Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO

In theory I am psycho-dynamic in nature and I employ a great deal of cognitive behavioral and systems theory in my work. That means that I employ a variety of clinical tools in my toolbox to match the situation and each individual's or couple's needs. What this all means to you in practice is that our counseling sessions are very interactional. I ask a lot of questions as well as provide a lot of feedback. It is my belief that therapy is work: for both you and me. I have a job to do: to learn as much as I can about you and provide you with the tools you need to gain insight, or overcome an issue, or communicate better, or learn new life skills. We work the process together: you teach me about you, I teach you about new ways to work in the world.

It is a process of learning, always done with mutual respect and lots of communication. Each session my clients go home with a new piece of information and a new goal to work on. I encourage lots of questions, lots of interaction, (and even a bit of humor when we can, because a smile or good laugh can sometimes move mountains!).
Happy family after counseling service - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO
Working with those suffering with depression and anxiety, and relationship issues have long been the cornerstone of my practice. (I have maintained a professional counseling therapy practice in Arvada for 30+ years now). As such, I work with clients from the age of 4 to 104. I also work with chronic pain suffers, PTSD, grief and loss.

“Psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families.”



Meeting Of Support Group - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO
Working one on one with individual adults has long been a passion on mine. Technology now gives us 24 hour lives that never shut off, and we often have minds that never shut off. How do we prioritize? And yet how can we still feel so lonely with all the ways we have to “communicate” at our fingertips? (Email, text, Facebook, etc.). Adults are depressed and anxious now more than ever before, and need ways to mitigate these feelings. Besides working together to find the roots of the problems and address effective solutions, I often will ask that my clients consider that their stressors need to be managed in additional ways: with taking time for a walk each day, or learning effective breathing techniques (which I will teach), and just plain learning how to balance out of control lives. Do you feel that you don't have time in your day to take care of yourself? Yes you do. I will help you learn how.


The cornerstone of couple's therapy is communication, respect and understanding. We work together to understand what the barriers are to gaining these critical needs, what is keeping a couple from sustaining enough communication to feel connected so that loving and caring interaction can occur and how we can rebuild that kind and caring relationship. It is a highly interactive process. This is probably my most loving and intensive form of therapy, where you can expect a great deal of accountability and tool building and communicating by all of us. But again, respect is key. There is no yelling in my office.
Couple reaching break through in therapy session - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO


Psychiatrist and patient Teenage girl - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO
What about those adolescents? I really enjoy them. This is a difficult time to be a parent, but it is also a difficult time to be a kid, we must remember, So MUCH is going on, emotionally, physically, socially, physically, psychologically. No wonder they seem out of sorts sometimes. And they have to figure out how to grow up and emancipate and leave the nest and become young responsible adults. Working with adolescents I expect accountability and respect from kids, but I expect the same from parents so when we are finished with therapy we have repaired the family unit a bit as well and reminded everyone that kind treatment always makes life work just a bit better. Working with adolescent girls has long been a subspecialty area of mine; I feel a true connection to the work and have had very positive results over many, many years.


Children come to me for therapy for a variety of reasons: anxiety, school phobias, impulse control issues, parent-child issues, sibling issues, self-esteem issues. I use a variety of tools to work with children to get at the root of these issues. And while I don't use play therapy per se (sometimes my little girls are ready to just sit and talk, but not so my little boys), we will draw, or build with blocks, or build puzzles to allow children feel more comfortable opening up and sharing their thoughts and feeling. Children are always more likely to access their emotions when their hands are busy, so I find an activity that suits their personality and we get to the work of resolving the issues that brought them to my therapy practice. If the issue is a parent- child issue, then there is a good deal of parent education that will be afforded the parent in a very safe and nurturing environment. Parenting is a tough job. Professional counseling should make that job easier. That's what I strive to do. I should send you home with enough new ideas and strategies to make your tough job smoother and more manageable.
Concept for consultation with psychologist - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO


 Father Helping Son With Homework Using Digital Tablet - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO
Sometimes we just need somewhere to turn to get some tools to become a better parent. Here in my practice we can do that too. I have a large toolbox full a traditional and not-so-traditional ways to look at handling perplexing parenting problems. How can you make discipline seem less like punishment? How can we handle homework time in a less stressful way? How do I build my child's self-esteem? How do we work as partners when we don't agree on parenting styles? Again, I'm a big believer in adding humor into the mix (parenting is a lot easier when it is FUN for everybody) and I'll share some out-of the box ways to make the whole process a less of a chore and, well what you wanted it to be in the first place: a loving endeavor.


