Working with Individuals

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
Ernest Hemingway

Sometimes we need to talk to someone who is not a friend and not family, but someone who we feel comfortable with and who can help us get unstuck and live life more fully.  I know how painful it is to face difficult feelings and challenges alone.  You don’t have to.   A spirit of openness and connection is fundamental to my work with individuals.

I work with people with:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Anger issues

Together, we can create a supportive and safe place to address your concerns and ways of being in this world that are distressing to you.  In our work together, I hope to help you discover your strengths and ability to be self-compassionate, as well as helping you do more of what you’d like to do in your life.  You deserve to be happier.

If you’re interested to find out how self-compassionate you are, you can take this test by Kristen Neff of Self-Compassion.org here: http://www.self-compassion.org/test-your-self-compassion-level.html  (Test copyrighted by Kristin Neff Associate Professor of Human Development and Culture, Educational Psychology Department, University of Texas at Austin.)

Working with Couples, a specialty

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, your risk is even greater.”
Erica Jong

Couples, even happy ones, can sometimes face difficulty. Couples can find themselves in repetitive cycles that leave each person feeling more separate than together. In these situations, it is natural for some difficult feelings to appear.

Maybe you’re feeling…

  • like you just can’t communicate with your partner
  • like the conflict between the two of you keeps getting worse despite your best intentions
  • a loss of affection and intimacy between the two of you
  • like it is hard for you to trust your partner
  • criticized and judged; like no matter what you say or do it’s
    not the right thing
  • not cared for, or like you don’t really matter to your partner
  • like you’re avoiding your partner so as not to get into
    an argument
  • like your arguments go around and around and you don’t
    seem to get anywhere, but feel more discouraged

Sometimes these problems can feel insurmountable, but they’re not.

There is a road map to a better relationship. It comes out of an extensive body of research. This research helps us understand how couples get off course and how to guide partners back to a close, loving relationship, where each of you feels like the other person has your back.

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is a proven method for creating loving connections.  Research shows that 73% of couples going through EFT go from relationship distress to relationship health. In addition, relationships continue to improve after therapy ends. Here’s a link to learn more about EFT [www.iceeft.com]. Dr. Sue Johnson developed EFT in the 1980s. To hear Sue Johnson talk about the importance of having someone we can count on, click here: Susan Johnson on the urgency of attachment.

In our work, first we’ll understand what it’s like for each of you to be in this relationship and what is happening in the relationship that is keeping you both feeling stuck and separate from one another. Then, we’ll work together so that you both can feel more accepted and sure with one another.  The EFT approach teaches life’s problems are easier to solve when couples are feeling secure with each other.

And being in a happy relationship is healthy for you. Researchers have found that marital satisfaction has been linked to improved immune system functioning, better recovery from illness and injuries, and more effective management of stressful situations.

Most couples wait six years before seeking marriage counseling, according to John Gottman’s research. Sometimes couples wait too long, and the relationship ends in divorce. If you would like to strengthen your marriage and work with someone who has lots of training with a model with a documented success rate, then please give me a call. I believe in getting to the heart of the matter and will do my best for your relationship.

I am a Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist and Supervisor.
I have had – and continue to have – excellent and extensive training in EFT. In particular, I am grateful to my individual EFT supervisors, Rebecca Jorgensen and Yolanda von Hockauf.

P.S. I was interviewed for an article on EFT. Please click here if you are interested in reading it.

Animal Bereavement

When we lose a companion animal, we are often unprepared for the intense grief we experience. And often we must make end-of-life decisions for our animal friends. These times are very difficult and come with complex emotions.

Our companion animals are a part of our family. Our relationship with our dog, cat, horse, or other animal can be a source of love, comfort, and joy and provide a connection like none other. We can experience a unique love and respect with our companion animals and the mutual bond is complex and very intimate.

Grief is a natural response to loss. People can experience a wide-range of feelings, including: sadness, anxiety, anger, loneliness, guilt, relief, isolation, confusion, or numbness. People can also feel disorganized and tired. They can have trouble concentrating, changes in appetite, and vivid dreams. Sometimes, people’s sleep is affected.

Healing from the loss of a companion animal can be particularly difficult for several reasons, including:

  • It can be difficult to find people who truly understand how profound your loss is. Lots of people will sympathize when someone loses a human family member or friend, but not always when we are grieving the death of our companion animal. I remember crying with a neighbor whose dog had recently died. She told me how much she appreciated me recognizing that her loss was deep and profound. “It’s hard to share this with other people,” she said, “because they don’t understand; they think ’Oh, Smokey was just a dog.’”
  • Our connection with our companion animal was the only truly safe relationship we?ve ever experienced.
  • Our companion animal gave us unconditional love.
  • Our bereavement with losing our companion animal awakens other losses and fears.

You don’t have to go through this alone. When we’re in the middle of our grief, it’s hard to see that we will eventually feel better and integrate our loss into our life and heal.

When we are facing the loss of this special attachment, it is important we find social support, whether with friends, family, a pet bereavement group, or a therapist. I am an experienced professional who can relate and help in these most sad circumstances.

Contact me for a free 20 minute phone consultation and we can talk about how I might be of help to you.

I can be reached at 301-279-7779   or use my contact form

Get in touch.

I'm always happy to hear from people.
If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to make an appointment, you can call me at 301-279-7779, email me at BethLCounseling@aol.com, or use the form below.

I occasionally see clients using a video-chat platform called VSee. It is free to download and easy to use. Please ask me about that option, if you are interested.
Learn more.

6 + 12 =

About Beth

Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Over 15 years of experience • Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor • Member of The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work • Member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy • Member of Clinical Social Work Association • Member of National Association of Social Workers

© 2017 Beth Levine Site Design by Tim Kenney Marketing

Serving All of Maryland through teletherapy, including Rockville, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Potomac, Silver Spring
Phone: 301-279-7779
BethLCounseling@aol.com

Hours by appointment only

On Being: Lessons I Learn From Animals