be reframed as defining catalysts that lead to deeper connections with ourselves and others as we experience life.  I have an affinity for experiences unique to those in young adulthood due to the great challenges facing this generation and feel compelled to reach out specifically to this population with Somatic, Body-Based and Holistic Therapy Methods.

 
 
 
 

Somatic Therapy

With a background in dance and yoga, I  find myself drawn to the use of therapeutic techniques based upon a whole body approach. In the use of play therapy and physical movement in play with children, and in my own exploration in the use of  dance and yoga as a means to work through challenging issues to foster personal growth, I have sought training in body-based, somatic modalities. The first is Somatic Experiencing (SE) based upon the work of Peter Levine, of which I have been trained to the Intermediate Level.  The second is Psycho Neuro Energetics (PNE), and is the work of Judith Boggs. I am currently in training to become a PNE provider in order to compliment my counseling practice. 

Both these modalities address the physiology of the body’s response to trauma with regard to the Autonomic Nervous System which regulates all the basic functions of our bodies, including the response to stress.  Additionally, SE and PNE work under the tenant that unprocessed emotions from our past seem to “live” in the body and become triggered when we experience a past emotional experience in the present.

This then activates the autonomic nervous system, activating a trauma/stress response of “fight, flight or freeze.”  The bodily reaction to this is that we may find ourselves being hijacked by emotions and sensations that disable logical, rational thoughts, causing our responses to become knee-jerk reactions that lead to escalating emotional states like anxiety--or the opposite--which is to shut down, and this can manifest as depression. Since this problem is body-based, the solution is also body-based with SE and PNE, as they make use of bodily sensations to reset the nervous system which results in a return to calm, rational thinking. Body based therapy can address not only present trauma, but also problematic patterns we may have employed since childhood. Additionally, these modalities can address the mal-adaptive patterns that seem to be genetic and/or biological in nature, as well as the inter-generational wounding that can be seen as a repeating pattern throughout a family structure.

 

Reiki

Holistic treatment methods take into account the person as a whole by addressing many areas of functioning rather than treating one area at a time. Physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual aspects combine to make up the whole of the human experience, thus are considered in holistic treatments as well. As a holistic modality, I offer Reiki, as it addresses the body, mind and spirit of an individual. While living and working in China I studied to become a Reiki Master with Sera Shivnan, the developer of ShivEnergetics Reiki Academy and ShivEnergetics Energy System. Reiki is the most widely spread energy healing art in the world today.  It includes gentle touch to move energy through the body creating space where there are blockages or stagnation. This modality helps to ease anxiety, pain, tension and is known to assist in self-healing. This methodology is available for interested clients and is a separate aspect of the traditional counseling provided at Guidance and Growth. It can be especially helpful when talking, and/or processing emotions seems too overwhelming during certain circumstances.

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