Kyle’s approach to therapy starts with a foundation of care and respect for the client. He believes it is a true honor to be entrusted with the issues and concerns in his client’s lives. It takes a lot of courage to face our problems and resolve to make much needed changes in our lives.
Kyle likes to establish clear, measureable goals for therapy, which is a collaborative experience. Once goals are established, Kyle becomes more directive in terms of treatment. Kyle offers direct, honest feedback and clear guidance to facilitate the change needed to reach ones treatment goals.
As far as a theoretical approach, Kyle borrows most heavily from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a common treatment approach with lots of empirical evidence to back its effectiveness. Kyle uses components of CBT when treating depression, anxiety (general, social, OCD, phobias), addictions, and personality disorders. CBT combines both cognitive therapy (identifying and challenging irrational or maladaptive thoughts) and behavioral interventions (exposure therapy).
The objective of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is to help people work towards resolutions. The focus is on the present, the future and how to achieve the changes desired in life. Kyle finds it very important to address his clients past experiences and in fact thinks it would be very disrespectful to gloss over. Kyle wants to know ones experiences so he can understand and empathize with ones current challenges. The past provides the context that brings focus to the present.
Areas of Specialty
Kyle works with couples at every stage of relationship. Dating, pre-marital, marital, and post-marital (blending families and co-parenting concerns).
When working with couples, Kyle’s first objective is to listen to each persons experience of the relationship in the effort to gain understanding. To get a sneak peak of the many complex dynamics in the relationship system. He works with each person to establish specific goals for counseling, often weaving them together to form mutual goals that each will feel good about working towards.
Kyle’s couples work has evolved and changed over the last 18 years. The most notable changes are his emphasis on creating homework for clients to do between sessions and also his open stance towards meeting less than weekly.
Kyle creates customized homework, based on what is happening in the session. This homework is to be learned, practiced, and implemented between sessions. This is where the growth happens. This is where the change happens. Between sessions. Homework may also include resources, such as handouts, worksheets, suggested books and articles, YouTube videos, and TED Talks.
Kyle meets with some couples weekly and other couples on a bi-weekly basis. This depends on several factors.
Kyle recommends weekly therapy for couples who are facing down a recent tragedy or crisis. The initial throws of discovered infidelity, or a recent death or family crisis, to name a few.
However, Kyle also finds that bi-weekly sessions can also work really well for most couples concerns. Communication issues, parenting issues, money issues, intimacy issues, extended family systems issues, frequent fighting and bickering, rebuilding trust, infidelity work that is out of the crisis stage.
Kyle was previously biased towards weekly sessions for all couples, all the time, no matter what!! He maintained this in his practice for many years. However, around five years ago he started to book some couples into bi-weekly slots, only due to having a very full practice and no weekly slots available. This was at the request of couples who would rather get started sooner and less frequently versus continuing their search and delaying receiving help.
Kyle was surprised to see how well bi-weekly couples counseling could work as an alternative to the traditional weekly cadence. Here are several observations.
~ One week is sometimes too short a time between sessions to follow through on homework in a meaningful way. The nature of the assigned tasks take shared, interactive, living experiences to facilitate growth and change. Two weeks creates a nice window of time for that to happen.
~ Couples sometimes make better use of their sessions when not meeting weekly. They tend to be more reflective on their goals and prioritize talking through issues and experiences that matter most. The time becomes even more precious. We get through the static and the noise.
~ Treatment tends to extend over a longer timeframe when meeting bi-weekly. With weekly sessions, Kyle found that couples would often get some skills and out of crisis and then terminate therapy soon after. He finds it beneficial to keep the treatment going beyond the crisis stage, so couples create patterns that are sustainable.
It is hard work to participate in couples counseling. Be ready to work! Kyle only works with couples where BOTH members are committed to working on the relationship.
Kyle really enjoys helping people work through anxiety issues. He is experienced in treating specific phobias, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Kyle finds that most of his clients start to experience some relief in the first couple weeks of treatment. In tough cases where progress is slow, Kyle will usually recommend an additional consultation with a medical doctor or psychiatrist to explore whether a medication is warranted to abate the problematic symptoms. It is Kyle’s practice to work collaboratively with your other health care providers to achieve the most comprehensive care possible.
Knowing how to help people work through depression is a must in psychotherapy. Kyle understands how debilitating and isolating depression can be. Working with depression is complex and requires a multifaceted approach. First and foremost Kyle offers empathy and support but that is rarely enough to facilitate change. Kyle also helps his clients identify the thoughts/beliefs and behaviors that reinforce their depression and keep them trapped. Kyle then believes the next step is to nudge his clients towards taking action and keep them accountable especially since taking that action may be hard to do.
Kyle is eager to help his client’s process their relationship concerns. Common relationship dynamics Kyle addresses include: friendship, dating, engaged, married, sibling, parent to child, child to parent and coworker. Kyle believes that couple and family therapy is the most efficient way to address relationship problems and frequently helps clients work towards that when feasible.
Low self esteem often gets in the way of achieving what we want out of life. It frequently leads to depression and creates a barrier to achieving the things we really want. Kyle helps his clients understand what a healthy self-esteem could look like in their life and outline the steps it will take to create a solid sense of self. This sort of work usually involves “homework” in the form of introspective exercises and behavioral assignments to be done between sessions.
Parenting is hard work! Kyle likes to meet with parents of teens (high school aged) to help them navigate this sometimes challenging time. He gives direct feedback and resources. Helping blended families is of particular interest as well.
Kyle is not a Chemical Dependency Counselor, but he does have experience and knowledge helping people maintain sobriety after treatment. This would be extra support after a successful inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment. This extra support complements, but is not a replacement for AA, NA, or other support groups.
Kyle has helped many individuals work through this very stressful and heartbreaking process. He gives practical tips for how to maintain personal dignity and respect while still advocating for oneself and maintaining a sense of self worth in what can be a very isolating time. Guidance around how to handle the children’s questions and difficult emotions is also addressed (when applicable).
Weight loss and lifestyle change:
From 2007 to 2012 Kyle worked with the 20/20 Lifestyles Program as one of their Lifestyle Coaches. In this role Kyle helped participants develop insight around the ways they use food and drink to cope with unpleasant emotions. He helped equip them with skills to work through cravings and develop better coping mechanisms. Kyle takes this experience with him and continues to help people make cognitive changes necessary to truly adopt a healthy lifestyle as part of their personal identity. He finds it very rewarding to see people transform their lives, both inside and out.
Kyle likes working with high school aged teens, boys and girls ages 14 to 18. At this point in his career, he only works with teens who are open to participating in therapy. He does not work with teens who are being forced into therapy, or situations where therapy is a punitive measure. Kyle has helped adolescents dealing with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, family relationships, peer relationships, compulsive overeating, and sexual identity/support in the coming out process. He finds that teens get the most out of therapy when they feel they are an active part of the process, which is why he likes to work collaboratively with them to come up with treatment goals that make sense and motivate them versus mandated to them. Kyle likes to involve family in the treatment, because ongoing support for the adolescent comes down to the family network, and sometimes that family network needs some support too.
Going through infertility can be an extremely stressful time for a couple. There are so many emotions flooding the experience. Moments of fear and doubt, moments of hope and anticipation. The dreams of having a family are on the line. This can all take a toll on a marriage. It is not uncommon to bottle these feelings up, where they sit unaddressed as both feel isolated and alone. Kyle likes to offer a safe place to talk through these tough emotions, as well as help assist the couple in their decision making concerning future medical procedures.