Debbie Tessmer-Wagner, LMFT, CCTP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, (MFC#77147)
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional

 
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Psychotherapeutic &
Relational Services

3633 Camino del Rio South
Suite 102
San Diego, CA 92108

Tel: 619-507-2936

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What to Expect

If you have never been in therapy but are curious, or, if you are re-entering therapy, here’s what you can expect. After a I provide a free 30-minute consultation (in person), you can decide if you would like to set up an appointment. During our first session, I will explain confidentiality, the parameters of therapy, and the nature of the therapeutic relationship. Additionally, we will discuss what issues you would like to work on, collaboratively set treatment goals, and allow you the opportunity to give me a biopsychosocial history, which will enable me to conceptualize how best to approach therapy with you so that your experience can be successful. We will also be able to determine together the appropriate frequency of sessions so that therapy can be most beneficial for you.

How Does Therapy Work?

Every therapist utilizes a particular therapeutic approach to treatment. Some utilize one specific approach, while others use a combination. I utilize a couple different approaches that will accommodate people who are interested in either short-term/brief therapy or more long-term therapy. I utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR therapy, Psychodynamic therapy, and Family Systems therapy. What’s the difference? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) theorizes that events aren’t disturbing – it’s our thoughts about these events that cause emotional distress and maladaptive behaviors. Changing cognitions, i.e. thoughts, and cognitive distortions to more balanced ways of thinking are the agents of change here. Psychodynamic theorizes that unresolved issues and maladaptive patterns that resulted from family-of-origin or due to the interruption in developmental stages often results in present-day difficulties. Gaining insight and healing these past issues results in one’s ability to transform present and future relational health. Family Systems theorizes that dysfunctional relational dynamics in the nuclear family, such as communication, hierarchy, subsystems, and triangles, result in either disengaged or enmeshed relationships. Change occurs by acknowledging symptoms belong to the family unit (vs. an individual), altering communication, re-establishing appropriate family structure, establishing appropriate boundaries between subsystems, and de-triangulating. Based on your unique circumstances, one or a combination of these will be useful in creating a more balanced and healthy life.

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