Peg Donley, LSCSW

The greatest difficulty in dealing with an emotional dilemma comes from being unable to find an effective solution. People experiencing stress and frustration often feel helpless to influence the situations they are facing. As problems intensify, the ability to think decreases as does the ability to move in a productive direction. Under these conditions, people often experience a sense of being overwhelmed—the wheels are spinning, but they are not going anywhere..

But with effective guidance, the challenges people face can provide opportunities to learn new patterns that can help them move forward. Focusing on oneself and understanding the origins of one’s reactivity are important steps toward gaining a broader perspective of the problem one faces. By becoming aware of how one automatically functions in relationships, a person can develop new ways to manage anxious situations differently.

My clinical work with people is guided by Bowen family systems theory, which offers a broader way of thinking about individual and relationship problems.  It is based on the idea that predictable patterns of relationships established in one’s family influence how a person functions throughout his/her life. Consultation/therapy using this perspective enables people to increase their awareness of relationship patterns and to develop thoughtful principles to guide their behavior in important relationships.