Avalon Psychotherapy Associates, LLC
Empowering You From the Inside Out
You Deserve A Great Therapist
Looking for a therapist is brave.
Finding the right therapist is important.
The kind of training your therapist has is important. But, it is the relationship that matters most. If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s not therapeutic.
We encourage you to look around and to ask questions.
Be honest about what you fear, what you hope for, and what you need when you are looking for a therapist.
We think we’re pretty great.
We want you to be with a therapist who is great for you.
You may be feeling lost, disappointed or heartbroken. You may struggle with feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Depression may darken your days.
You have never tried therapy and you are not sure what to expect.
You have been to therapy many times before and you are wondering if this time will be different.
You are wondering if it can get better.
We are passionate about working closely with individuals, couples, polycules and groups to create therapeutic experiences that heal and transform.
Our therapists work with body and mind. This allows for deeper healing and transformation. Our approach is brain-based, holistic, and non-pathologizing.
Group experiences offer powerful opportunities for healing. Through deep experiences of belonging, shame resolution, and skills development, our support groups provide members with welcome relief and resolution.
Who We Serve
We welcome all genders ages 16 and older.
Many people who call us say they are frequently overwhelmed with worry or may be feeling down and sad more than they would like.
Others come to us because there has been a change, such as a relationship loss, job change, or move.
Some are struggling with parenting. Others with body image and eating issues.
Some identify as LGBTQ+ and want to thrive.
Some fear that their relationships, identity, or experiences won’t be understood, or worse, judged or pathologized.
Many are seeking an alternative to traditional talk therapy.
Wherever you are on your journey, give us a call. Let’s talk about how we can help.
How Can Therapy Help Me?
If you’ve never had therapy before, it can be hard to reach out. Many new clients want to know what to expect.
Will it be like on tv or in the movies? (Kinda yes and kinda no.)
What if I don’t know what to talk about? (Don’t worry about it. We’ve got you. Our job is ask questions.)
How will it feel to open up to a stranger? (It may feel strange at first, but we’re pretty nice and great to talk to. Plus, you don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. Really)
Will it really be different than talking to a friend? (Yes. Friends and family are emotionally invested in ways that serve you…and them. Therapists are emotionally invested in serving you. We are trained to help in ways that friends and family are not.)
Therapy is a place where you get time and space to talk and be heard. Therapists are kindly “in your corner.” In therapist speak, we call this “positive, unconditional regard,” which is a not-warm-and-fuzzy way of saying, we like you and are rooting for you, no matter what. This is often the most therapeutic thing.
However, we also have a cool toolbox of ways of helping you heal and shift and grow and become that can help you feel empowered to help yourself and also transform how you experience your world.
All you gotta do is come in and make yourself comfortable.
We’ll work together to find out what you need and how we can help you get to where you want to go!
How Can Therapy Help Me (This Time)?
Many people who come in to Avalon have had previous experiences with psychotherapy.
Some have had great experiences, but can’t return to their old therapist for one reason or another.
Others have had disappointing or painful experiences, but still feel they would be helped by talking with a mental health professional.
Here at Avalon, we strive to provide a different kind of therapy.
We believe that just having a place to talk is really important.
But, most people want more than that.
We believe in therapy that is educational – you should get to know how your brain and body work to create your experience.
We believe therapy should include skills – you should get skills that you can use outside of the office to help you cope effectively.
We believe that therapy should be experiential – you should have experiences in therapy that get beyond what you think and say to how you feel.
Brain science has come a long way over the past 30 years.
There is still much that we don’t know.
But we DO know some really cool stuff that matters in the therapy room.
Give us a call, and we can tell you all about it!
We offer therapy that is trauma-informed - what does that mean?
Many people seeking therapy do not think they have experienced “trauma.” Many, in fact, may not have experienced trauma in the way we commonly talk about traumatic experiences, such as having been to war, experiencing a natural disaster, or other types of violence.
However, brain research has come a long way over the past 30 years. We know today that trauma, or “adverse experiences,” affect our neurobiology – or the way our brain and nervous system functions.
What are “adverse experiences?”
An adverse experience is any experience that overwhelms the brain and nervous system’s ability to take it in, process it, and move on.
When we experience this type of system-overwhelm, the brain and nervous system can get “stuck in a loop” that make it hard to “get over” whatever it is that happened.
This “stuckness” shows up in a variety of what we call mental health symptoms including anxiety, depression, sleep problems, anger issues, insecurity/low self-esteem, eating disorders/addiction/compulsion behaviors, relationship difficulties, and other concerns.
How does therapy help?
Trauma-informed therapy means that your therapist has at a minimum a basic understanding of the neurobiology of trauma and how it shows up as common experiences in the lives of people seeking therapy.
Here at Avalon Psychotherapy Associates, LLC, our therapists are trained in this area and offer psychotherapy that is focused on healing both event-based trauma (car accident, medical event, assault/sexual assault) and relational trauma (wounds from imperfect relationships with parents and other important caregivers in childhood).
Karen Helfrich, LCSW-C provides Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Amy Kirby, LMSW , Alyson Mullie, LMSW, and Stephanie Schuster, LMSW provide trauma-informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. With Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, we are able to help clients access their brain’s natural inclination to heal traumatic experiences in order to minimize or even experience freedom from prior symptoms.