On any given day at Harmony you can witness life’s challenges and know that a compassionate soul is there to help along the path of healing. The mental health professionals are part of a team at Harmony and work with clients in a way that combines the natural beauty of our campus with the intrinsic values of each client.
To further explain how we know being in nature can help heal, I’d like to share a study out of Stanford University which suggests that time spent in natural settings may improve brain health.
“As more and more of us live in cities, we spend less time in natural settings, including parks. Studies also show that people in urban settings without access to green spaces have higher levels of psychological problems than those with access to green spaces. Is there a definitive connection between time spent in green spaces and mental health? The answer is yes. In a series of two studies, Stanford researchers believe there is a connection between time spent in green spaces and a decrease in “morbid rumination,” what is more commonly thought of as brooding over the negative aspects of our lives.”
“This study investigated the impact of nature experience on affect and cognition. We randomly assigned sixty participants to a 50-min walk in either a natural or an urban environment in and around Stanford, California. Before and after their walk, participants completed a series of psychological assessments of affective and cognitive functioning. Compared to the urban walk, the nature walk resulted in affective benefits (decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and preservation of positive affect) as well as cognitive benefits (increased working memory performance). This study extends previous research by demonstrating additional benefits of nature experience on affect and cognition through assessments of anxiety, rumination, and a complex measure of working memory (operation span task). These findings further our understanding of the influence of relatively brief nature experiences on affect and cognition, and help to lay the foundation for future research on the mechanisms underlying these effects.”
The study further asks, what does this mean for everyone?
1. “Spend Time in Natural Settings – What can it hurt to take a daily walk in the park or spend time sitting on your back porch looking at the creek (if you’re lucky enough to have that situation)? Take your lunch to a natural setting and spend vacation time at least partially in the outdoors. Doing so will immediately improve your mental health.
2. Move – Movement is good for us. No doctor in the world says that it’s healthy to sit at home and do nothing. But instead of going to the gym, find a nature trail to hike or bike, golf, or take a stroll in the green belt. Even if you don’t get your heart rate up to aerobic activity levels, you’ll still mentally benefit from the movement.”
The healing journey for a client at Harmony can include a client expressing their emotions in a calmly lit room, moving forward on a walk to the river at Rocky Mountain National Park or learning a really cool coping skill. One of many examples of coping skills taught to clients is called 5,4,3,2,1 where one is taught to evoke all five senses. This is a great coping skill where a client is taught to tap into all 5 senses within as a viable resource. Another experience often happening at Harmony is witnessing clients as well as staff simply spending time with Cooper, our therapy dog.
As a mental health provider at Harmony, I have noticed clients seemingly more calm during sessions when we are taking a walk together in nature. I believe they appreciate the fact we are walking and talking side by side as opposed to sitting across from one another. Clients have stated, “Wow, this is better than sitting in an office, this is a nice place to get treatment.”
Since Harmony offers outings each week at an indoor climbing gym or hike in the park, depending on the weather, clients are able to take advantage of the natural beauty and the healing attributes of moving Harmony has to offer.
Harmony is a special place that helps client’s feel safe, accepted and cared about. For some on their path of healing it is a beginning, for others it is a renewal; for all whose path includes a stay at Harmony, it is a step toward healing in the arms of nature’s embrace.
Kelly Baker, MA, LAC, LPC, NCC
Mental Health Professional, Harmony Foundation, Inc.
by Dr. Annie Peters: Harmony Foundation’s Chief Clinical Officer
Harmony has been helping people who are struggling with addiction to find recovery since 1969. While Harmony is well-known in Colorado for providing clients and families with support and quality services for many decades, reputation means little without demonstrating that people do, in fact, get better.
Defining what recovery is, and demonstrating that people who use Harmony’s services begin finding recovery, are essential components to the provision of ethical and effective care. Harmony’s mission is to provide the foundation for recovery from the diseases of drug and alcohol addiction. If clients leave treatment and begin re-developing lives of purpose, satisfaction, and rewarding relationships, we know we have helped to provide the foundation for a journey toward wellness.
Harmony contracts with an external research organization, OMNI Institute, to examine treatment outcomes regarding substance use, psychological well-being, and improvement in life satisfaction.