Unfortunately, life doesn't always go the way that we planned, and your relationship dissolves, and you need to make plans for the children post-divorce or post-relationship. It's important to remember that your children still need the best from you, still need you to be the best parents you can be, even though you might be reeling in pain from the loss of your relationship. Making those decisions, those “in the best interest of the children” decisions may be difficult without some outside perspective, and that's when you might want to consider talking with me. I have worked with many couples to fashion their Post-Divorce Parenting Plans (or Post Relationship Parenting Plans) to assure that the best interest of the children were taken into consideration, and that the Plans were reasonable and manageable for both Mom and Dad, and that we did our best to make sure that the children would grow up healthy and respected by all. Parents who are doing their own divorce paperwork consult with me; local attorneys will also send their clients to me to have them discuss the needs of their children before finishing their divorce paperwork. Divorce is painful enough: let's make it as impact-free as we can on your children. Love and respect are key.
Concept for consultation with psychologist - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO


A parent can lose contact with their child for any number of reasons. Therapeutic reintegration or reunification is an effective way of gradually and safely reintroducing or sometimes introducing the parent/child relationship with the goal of establishing a healthy and loving relationship between parent and child. Reintegration therapy is a unique form of family therapy as it requires the primary parent to relinquish some of his/her personal feelings, let go of the past, and allow for the child to develop another relationship with another parent. This requires enormous trusting on the part of this primary parent, the need to be forgiving and open minded, and to be able to celebrate this connection through small victories with the other parent for the sake of their child. Another growing arena of reintegration therapy in my practice involves young, never married moms and dads. These couples, pregnant too early in a relationship do not remain a couple through the pregnancy and the father is absent for the first part of the child's infancy and toddlerhood. Dad then returns, wishing to parent, but in this case, Mom and Dad have no basis for an adult relationship, much less a parental one. Mom and Dad are taught the education, emotional and psychological needs as well as the developmental stages of a child. The length of Dad's visits with the child, when the child is ready to separate from Mom and how to handle this separation are additional areas of work addressed in reintegration therapy to ensure both a strong relationship between father and child, but also to ensure the healthy development of the child. Reunification therapy can be a powerful tool in healing the wounds of the past and forming new, healthy relationships for the future: for everyone in the family. Parents can refer themselves and their children for therapy.

Attorneys may request reintegration therapy for their clients during divorce proceedings or at any time that estranged clients request the possibility of reunifying with a child. Many times the Court will make a recommendation for reintegration therapy during and after divorce proceedings as well. However, it is important to remember that the goal remains the same regardless of the referral: to create the healthiest relationship possible between the child and the estranged parent.


Health Visitor Talking To Family With Young Baby - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO
When parents are divorcing and can't decide on the best Parenting Time, or custody arrangements, or the best Decision Making arrangements, a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) may be appointed by the Court. I have fulfilled this role in all of the metropolitan Court Districts, and some mountain Districts, for as long as the CFI role as been in existence. I believe in the tenets of the role, the “Best Interest Standards” that the CFI strives to meet and I work diligently to try and meet those standards in every case that I work. I have a particular expertise in working with families with very young children and children with special needs, and find this work quite fulfilling.
Sometimes a more thorough investigation will be necessary and either the Court or the families may require a Parental Responsibilities Evaluation (PRE). These evaluations I have also performed for many, many years throughout the various metropolitan Counties. I am thorough while trying also to be sensitive to the fact that this is a most difficult time in everyone's life. Divorce, spitting up a family: it is heartbreaking and I work to make this the best evaluation for the child or children that I can.


Estate Agent with Family in New Home - Professional Counseling Services in Arvada, CO
Sometimes parents will find themselves referred to a post-divorce parenting class, or required by the Court to take what is called a “Level II” Parenting Class. I teach a Level II class called the Shared Parenting Support Program (SPSP for short). It is a great program because it teaches structured communication skills designed for each individual divorcing couple. It is not a group course; it speaks to the needs of each couple. Now sometimes one or both spouse will be concerned that there will be unnecessary friction or conflict. I do not run my practice in that fashion. There is no shouting, no disrespect. This is an instructional course. The SPSP course teaches each couple how to have very informative communications, to speak with respect, to focus on the children (and not on the other parent). I have had very good results with this program for many years and have found that parents have returned to me for assistance years later when their children reach those challenging adolescent years and they wish to gain new tools to work as a united front with their adolescents. These divorced co-parents found the SPSP so helpful they ask if I can modify it to help them with their new life issues (those adolescent years). And you know, it works!

So there you have it: a small sketch of my practice.

Please, if you have any questions, please call me, or email me and I will be happy to answer any question, or clarify any issue that you may have. If you feel that you are ready to make an appointment for yourself, your spouse and yourself, or your child, also please contact me as well. I will do my best to return your call as quickly as possible.

Let's get to work as soon as possible to make life's challenges a little easier to handle. I look forward to working with you. Barbara

Professional counseling services for residents of cities, towns, and suburbs near Arvada, Colorado including Wheat Ridge, Westminster, Applewood, Federal Heights, Lakewood, Denver, Thornton, Golden, Northglenn, Broomfield, Superior