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    For any questions you have, you can reach me here:

    Contact Me

    2618 J Street, Suite 2
    Sacramento, CA 95816

     

    408-658-6989

    allison@balancedlifetherapy.org

    Allison J. Pichardo, MFT

    Specializing in Anxiety Treatment, Depression and Grief Therapy

    Anxiety
     

    When living with anxiety we tend to live in a world of "what ifs" instead of enjoying what is. Anxiety occupies our minds and our bodies causing stress and doubt in our abilities. To overcome anxiety, we must master a new way of thinking. By improving our thought patterns, we can change how we feel and how we function in our lives.

    Anxiety takes away the gifts of the present by distracting us with worries. Our thoughts tend to center around imagined negative outcomes and prevent us from enjoying what may be right in front of us. Anxiety typically tells us that we are not good enough, that we are always coming up short. This mindset of negative possibilities and self criticism only serves to hold us back from enjoying our lives and reaching our true potential. 

    We must bring our lives back into balance by making a habit of more positive and self compassionate thinking. Negative thoughts will always be present and having some anxiety is perfectly healthy. However when anxiety overtakes us, we are not living a fulfilling life. It is important to learn how to root ourselves in the present, how to challenge negative thoughts, and how to be kind to ourselves. 

     
    Depression

    Depression is composed of many symptoms that make it a challenge for people to thrive. When suffering from depression, individuals not only feel sad they also feel a lack of energy, loss of interest, and worthlessness. These symptoms are like rain clouds hanging overhead making it difficult to function in all aspects of life. 

    There are many causes of depression including experiencing loss, trauma, chronic pain, genetic predisposition or a medical condition. No matter the cause, depression is treatable and living a fulfilling life is possible. Getting support through therapy is an important part of treating depression.

    It is essential to seek help if you are living with depression because it keeps you from doing the things that are going to get you well. Depression often keeps people in a state of imbalance because it causes and maintains sad feelings. When suffering from depression, individuals isolate themselves socially, do not care for their physical needs well, have trouble getting adequate sleep, and do not engage in fulfilling activities. If depression is getting in the way of your happiness, success, and relationships then please reach out for support. I am ready to help you achieve a healthy balance and feel positive about life.

     
    Grief & Loss

    Grief is a very personal journey. It impacts us in different ways and in ways that are often unexpected. It can be difficult to find people who understand how to support us through our grief. Don't walk your grief journey alone. I am ready to help you move through the stages of grief and help you discover a new sense of strength. 

    Grief is a natural part of any loss and occurs when a loved one dies or when we go through a life transition such as a breakup/divorce, a move, or loss of a pet. Our journey through grief is unique and depends upon the circumstances of the loss though there are still commonalities for all grief journeys. Most of us go through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages produce challenging feelings and make it difficult to function in our daily lives.

    Grief throws our lives out of balance, shuts out joy, excitement, and enjoyment from our lives while experiencing the pain of the loss. We must find ways to adjust, bring back contentment, and live our lives in balance once again. To move through these stages and move forward in a positive direction, we must accomplish the tasks required to overcome grief. These tasks include accepting the loss, experiencing the emotional pain, adjusting to our new world, and investing ourselves in our new reality. 

    This process is challenging and painful, which is why it is essential to get support. In the aftermath of a loss, it is hard to have hope that life will move in a positive direction once again. The truth is that there is hope and a new-found strength to discover. 

     
    Therapy for Caregivers

    A caregiver has many responsibilities. Responsibilities for themselves and for the care of others. There are many people who may consider themselves a caregiver. They may be a parent, an individual caring for a family member, a medical professional, a social worker, or a therapist like myself.

    If you are a caregiver, you may be feeling overwhelmed, tired, and burnt out. These feelings can impact the work you do for your loved ones, patients, or clients. Caregivers often find themselves tending to others needs before their own, which makes it challenging to maintain a healthy well-being. Neglecting our own self-care also impacts the ability to provide great care to others.

    As a caregiver, if you find yourself depleted, struggling to keep up with providing, and taking care of yourself, then it is important you seek help. In order to provide nurturing to others we must nurture ourselves first. As a caregiver myself, I know how important it is to have balance between self-care and giving care to others. When this balance is achieved, it can enhance your ability to be a great caregiver. You will also find your well-being improved when you make yourself a priority. I can help you find this balance of giving to yourself and to others by improving your self care habits and learning self compassion. 

     
    Couples Therapy

    The relationship between ourselves and our partner is typically our most important relationship. They are the ones we rely on most for emotional support and the ones with which we set out to accomplish life goals. When we experience difficulty in this relationship, it can cause distress, especially when we feel that we have tried everything to resolve the issues present.

    Most often the root of couple's issues is poor communication. The issues of disagreement trigger lots of difficult emotions and of course anger. All this emotion makes it hard for couples to listen, understand, empathize, and resolve issues. This interaction leads to disconnection, a lack of positive interactions, and dissatisfaction in the relationship.

    Through couples therapy, I help couples learn how to communicate in an effective way. This work can help couples have more positive communication where they feel nurtured and understood by their partner. When this happens, problem solving becomes easier, trust improves, and emotional intimacy increases. I also help couples incorporate more quality time and positivity in their relationship through shared interests, learning about each other, and appreciation for one another. 

    If you find yourself dissatisfied, angry, unable to communicate, and disconnected from your partner, reach out for help. Please know that it is possible to bring your relationship back into balance with improved communication, trust, and appreciation for each other.

     
    Adolescent Therapy

    Adolescents face many challenges as they transition from childhood into adulthood. They have to learn how to cope with issues such as: peer pressure, romantic relationships, education/career goals, and making decisions for themselves. As a parent it is challenging to help adolescents navigate these challenges because they typically minimize or dismiss guidance and advice from their parents. And though teens act as if they know best, we as adults know they still have much to learn.

    Given the challenges of adolescence, it can be a great time for therapy. Therapy can help teens cope in healthy ways, can help them better understand themselves and their emotions, it can help build confidence, and help improve their judgment. 

    In addition to the typical challenges of adolescence, your teen may be faced with an additional challenges like depression, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, or grief. Therapy can be a resource for them to learn how to manage symptoms, build self esteem, a place to vent their feelings, and a place to find healing. 

    If you are concerned about your teen, I am ready to offer them support through the challenges they are facing and ready to help them learn the skills needed to navigate their adolescence.