Data collection for the most recent outcomes study performed by OMNI began in March 2015, and the study was finalized in 2017. One hundred and forty eight (148) Harmony clients were assessed upon admission, at discharge, and at 1, 6, and 12 months post-discharge. The percentage of clients who responded at these time points were, respectively, 100%, 94%, 63%, 61%, and 64%. While results cannot be generalized to clients who were unable to be reached for follow up, a number of statistically significant findings can be reported and provide valuable information about the effectiveness of care provided at Harmony.
Understanding the people we serve helps us provide the highest quality of care by tailoring treatment interventions to the specific needs of our clients. In this study, the average age of clients was 38, with a range from 18-65. Sixty-four percent (64%) of clients identified as male, and 36% identified as female. All clients were asked to identify their “primary drug.” The majority of clients (74%) identified this as alcohol, followed by heroin (10%), methamphetamine (6%), other opiates/painkillers (5%), and marijuana (3%).
Clients under the age of 25 typically used more substances – the average number was four. The primary drug differed by age as well; clients under 25 identified heroin or alcohol (38% for each), followed by marijuana (13%).
REASONS FOR DRUG/ALCOHOL USE
Clients were asked about the reasons they used alcohol and drugs, and their responses help us understand how to help people better. Many clients (30%) said they used substances for “self-medication” or emotional pain/mental illness (28%). Other common answers were using for pleasure (22%), to escape reality (15%), habit (13%), or pain (5%).
PREVIOUS TREATMENT AND REASONS FOR SEEKING TREATMENT
About a third of clients had been to a detox treatment before, and about a third reported a prior treatment for substance use. Another third reported never having any treatment for drug or alcohol use.
About half of clients surveyed reported a prior diagnosis of a mental health disorder, with the most common diagnoses being depression (37%), anxiety (25%), ADHD (11%), PTSD (7%), and bipolar disorder (6%).
Most clients said that coming to treatment was a personal decision (71%). Other common reasons given for seeking treatment were a family situation, health reasons, a legal situation, or a job-related reason.
POST TREATMENT OUTCOMES
After leaving Harmony, clients were asked at 1, 6, and 12 months about their drug and alcohol use. They were asked whether they had been continuously abstinent from drugs/alcohol since discharge, and they were also asked if they had been clean/sober for the previous 30 days. As can be seen in the table below, over half of clients at one year post-discharge had been continuously abstinent since coming to Harmony, and 71% of them had been abstinent for the past 30 days.
Follow-up %Abstinent for %Continuously Abstinent
Time Past 30 Days since Discharge
1-month 77% (n=88) 68% (n=91)
6-month 64% (n=90) 57% (n=91)
12-month 71% (n=90) 54% (n=95)
Abstinence since treatment is not the only outcome that demonstrates that clients are recovering and have improved their lives. In this study, we also wanted to determine how quality of life had improved for people who had come to Harmony. So all those surveyed were asked questions about relationships with family and friends, physical/emotional health, and other factors. Clients reported significant improvements over time in their family relationships, friendships, spiritual connection, physical health, emotional health. They also reported significant positive changes in their ability to handle finances and handling problems or conflicts, as well as improvements in self-respect. There were also significant reductions in arrests and other legal problems post-discharge, as well as improvements in employment status.
Because so many of our clients have co-occurring mental health issues, we also asked questions about symptoms of anxiety and depression. There were statistically significant reductions in symptoms such as hopelessness, fatigue, nervousness, restlessness, sadness, and feelings of worthlessness.
WHAT PREDICTS ABSTINENCE
In order to continuously improve Harmony’s services, we wanted to determine if there were factors that were associated with post-treatment abstinence. For example, do older clients have better abstinence rates than younger clients? Is primary drug related to abstinence rates, such that clients who primarily used alcohol do better than clients who primarily used heroin?
Interestingly, the only variable that predicted abstinence was the reduction in mental health symptoms during treatment. In other words, the more clients’ symptoms of depression and anxiety decreased during their time at Harmony, the more likely they were to remain abstinent after leaving treatment.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE
One of the most compelling and recurrent themes in this study was the importance of mental health care and support. As mentioned above, self-medication of emotional pain and mental health issues were primary reasons clients reported for using drugs and alcohol. Half of our clients had co-occurring mental health diagnoses. And the single best predictor of post-treatment abstinence was the reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety that clients reported during their treatment at Harmony. For the past few years, Harmony has worked to improve the quantity and quality of support provided for mental health issues. We have added mindfulness groups, a trauma coping skills group, and education groups on a variety of mental health topics. Clients can receive both addiction-specific counseling at Harmony and counseling specific to psychological issues. Given the results of this study, Harmony plans to continue enhancing the services provided to help people recover not just from chemical use, but from underlying emotional issues that can increase risk for relapse.
