Borderline Personality Disorder/Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Why do my feelings about myself change constantly throughout the day? Why is it so hard for me to get along with others and keep relationships- people are always abandoning me! Why do I feel I have to act or think a certain way to please others or my environment? Why do I get jealous so easily and create ways to focus the attention on me? Why do I feel out of control of my emotions so easily? Why do I do things that are self destructive and risk my health and safety? Why do I feel the need to exaggerate details about who I am to be liked? Why do I feel like everyone is talking about me or out to get me? How come one minute I love myself and the next I want to harm myself? Why can't I feel compassion for others? These are just a sampling of feelings which may contribute to a personality disorder. Many times, it is very difficult to get help or even be aware that we are facing feelings like this. Beginning to explore these feelings in a safe environment is a first step to improving your relationship with yourself and with others. As a therapist, I will help you identify maladaptive thinking and behavior by using DBT informed coping skills and mindfulness.
If you are a parent, it is probably a safe assumption that you want your child to grow up with confidence and self agency. Incorporating therapy into your children's lives can help support their self esteem and strengthen necessary social skills to navigate change. When approaching adolescence, life can become confusing, particularly when faced with challenges of impulsivity, hyperactivity, inattention, distractibility, and forgetfulness on top of hormonal and emotional disregulation. I work with your child to strengthen their areas of confidence and opportunity. We collaborate on implementing coping skills unique to your child's own personality to boost confidence and self worth. I believe starting therapy early is critical to developing an authentic inner voice when faced with challenges such as ADHD, depression, parent child relational conflict, addiction, behavioral Issues, and bullying.
Being in relationship is hard work. In the beginning of one, we are incredibly grateful for our good fortune in finding someone so suited for us. Over time, intimate and romantic relationships have the ability to challenge our patience and tolerance, resulting in the expression of irritability, frustration, and anger. The reality is our foundation for being in relationship is based on our primary experience in childhood and all of us have experienced this differently. Regardless of how ideal or difficult it may have been, we operate from that base. In fact, we may even believe that we are doing everything possible to be different from our parents or caregivers, but somehow, it seems to be backfiring. Having a therapist as an observer and a guide in relationship can help to recognize these patterns and strengthen healthy, authentic communication with our partners. Beginning to be consciously aware of our unique patterns and the impact we have on those closest to us improves our connection as a couple and fosters a deeper understanding of ourselves. The tough part of this consciousness is that when we begin to understand it, we can become defensive. As a therapist I will help you face this with acceptance as a couple, helping you to navigate your communication with care and understanding.
At times we wonder about why we do the things we do, why we continue to experience disappointment when we thought we were doing the right thing, why we feel suffering when we can't identify exactly what is wrong, why we continue struggling with relationships and commitment, and feeling as though who we are is not the person we are "supposed to be".
I believe this is grief. It is essential to grieve the person we think we should be to honor and accept the person that we are. Many times trauma, addiction, illness, death, relationships, and life transitions shape our perception of the world and ourselves making this acceptance more difficult. As a therapist, we will explore this together so that your relationship with yourself becomes the strongest one you have.
Comprehensive DBT Skills Groups are offered in Beverly Hills, CA Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for adults and Wednesday for adolescents. Please contact Suzanne Wallach at suzannewallach.com or call 310-927-4307 for further information.
Eating Disorders/Body Dysmorphia
Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. Like anything that provides a temporary escape from life or a way to control our emotions, food is no different. Unfortunately, we live in a media culture that has placed personal value on body size, weight, and image. This concept is not rational. It is a conformist concept in a world of diversity and for those of us with low self worth, we are vulnerable to using nutrition to punish or reward the way we feel about ourselves. When we feel we have no control over anything but our nourishment, we can take it to an extreme. As a therapist, I believe wholeheartedly in Carolyn Costin’s philosophy of the "healthy and unhealthy self". We will work together to identify the voices of the healthy and unhealthy self to manage and create coping skills for maladaptive eating behaviors and thinking. In addition, I work with friends and families to help support their loved ones through eating disorders and body image issues.
It is so easy to reach for an antidote, something to help us get out of the moment, the feeling, and ourselves when things become too much or even too little. Unfortunately, too often many of us are impacted by our environment and a genetic predisposition. Our life can become unmanageable without us really noticing the connection between our unhealthy coping behaviors and life's challenges. We blame others, the situation, event, or bad luck without seeing that our need to escape ourselves takes us out of the moment and clear decision making. As a therapist, I specialize in addiction counseling which focuses on identifying the triggers and problems which precipitate maladaptive behavior, assist in developing alternative coping skills to replace addictive patterns, and focus on strengthening our healthy internal voice to inspire mindful decision making. In addition, I work with friends and family members to help support themselves and their loved ones struggling with addiction and offer intervention services.