Therapist Spotlight: Roger Hansen, LCPC

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Therapist Spotlight: Roger Hansen, LCPC

Therapist Spotlight: Roger Hansen, LCPC

As a licensed Therapist, Roger has worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities and settings for almost thirty years. His experiences include providing individual and group counseling in both inpatient and partial hospitalization programs. Other experiences include "counselor" for a university program designed for college students dealing with various issues and needs. In 1999 he  received his Masters of Science, in Counseling, from National Louis University and he became a Licensed Clinical Practicing Counselor in 2003. He continued to work for this University program until 2013 but also did some limited private practice and group therapy for other organizations.

For the last four years he has focused on doing individual therapy for adults and adolescents who are trying to make positive changes in their life. Many of them may be coming to therapy for the first time. Some of them may be adjusting to recent changes in their live.  Roger believes that establishing a positive relationship with the client is essential and the first step in helping the client make needed changes in perspective and behavior. He then utilizes CBT, DBT, ACT, and ERP concepts and strategies to help facilitate change. Although he doesn't specifically do family or couples therapy, he actively communicates and works with significant others with the client's consent and when appropriate.

Most counselors are familiar with similar disciplines and utilize the same tools to help their client make positive changes. Finding the right therapist, Roger believes, is more about finding a personal connection. Deciding on which therapist works best for you is, in large part,  a personal choice. Even though he is older than most of counselors and has many years of experience, he has still learned from his experience that he should be open to learning and changing, just like his clients.

On working with clients experiencing anxiety an depression.

Roger works with many patients who experience anxiety or depression. When clients with anxiety or depression come to therapy it is easy for both the client and therapist to focus on negative aspects of their lives including their behavior. While it is important to help them to find new responses and behaviors to address how they deal with distress, it is also important to help them recognize positive aspects of their lives and themselves. Anxiety and depression often makes people feel overwhelmed and they either forget or dismiss their strengths. When telling their story, the therapist has an opportunity to remind them about obstacles they have already overcome.  

Our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all connected. By changing either our thought or behaviors we can alter our perspective about ourselves and ability to deal with distress. Making healthy lifestyle behavioral changes like getting proper sleep, good nutrition and exercise can alter the brain chemistry which can help us better deal with stress. If appropriate, certain medications can also help reduce some of the intensity of negative thoughts and feelings that accompany depression and anxiety. If you are feeling anxious, begin some deep breathing exercise. Have the client try to foster curiosity during the exposure and remind them that this is an opportunity to learn new responses to one's fear.

It is also important to remember that there are several sides to everyone's personality. Depending on time and circumstance, one day we can behave like a hero and the next day behave cowardly. What is important is that we do not define ourselves as just a hero or coward. Life is full of contradictions and learning to live with those contradictions is sometimes difficult. When facing issues of mental illness it is important not to define oneself by a diagnosis. Therapy is about changing behaviors and responses that are interfering with success and happiness. You are not your diagnosis.



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