While the results of this study show that Harmony clients do, overall, have improved lives and decreased drug and alcohol use, we want to help more individuals and more families to recover, with more significant reductions in substance problems and more improvement in life functioning. Harmony is committed to continuous improvement in our services to provide even better care and help more people find their way to recovery. Studies such as this one remind us why this work is so important and why we need to always examine ourselves and find areas for improvement.
At the end of each survey, clients were asked if they had any feedback about the Harmony experience. Common answers were that they appreciated the support provided by staff as well as the community they built with the other clients. While data can provide us with important feedback on who we serve and how we can continually do better at helping people find recovery, it is these comments that remind us why we do what we do at Harmony:
“I have come to better understand myself, my need to use, and what I am struggling with so that I won’t need to turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with my problems.”
“I’m really grateful to Harmony…it helped me a lot… I was in really bad shape. If I would have went somewhere else, I probably wouldn’t still be clean.”
“The staff here was absolutely amazing and seemed to truly care about me and my recovery. They were instrumental to my time here and truly helped me recognize qualities and worth in myself that make my sobriety worth fighting for.”
YMCA of the Rockies, located near the town of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, is an ideal vacation, reunion, wedding and conference destination. Come visit and be inspired by our surroundings!
by Lana Isaacson, LCSW, CAC III, Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, PACT Level I
Codependency is one of the most confused and contested words in the couples therapy field today. There could even be a debate between couples therapists and addiction counselors on whether or not codependency (and even the cartoon above!) is healthy or unhealthy.
Addiction counselors would likely say that codependency originates in childhood and manifests as an unhealthy relationship with oneself and a dysfunctional interpersonal pattern in adulthood between the codependent and his/her partner, children, and others that involves controlling, excessive caretaking, and enmeshment. Codependency and enabling are often used synonymously to refer to the dynamic between a partner with an addiction and the codependent who “loves him/her to death” through enabling. Addiction counselors might also contend that any level of dependency or too much “connection” to one’s intimate partner is unhealthy and recommend that individuals in recovery wait at least one year before beginning an intimate relationship.
On the other hand, couples therapists are more likely to conclude that codependency stems from the couples’ current dynamic, which includes one partner displaying an avoidant attachment style, which influences the other partner to feel tremendous anxiety and want to cling to her/his partner, and appear as codependent. These therapists might also underscore how partner’s emotional dependence on one another is a normal human need, and therefore should not be shamed. Or, couples therapists might elevate a codependent relationship as the ideal because they attest that partners are more resilient when they have a “secure base” or emotional anchor and will possibly point to the 2006 MRI study by Dr. James Coan that demonstrated how partners can regulate each other’s psychological and emotional well-being. Finally, some couples therapists, especially those who subscribe to attachment theory, might deny that codependency exists as in Amir Levine, MD and Rachel Heller’s well-respected book, Attached, in which they assert that “codependency is a myth”.
As with couples in therapy, often the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Because I am both an addictions counselor and couples and family therapist, it seems to me that this argument is a semantic one and that codependency means very different things to both professionals. In order to best serve our clients, it is important to distinguish the difference between codependency and interdependency or a secure attachment.
First, what is codependency?
This answer can greatly differ based on the source. I will share a definition by marriage and family therapist, Beverly Berg, PhD who wrote Loving someone in recovery; The answers you need when your partner is recovering from addiction.
“Codependency is an emotional and psychological state in which one is excessively preoccupied with taking care of or controlling another person at the expense of one’s own needs… The codependent’s excessive focus on caretaking does not only occur with his or her primary partner; it can also apply to work relationships, friendships, and relationships with extended family. People with codependency have a hard time leaving relationships that are abusive or depriving, tend to stay in jobs that are stressful, and are prone to ignoring their medical needs. Because of their high tolerance for denying their own needs, codependents tend to wait until they have experienced serious consequences before seeking a path of recovery” (2014).
