“Heather Karaman has been the most influential therapist I’ve seen to date. From the very first time I sat down with Heather, I was met with compassion, honesty, concern, and patience. She provided the safest space I could imagine when my world was feeling painful and exhausting. She gently helped me find my own voice, and in due time, my tears and anxiety faded, replaced by clarity and hope.”
“Heather is a gifted therapist who has guided me through many personal and professional struggles over the last ten years. This included the unexpected illness and death of my mom and the grieving process that followed. She is compassionate by nature, and provides a comfortable, non-judgmental and safe environment. Heather has also helped me identify and face fears that I thought impossible to overcome. Her knowledge, experience, compassion, and sense of humor are just a few of the reasons that I unequivocally recommend her. She is a gem!”
“Heather Karaman is a trusted colleague and friend, and my first go to referral for the past twenty years. I have worked collaboratively with her in both family and couples therapy. The ease of her compassion, the depth of her insights, and the accuracy of her interventions make her a practitioner of the highest quality. While she provides a safe harbour for clients in crisis, she is equally skilled at behavior modification and insight oriented modalities. I recommend her highly and without reservation.”
“I worked with Heather for a year and a half to cope with generalized anxiety in my interpersonal relationships, as well as issues around professional development. After moving back to the Midwest, I re-established regular bi-monthly sessions via facetime. Heather has an incredible depth and basis of knowledge with a unique ability to cut through the clutter, hold up a mirror, and reflect the interior best that is there to emerge.”
What I treat
I have 20 years of clinical experience in private practice, working with adults, adolescents, and couples on a wide range of issues.
My therapeutic style is eclectic and draws from a range of orientations. These include cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, insight oriented, psychodynamic theory, as well as family systems and Imago therapy. These modalities are all focused on finding solutions to problems and developing new skills and tools that are effective interventions for lasting change.
Some of the specific areas of practice I treat are:
There are many types of depression. Some are situational reactions to circumstances in our environment. It is a normal human reaction to feel depressed when we are faced with loss and pain. Others stem from genetic/physiological predispositions. Often an evaluation is required to see if medication might provide relief for what is a chemical imbalance. In cases of chronic depression which does not pass but is ever pervasive and seemingly hopeless, enormous effort must be made to change the depressive behavior and negative thought patterns. Cognitive behavioral techniques are most effective for depression when used consistently and with diligence.
Anxiety manifests itself in many ways, but it’s almost always focused on the future. Obviously, we cannot control the future, just as we cannot change what is in the past. Anxiety is useless and self destructive. It paralyzes us and takes us out of living in the moment because we are busy writing a horror story about the future in our minds.
There are many definitions and characteristics of codependence. These include, but are not limited to, placing others’ needs and desires before our own, trying to control or change people’s behaviors, or becoming over-involved in their problems. We may blame others for situations or circumstances that we find ourselves in because we don’t take responsibility for our choices. We are out of touch with our own needs and even our own feelings. When our feelings inevitably catch up with us, they are often feelings of overwhelming resentment or anger. In short, we have essentially abandoned ourselves.
Treating low self-esteem often goes hand in hand with treating codependence. It means loving yourself and treating yourself with loving kindness and respect, the same way you would treat a beloved friend. It means putting and holding yourself in high regard and acting accordingly. It means to stop basing your self-worth on external variables that are outside your control, like the right job, or making a lot of money. When our feelings of self-worth are dependent on something outside of ourselves, we are vulnerable to a crash into depression Sadly, self-esteem is not a given, but it can be learned with the right teachers and role models.
Grief, Loss, and Trauma
Grief and loss are an unavoidable part of life for all of us. Trauma is a more extreme type of psychological injury, but is not suffered by most of us. Feeling the pain of loss and/or trauma can be terrifying, but it is a normal response. Often, we try to deny or repress our pain which ultimately makes it worse. It is very healing to have someone bear witness to your pain and suffering. It is also healing to have a safe place to process all of your feelings without judgement.
Transitions in relationships are very difficult and navigating them alone can be daunting and scary. They usually bring many unpleasant feelings to the surface like guilt, failure, blame, and anger, to name a few.
We abuse substances in order to numb ourselves from pain or the reality of our lives. We feel momentary relief, or a false sense of control which leads to the compulsion to repeat the abusive behavior. This repetition leads to guilt and self hatred. Then we repeat the behavior to get some relief from the guilt, and the reinforcement continues.