Dr. Sam Miller
I have 27 years experience as a psychodynamically-oriented psychotherapist. I take an integrative approach to working with a diverse group of clients and in treating a variety of emotional and behavioral issues. My training and experience encompass psychological testing and the application of evidence-based treatments for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, compulsive behaviors, crisis counseling, and spiritual emergencies. In addition to my foundational psychoanalytic training, I am trained and experienced as a practitioner of motivational interviewing, behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapies, couples therapy, and the application of hypnosis techniques to learning coping skills for anxiety and depression. I also have extensive and ongoing training and experience in the practice of Transactional Analysis and Re-decision Therapy. My Ph.D. In Clinical Psychology is from Fielding Graduate University; my Th.D. in Pastoral Counseling is from Emory University.
In addition to goal oriented behavioral change, my therapeutic method emphasizes adaptive changes in relational patterns. I see the goals of therapy as confident, creative adaptation to stress, and maximizing opportunities for positive, healthy interpersonal connections.
My approach to therapy involves a unique combination of building skills for everyday competence and coping, and discovering how to be your best self in all your relationships.
In the beginning I will ask you to tell me about yourself- what changes you want to make, and what you are hoping for. As I listen to your story, you and I both learn more about how you would like your life to be different, or where you feel stuck, or how fear may be preventing you from being effective and joyful in your work or personal life. By claiming and building upon your strengths you will learn to replace self-defeating thought and behavior habits with success-oriented attitudes and actions.
Once we have identified what is bothering you and what you can do about it, I will assist you in setting definite, measurable, and achievable goals for yourself. I will also provide you with the information, direction, guidance and encouragement that will help you to reach your goals.
As your psychologist, I will support you in facing your fears and overcoming them. I will also support you in learning what changes you need to make and in learning how to change what you can, accepting, as the “Serenity Prayer” says, what you cannot change.
Throughout the therapy process I will also work with you to uncover hidden, buried, or avoided feelings or issues that you may need to face in order to get on happily with your life.
The first 2-3 sessions are devoted to assessment, goal setting, and developing a therapeutic contract for change. I routinely begin with a clinical interview, and possibly psychological testing, as a prelude to goal setting.
Prior to becoming a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I worked as a Certified Pastoral Counselor and as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. I will respect your worldview and encourage you to incorporate any spiritual interests you may have into our work together.