Internally, codependents tend to struggle with thoughts of not feeling good enough, excessive worry about what other people think of them, and constant waiting for disaster or the other shoe to drop. They may perceive neutral or even positive situations as negative. I know some very “high functioning” codependent people who (similar to some addicts prior to recovery) may look great on the outside, but are internally suffering. Fortunately, treatment/help for codependency addresses both one’s internal and external world.
Lastly, codependency affects people from all walks of life- both men and women, addicts and non-addicts, and should not be assigned to every partner of an addict. To see if you or someone else meets the criteria for codependency, one assessment can be found on The Bridge to Recovery’s website (an outstanding treatment program for codependency)
Second, how does codependency develop & manifest in adult relationships?
Stan Tatkin, PsyD, creator of PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy), which incorporates attachment theory, neuroscience/arousal regulation, and experiential therapy, explains the origins of codependency in the foreword for Berg’s book. Tatkin’s former supervisor was John Bradshaw (the latter was a leader in the addiction and codependency treatment field).
“[…] Codependent men and women tend to bond in love relationships in a way that makes them both angry and resistant…because during their childhood, at least one of their important caregivers was preoccupied as a result of feeling overwhelmed, unsupported, and unloved by his or her own parents” [or spouse]. Preoccupied caregivers tend to alternately reward their children for depending on and supporting them, and rejecting, punishing, or abandoning them. This inconsistency tends to make the children angry as well as suspicious of and resistant to affectionate approaches from the caregiver [and later spouse] (2014)”.
“[…] Fast forward to adult relationships with a partner preoccupied with addiction [a mental health condition, or something/someone else] and you find a familiar situation. Your partner knows how to feel good without you [or is unaware of your needs], but you need your partner to be present, loving, and caring to feel good. Even though you feel ignored, abandoned, and alone, you STAY in the situation. Why? Because you are insecure and fear abandonment” (2014). And of course, many partners would also say, “because I LOVE him/her.”
Third, what do different attachment styles look like in children and adults?
Tatkin’s (2016) work draws from researchers who discovered that children and adults typically have one of three distinct attachment styles: secure, avoidant, or anxious (codependent). There is also a small portion of adults who have a disorganized attachment style due to severe unresolved trauma. Adult’s attachment (or “relationship”) styles are primarily influenced by the attachment relationship they had with their primary caregivers when they were children and secondarily by one’s intimate relationship history.
In a nutshell:
Children who felt their parents would respond consistently and appropriately when they called out for help or reached out for emotional comfort tended to develop a secure attachment style as adults. As adults, these securely attached folks find it relatively easy to get close to an intimate partner and are comfortable depending on their partner and having the partner depend on them. These relationships are mutually reciprocal. These partners have each others’ backs!
Children who felt their parents minimized, scolded or ignored their emotional needs or did not know how to appropriately emotionally comfort them tended to develop an insecure/avoidant attachment style as adults. As adults, they have disowned their emotional needs and thus struggle to identify what they need from their partner or over rely on themselves for comfort, and do not know how to adequately meet their partner’s emotional intimacy needs.
Children who felt their parents inconsistently responded (sometimes expert soothers and very loving and other times overwhelmed and either ignored the child, got angry, or guilt-tripped the child) when they called out for help or comfort tended to develop an insecure/anxious (codependent) style as adults. As adults, they worry that their partner does not really love them, won’t want to stay with them, or cannot meet their emotional intimacy needs.
The GOAL- A Secure Attachment Style!
Tatkin’s (2013) description of a “secure functioning relationship” is his unique terminology for a secure attachment:
“We have each other’s backs. We soothe each other’s distress and amplify each other’s joy. We protect each other in public and in private. We have each other’s “owner’s manual” and thus are experts on one another. We are as good at our partner as we are at our job! Our relationship is based on true mutuality.” We work on our own recovery and support each other’s recovery.
Fourth, how does an avoidant attachment style affect partners?
Although avoidantly attached partners and relationships are not nearly as vilified as codependents, they are of equal concern because they evoke in their partner a deep loneliness, often feelings of betrayal (when they seem preoccupied with their work, their family of origin, or other people or activities, including their alone time) and emotional deprivation. Perhaps the lack of widespread concern about avoidance is that our American culture places independence and stoicism above collaboration and vulnerability as well.
