JUPITER MARRIAGE COUNSELOR: DR. CARRI LAGER
ABOUT DR. CARRI LAGER:
I earned my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University Chicago with a focus on developmental and multicultural issues in psychotherapy and a combined Masters Degree and Specialist Degree (M.Ed./Ed.S.) in Mental Health Counseling from one of the nation's top ranked Counselor Education programs at the University of Florida. I am currently licensed in the state of Florida to practice clinical psychology independently and am a registrant of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology.
I have over thirteen years of clinical training and experience working with diverse children, adolescents, young adults, adults, couples, and families within university counseling centers, outpatient centers, inpatient child/adolescent and substance abuse hospitals, school settings, and private practice. My clients sought treatment for a variety of presenting issues ranging from short-term transitional concerns to more long-standing, deep-rooted issues. I have an integrative treatment approach and philosophy based on the individual needs of my clients that combines evidence-based cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, relational, and acceptance-based approaches (e.g., mindfulness).
In my experience, I have found that there is too often an emphasis on problems or what's "wrong" with individuals that seek therapy, often creating a negative stigma. My therapeutic style is unique in that I take ample time to thoroughly understand the issues that bring my clients into treatment while simultaneously discovering, highlighting, and utilizing their strengths and successes to carefully develop focused and realistic treatment goals. This is done in the context of considering each client's unique cultural background and life experiences. My aim is to help restore your sense of well-being and balance as quickly as possible by fostering self-reliance, self-acceptance, and self-awareness in a caring, accepting environment. I view the therapeutic relationship as a primary agent of change and work to ensure this relationship develops into one that is both safe and collaborative. I believe that each person is the expert of their life. We will work together to develop both short-term and long-term goals and consistently measure our progress toward achieving them. It is my role to foster greater self-awareness so a unique path toward a sense of balance can be realized by my clients.
I am currently providing individual, couples, and family therapy (ages 6 years - adult). Clinical specializations include, but are not limited to, the following:
Anxiety Disorders; Panic, Social, GAD, Phobias, Performance, OCD
Assertive Communication Training
Career Planning, Exploration
Childhood/Teen Behavioral Issues
Couples/Marital Issues (All Orientations)
Eating Disorders/Disordered Eating/Body Image
Identity, Acculturation Issues
School Difficulties (Academic, Social)
Sexuality, Sexual Orientation
Spiritual Issues; Interfaith Couples
Time Management, Study Skills
Biofeedback is a treatment technique where people are trained to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies. You have most likely already used biofeedback without realizing it. A thermometer tells you if you are running a fever or a scale tells you whether you have gained weight. Both of these devices provide feedback about your body's condition. You can then take steps to improve these conditions.
Some common uses of biofeedback by psychologists are: decreasing chronic stress, treating a variety of anxiety disorders, coping with depression, calming anger, decreasing/increasing blood pressure as needed, managing disorders involving the digestive system, improving performance (i.e., public speaking, athletic events, acting/singing), improving sleep patterns, and promoting an overall sense of well being and balance. Information gained by using biofeedback techniques in therapy (i.e., heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure) is valuable and can be used to gauge and direct the progress of treatment.
Like a pitcher learning to throw a ball across a home plate, the biofeedback trainee, in an attempt to improve a skill (i.e., relaxation), monitors their performance. When a pitch is off the mark, the ballplayer adjusts their technique so that they perform better the next time that they try. When the light flashes or the beeper beeps too often, the biofeedback trainee makes internal adjustments which alter the signals. The biofeedback therapist acts as a coach, standing at the sidelines setting goals and limits on what to expect and giving hints on how to improve performance.
Using cutting edge software, I will work with you to monitor and improve your performance across sessions. The goal is to achieve what is known as "coherence" or getting in "the zone." This is a completely non-invasive technique hat will simply require you to wear a clip on your earlobe or finger. Many people find this technique very informative as it provides a visual, visceral indication of how your thoughts and feelings are directly related to your bodily functions. Therefore, when trained to calm your mind through relaxation and other techniques, your emotions and body will also become calm and more balanced.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Individuals, couples, and families seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons. It is very common for these people to question their “normality.” I encourage my clients to view their decision to enter therapy as a healthy and courageous act that will hopefully aid in enhancing their lives.
When you initially call to schedule an appointment, I will ask you some general questions to get a sense of the issues that are bringing you to therapy. During our first session you will be asked to fill out some forms and meet with me for approximately one hour so that I can gather relevant information about you that will allow us to begin formulating a plan of action for your treatment. Should you decide to pursue a therapeutic relationship with me, subsequent sessions are typically held once per week for 50 minutes.
Each individual’s treatment varies. In general, you will be expected to explore the areas that we initially identify as being your primary concerns/issues during our weekly sessions. At times, I might ask you to do some work between sessions that we will then process during the following meeting. It is common for individuals first entering therapy to experience a heightened level of hope during the first few sessions. Subsequently, your experience may vary from times in which you feel stuck to instances in which you feel very successful.
Please keep in mind that change is a process that takes time. It is important for you to allow yourself to be patient and mindful of even the slightest of improvement. Many people find therapy to be an invaluable tool in achieving a sense of balance and happiness in their lives. The benefits of therapy depend a great deal on what you put into the process and how much of what you discover during therapy you actually apply in your daily life.