Counseling Services & Approach
All of my counseling services are oriented around helping others grow in ways that will last. Some people come into counseling wanting a little extra help in achieving important goals (be they personal, relational or vocational), while others are more intensely in the pain of difficult patterns. Regardless of whether your distress is little or great I will be glad to walk with you in making sense of, and working through, whatever is getting in the way of you experiencing the degree of wellness you desire in your life.
Tailored to Your Personality
The counseling I provide is undergirded by my understanding of personality types (or temperaments). Each of us is unique, and my desire for each of my clients is to help them become more fully who they are meant to be. So with each client, whether they feel intensely stuck or are just wanting a little extra coaching on their journey, I use my knowledge of the differing strengths and weaknesses of each personality type to help them learn how to better capitalize on their strengths, and to better manage (and have compassion for) their weaknesses.
Relationally Safe to Help You Understand Yourself
Safe relationships are the soil in which growth and healing can flourish. It is only as we learn how to experience greater relational safety that we can dare to face the things that are blocking our growth. In my work with both individuals and couples I take great care to know and understand each person and to tune in to those places where they have been wounded in the past and thus feel unsafe in the present. I find that the wounded parts of each of us want to experience healing and growth by being known, understood and valued. But those parts need time in a safe place in order to feel comfortable “venturing into the light.” I gently invite the places of stuckness and wounding in each person to teach me (and them) about what is needed in order for them to become unstuck and to experience the growth that they desire.
A Christian Perspective Characterized by Compassion & Hope
Change is hard. Our brokenness runs deeper in us than we wish, but so does our capacity for growth and change. It can be easy to ignore one or the other (or both) of these, and sometimes we can swing between extremes of each (e.g., hopeless despair versus blind optimism). It can be difficult to maintain a healthy balance. My Christian perspective gives me a helpful frame for grappling with and understanding this tension: It gives me great compassion for how challenging it can be to grow and change, and it also gives me great hope for each person’s innate ability to change.
For those that are interested (regardless of their spiritual background) I am also able to help them make sense of, and better integrate, spiritual aspects of their life. In places where we differ I am still happy to help others work through things in the context of their belief system—I love finding areas of common ground, even in the midst of differing perspectives. I am glad to work with clients from all faith and non-faith backgrounds, and the discussion of spiritual topics is always at the discretion of each client.
Learn more about the Compassionate & Hopeful Christian Counseling I offer.
A Neurobiological Foundation for Understanding How You Grow
Neurobiology is the science of the brain, and our brain (both our thoughts and especially our emotions) drives our experiences of life and other people. Our brain loves to make and follow patterns—especially in relationships (and this affects us even when we are not actively relating with someone). This dynamic can work in wonderful ways in places where we have experienced positive things (e.g., feeling the comfort of a good friend or family member even when we are apart from them). But it also plays a large role in recurring discomfort and pain in places where we have previously been wounded. I use my understanding of how the brain forms patterns to help clients create new patterns in places where they are currently experiencing pain and/or blocks to their growth.
Tuning in to the Body to Heal the Mind
Hurtful thought and emotional patterns do not just reside in the brain, but in fact are experienced throughout our body. Perhaps you have noticed that your stomach feels ill after a stressful situation, or that your chest or shoulders feel tense or tight after a difficult day? Our body is often trying to tell us important things about how we are feeling and what we are needing, but we must learn how to hear the wisdom of the body. I teach clients how to tune in to this inner wisdom of the body, and how to begin interacting with their body more consciously as a way of helping their thoughts and emotions to heal.
My understanding of the brain and the body is instrumental in the types of emotional and mental muscles that I help clients build (i.e., forming new patterns in their brain):
- Working on the roots of struggles (as opposed to just addressing surface symptoms)
- Making changes that will last long term
- Gaining better understanding of the natural cycles of learning and growing (to better encourage yourself during hard stages of growth)
- Learning how to take more ownership of your growth journey
We all need guides during periods of our life but equally so we need to learn how to guide ourselves. One of my goals for each person I work with is to help them learn how to foster their own growth. The more that I can help you to understand and own the particulars of how you grow, the more that will empower you to be yourself and to pursue a life that is meaningful to you.
Other Pages in this Section
- Counseling Topics: Explore a list of common counseling topics.
- Distance Counseling: Learn how technology facilitates the counseling experience even if you are not able to travel to my office.
- Counseling for Counselors: Everyone needs help sometimes, even therapists.
- Teaching & Public Speaking: Learn about how I help others understand and engage complex and important life topics.
- Associates of Transitions: Meet my colleagues who also provide services here in the Transitions office.
Quotes About Sean: “Sean’s focus on personality types helps his clients to make meaning of a wide variety of individual and relational issues, and it adds a dimension to his work that is unique to the Shenandoah Valley.”
Learn more about me, view some of my blog posts and videos, and explore some of the common counseling topics I help clients with. When you are ready, check my Schedule and request a half-price trial session.