Yet, what I see as a couples therapist is as many or more relationships suffering when partners balk at mutually making it their sacred responsibility to put their partner’s emotional well-being first. Although this blog focuses more on codependency in intimate relationships, I have included resources at the end that can help folks interested in healing from and transforming their avoidant attachment style into a secure style.
Fifth, how can we integrate the wisdom from the Couples Therapy and Addiction Counseling fields on the topic of codependency?
The couples therapy field, especially attachment theorists, offer us a unique perspective on codependency that doesn’t blame or shame the partner being labeled codependent by explaining that the codependent is behaving in a normal way to an abnormal situation, which is his/her partner disconnecting from the relationship to connect with something else, ex. an addictive substance or behavior. This distancing from the codependent’s partner will likely propel the codependent to take extreme measures in an attempt to reconnect with his/her loved one because it has been found in research that adults, similar to children, experience “primal panic” when they cannot emotionally reach their loved one and/or their loved one stops emotionally responding to them.
Attachment couples therapists also normalize our biological need to attach and bond to others and to be emotionally dependent on significant others from the cradle to the grave. Couples with a secure attachment style and/or an interdependent dynamic have been found to feel the most loved, safe, and secure with their partner, have the happiest and longest relationships, and are more successful in the world because they are launching and landing each day with a partner who serves as their “secure base” or emotional anchor.
Addiction counselors provide a different type of expertise and often more personal and professional experience with codependency, which can bring a level of wisdom that is invaluable. Addiction counselors tend to better understand the gravity of codependency, ex. being the spouse or child of a codependent can be extremely challenging because the codependent limits others’ growth and unconsciously disables them. These counselors are also often aware of the internal pain that codependents experience and feel compassion for the codependent’s inability to stop (cold turkey) his or her codependent behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Some codependents describe their experience of enabling or helping (anyone with anything) as a “HIGH”, refer to themselves as “self-sacrificing martyrs” or “rescue warriors”, yet by the end of an enabling spree, they need to crash from emotional and physical exhaustion, and later they feel intense hurt and/or resentment from having given too much and sacrificed themselves for others who continually neglect their needs. This cycle repeats until help is attained by a professional who can provide appropriate treatment.
Thus, by acknowledging that codependency is a REAL condition and explaining the research-based recommendations for treatment, addiction counselors can offer validation, empathy, and hope to their clients who previously felt hopeless about their internal suffering and compulsive behaviors. These counselors also go far beyond normalizing the couple’s dynamic to helping the couple navigate out of an insure attachment style into a secure one.
Finally, Moving Forward~ Recovery from Codependency or Avoidance to a Secure Attachment Style and Relationship
Tip #1 Strengthen your individual recovery program (if applicable, ex. CoDA, Al-Anon, AA/NA &/or individual therapy, meditation, etc.) and your ability to know your autonomous self (the ability to be emotionally close to someone while at the same time, not lose yourself). One outstanding book to guide you is Loving someone in recovery by Beverly Berg, PhD, which explains the stages of recovery from codependency, emotional relapse indicators, and teaches missing interpersonal skills. (in addition to a comprehensive overview of how couples in recovery can change a dysfunctional dynamic into a securely attached relationship.)
Tip #2 Learn how to develop a secure attachment with your partner that addresses how to transform both insecure styles (codependent and avoidant) into a “secure functioning” relationship. Three outstanding books to guide you are Wired for love by Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, Attached by Amir Levine, MD and Rachel Heller, MA. & Berg’s book mentioned in Tip #1.
Tip #3 Seek couples therapy, with a counselor who has training in helping couples develop a secure attachment and recovery from addiction and codependency if applicable. And, if you are a couple in recovery, develop a couple recovery program, ex. participate in RCA- Recovering Couples Anonymous and AA/Al-Anon/CoDA speaker meetings).
If you would like help navigating out of an insecure attachment style into a securely attached relationship, Contact Lana Isaacson, LCSW, CAC III, Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, PACT Level I Therapist, at 720.432.5262 to schedule your appointment today.
by Khara Brindle
Gary Chapman starts his book, The 5 Love Languages, by sharing the concept of love being measured like a gas tank and asking: are you empty or full? This imagery can be powerful in measuring affection, value, and connection to others in our life, not only with spouses or partners, but with family and close friends as well.
