Deborah Riley’s Approach to Counseling

The benefits of counseling extend beyond periods of crisis. I empower couples and individuals to overcome personal obstacles to improve their quality of life and sense of well-being. Using clinically tested and evidenced-based interventions, I work with clients to help them become self aware and I adapt therapy to meet their needs.

I believe we are meaning-seeking beings. This is at the core of human nature. I also believe that the more connected we are to our internal selves, the more coping skills we have in the world. With every experience there is a beginning and an end. It is important to recognize that every path is an individual journey. Not everyone seeks the same understanding. As a counselor, I do not presume to know what is best for an individual’s growth. Likewise, I believe that all human beings are created to love and be loved and that it is when this basic mission in life gets disordered or confused that we become stagnate.

We are limited by the confines of life’s absolutes, such as death, and at the same time we have at our fingertips unlimited opportunities for internal growth. Self-awareness is key. A willingness to change is also paramount; feeling restless and discontent are great indicators for the need to change.

Counseling, to me, is the epitome of positive human interaction. It is a relationship based on trust. The mission is to help clients achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves. The role of the counselor is one of trusted guide. With that comes great responsibility. If a person does not feel listened to and understood, the counseling relationship will be undermined, even when solid advice is being given.

As a therapist I do not bind to one particular modality. Rather, I draw from an integrated approach that best suits the client’s needs and personality. Theoretical approaches that I am drawn to include existential, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), person-centered, and gestalt. I believe it is my job to help you become the best possible version of yourself. Counseling can help you to uncover blind spots that may be preventing you from having the kind of life you want.