My name is Elizabeth (Liz) Waissman, and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in California. I have worked in many different settings over the last 20 years as a Clinician, both with individuals and couples. I have worked in various settings, with Individuals who have experienced a variety of personal issues such as Depression/Anxiety, Stress, PTSD, Grief and Loss, Workplace issues, coping with change, Relationship issues and Aging issues.
My approach to therapy is a client centered approach, and solution focused therapy, in other words, we will start where you are, right now. My experience has taught me that we all go through challenges, and in those challenges, there lies opportunities to better understand ourselves. By increasing our self- awareness level, and comfort level with who we are, perhaps by exploring values and what’s really important to you. we can take small next steps in order to adapt and change, depending on what life is placing in front of you. Sometimes, it may be just to grow in awareness and understanding and learn acceptance, and to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are. None of us are perfect, but we can always strive to be our best selves.
I realize how much courage it takes to come to therapy, to say “ I need help in understanding myself better”. Together we will set some realistic goals to bring about healing and to empower hopefulness and greater purpose to your life. I like to view therapy through a spiritual lens that can recognize that we are all connected to each other by a power greater than ourselves, and this connection is grounded in compassion.
Let us work together to bring a sense of balance, mindfulness and awareness into your life. My style is compassionate to help facilitate forgiveness, in all areas of life. I believe it is especially important to express an unconditional positive regard toward all people and above all, a non-judgmental, open-minded therapeutic perspective.
My Specialties are:
Acceptance and commitment Therapy: Imagine the new you, empowering yourself to manage anxiety and thrive. Discover the hopefulness in acknowledging your true self by aligning your behaviors toward your values and becoming the authentic you.
ADHD—Imagine being able to manage your ability to pay attention and control distractions that get in the way of being productive. Realize your full potential with meaningful coping strategies after therapy.
Anger Management: Anger has a way of sneaking up and taking control of our thoughts and actions before we realize what's happening. Fortunately, with practice, you can get better at catching your anger long before it takes over. After therapy, you can get better at catching your anger long before it takes over.
Anxiety/Panic: With new tools you can learn to challenge your anxious thoughts and replace them with rational thoughts. When panic takes over, there are specific strategies you can learn that will be instrumental in not losing control. These tools are game changers and will empower the control you need to maintain good mental health.
Boundaries: Healthy boundaries are especially important to good mental health. A lack of boundaries will affect your relationships with others and impact the way that you feel about yourself. In therapy you will become aware of feelings of discomfort or resentment and learn not to bury them. We will work to understand what your feelings are telling you. Resentment, for example, can often be traced to feelings of being taken advantage of.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Our thoughts control how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Positive thoughts lead to us to feeling good and negative thoughts can put us down. Sometimes our thoughts happen so quickly that we fail to notice them, but they can still affect our mood. In therapy you can learn to recognize these automatic thoughts and replace them with new rational thoughts that will improve your mood.
Depression/Bipolar Disorder: Depression, poor self-esteem, and anxiety are often the result of irrational negative thoughts. For example, someone who regularly receives positive feedback at work might feel that they are horrible at their job because of one criticism. Their irrational thought about job performance will dictate how they feel about themselves. In therapy, we will explore Cognitive Distortions and reframe them, to bring about a change and healing process. This can allow us to move forward by healing. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness defined by extreme emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). Treatment usually includes a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Empower yourself in therapy!
Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Sometimes you'll run into a problem that's simply out of your control. It can be easy to think "This isn't fair" or "I shouldn't have this problem", even though those ways of thinking only make the pain worse. In therapy we will learn to accept Radical acceptance, which refers to a healthier way of thinking during these situations. Instead of focusing on how you would like something to be different, you will recognize and accept the problem or situation as it is. Remember, accepting is not the same as liking or condoning something. In therapy you will learn to accept the problems that are out of your control, leading to less anxiety, anger, and sadness when dealing with them
EAP Workplace Issues: An employee in the most asset a company has. In therapy learn stress management to increase mindfulness and reduce job burn out. Change is always possible and learning to work with a difficult supervisor and coworkers is so empowering. Using workplace boundaries can bring about a respectful approach to getting your needs met and becoming more resourceful by learning good problem-solving skills. In therapy you will learn to reenergizing your approach to work.
Forgiveness Therapy: Forgiveness therapy really provides a hopeful opportunity to heal from a very hurtful or abusive situation. The chance to forgive is healing because it allows you to view the wrongdoer with compassion. Letting go of the resentment does not mean forgetting or believing their actions were acceptable or justified. This process is an emotional change that occurs within the person who has been wronged, by taking them out of a victim role. The power that the wrongdoer becomes greatly diminished. Letting go of anger, resentment, shame and other emotions associated with the injustice, is a stepwise process to uncover the wrong and reclaim your power.
Grief and Loss: The Kübler-Ross model of grief (the five stages of grief) describes five primary responses to loss. These stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Someone who is grieving may go through these stages in any order, and they may return to previous stages. Everyone handles grief and loss in a unique way and therapy will help to understand that as a human being, grief is a normal process that must be experienced.
Hypnotherapy: This therapy is a mindful approach to relaxation. The therapist will first engage relaxation techniques, such as breathing and muscle relaxation, and then using a guided visualization script to walk you thru a very healing and peaceful place, where managing your anxiety becomes a powerful coping tool.
Mindfulness/Relaxation/Guided Imagery: Mindfulness therapy is a state of nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment, including the awareness of one's own thoughts, feelings, and senses. The goal isn't to clear your mind or to stop thinking—it's to become aware of your thoughts and feelings, rather than getting lost in them. Relaxation occurs while accepting the sensations that you notice. For example, if you notice a feeling of nervousness, simply state to yourself: "I notice that I am feeling nervous". There is no need further judge or change the feeling. I can accept this. Guided imagery will be taught as a coping strategy to help you feels at peace and to feel safe.
Narrative Therapy: This approach to therapy will help you to find healing and growth and the value of your unique experiences. We will explore meaning in the story of your life. Looking at the past from a strength-based perspective, and recognizing the challenges overcome, the present as a grounded experience, and the future for hopes and dreams, will contributes a greater sense of meaning and purpose to life, which we can contribute to happiness.
Positive Psychology: This approach can help us to feel grounded in our lives by recognizing positive experiences. In therapy you will learn to improve your mood and note other positive effects by journaling simple pleasure that you may be grateful for. Keeping a journal to note at least three entries every day. Your entries don't have to be earthshattering—they can be as simple as a good lunch or a sunset you noticed during rush hour traffic. This will instill a since of well-being and hope, especially during uncertain times.