Gaining knowledge of the five languages can be supportive to your self-awareness as well as provide some guidance on how to strengthen your relationships with others. You may start this process by defining each of the five languages and connecting them to real-life examples that are meaningful and relevant to you. You may also identify which languages are most important to you by recalling what you’ve felt lacking in current or former relationships, such as moments you may have voiced unhappiness or dissatisfaction. Gary Chapman emphasizes that for many, what we complain about can be the access point to exploring what is most important to us since importance is implied in our behavior of speaking up about it. To best understand how this could look, let’s further explore the languages. In summary, according to Gary Chapman, the languages are 1) Physical Touch, 2) Quality Time 3) Words of Affirmation, 4) Acts of Service and 5) Gifts. Below are some examples that represent each language type:
• Physical Touch-hugging, holding hands, kissing, sex, rubbing someone’s back, sitting close, casual touch
• Quality Time-talking a walk, eating dinner together, lying in bed, taking a drive, engaging in a shared hobby
• Words of Affirmation-expressing compliments or appreciation through words, such as “I love you, I’m proud of you, I appreciate you, you make my life better”
• Acts of Service-washing their car, cooking their favorite meal, picking up the laundry or toys, doing an extra chore
• Gifts-making them a card, buying their favorite food, flowers, chocolate, or trinket just because
Please remember this is not an exhaustive list in that there are many more examples that one can identify based on their own experience and expression of caring and affection. With this in mind, it is also important to explore some rules around the languages expression when connecting with those we care about most.
Food for Thought
Within The 5 Love Languages come some guidelines of how affection and caring can be expressed to be categorized and recognized as genuine. Quality Time for example, defines one-on-one time that promotes connection and conversation. Many couples or families would say they spend frequent time together in activities such as going to the movies, reading, driving, or watching TV. As you can already guess, these activities do not necessarily encourage connection just through proximity in being in the same space at the same time. Instead, one is encouraged to find meaningful activities that allow conversation and connection such as talking a walk, cooking together, crafting, and more. For Acts of Service, it is best to keep in mind that for your loved one to truly feel the affection you wish to demonstrate, the act performed must be done authentically and without agenda. For example, one may wash their partners car or run an errand to make their partner’s day easier or bring them joy, not expecting a favor in return for this good deed. This rule also applies to Gifts in the idea that we aren’t giving someone we love a gift in the hopes that they will return the favor or owe us something in return.
Discovery and Depth
Gary Chapman provides helpful examples of Love Languages in action throughout his book. For many, reflecting on what they ask for or ask more of, can be helpful in discovering their top Love Languages. The book has a quiz in the back to encourage reflection and you can also access the quiz online for free to determine your top Love Languages at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/.
So where do you go from here? Once aware of your own languages, you can explore the languages that partners or loved ones value most. For many of us, we express the languages that we prefer or languages that make us feel loved, which may not translate well to our partners or loved ones in meeting their individualized needs. If there is in fact an overlap of the top two languages, in a duo for example, their communication and connection can occur relatively naturally due to speaking the same language on most occasions. If a duo does not have a language in common, it could require extra effort to connect and speak the language that supports your loved one in feeling appreciated and have their affection gas tank feel ‘full.’
This may all resonate with you as you read, however the real connection between the concepts and experience comes through practice! Assigning yourself low-risk homework or intention of practicing a loved one’s desired love languages can provide you with evidence of the value of connecting with others in this way. For many, efforts to speak a chosen language allow measurable results. For one individual in her attempts to reconnect with her spouse, she saw a softening and willingness from her partner when she engaged in their chosen language in authentic ways after weeks of conflict. Actions speak louder than words, which can absolutely apply in helping you connect with your loved ones and also advocate for your own needs in current relationships.
In a time when love is sought, defined, and desired, having something concrete to work on can be both empowering and reassuring in your experience in relationships with loved ones. The 5 Love Languages speaks to a desire to connect with others and develop a sense of belonging, best captured in this popular quote by Susan Sarandon in the movie Shall We Dance.
“[In a relationship] you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the mundane things, all of it, all the time, everyday. You’re saying ‘your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.’”
Khara Croswaite Brindle, MA, LPC, ACS, is the owner of Catalyst Counseling, PLLC and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the Lowry Neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. She received her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver with a focus on community based mental health. Khara has experience working with at-risk youth and families, including collaboration with detention, probation, and the Department of Human Services. Khara enjoys working with young adults experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, relational conflict, self-esteem challenges, and life transitions.
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