Guidance and Support for Healing and Transformation

Counseling Services for Adults and Teens

 

 

Andrew Johnston MDiv MA LPCI

Welcome.

I am a therapist working with adults and teens in downtown Greenville.

My goals in therapy are to help you better understand why your emotions, thoughts and behaviors are causing difficulties, to discover effective ways to change, and to support your natural capacity to grow so that the changes are lasting.

I also work with couples, and have been trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.  For more information about my work with couples, please visit the website for the Greenville Relationship Institute.

 

The Principles that Guide My Work

  • Dignity.
    Every person, no matter how distressed, how troubled, how confused, or how lost, can be respected as a fellow human being.  Anyone who walks into my office will be afforded my honor and respect.

  • Connection
    We are all born with the ability to connect deeply with others. That connection is often injured and adapted along the way, but is not lost. Our pathways to healing depend upon having a strong, supportive connection to someone who respects us.

  • Understanding
    In order for changes to be sustainable, simply medicating or fighting off symptoms is not enough. You need to understand what is causing the problem in the first place.

  • Trust
    The foundation for a healing relationship is trust. You have to trust that the therapist is well trained, competent, and has your best interests at heart.

  • Freedom
    We all have an inner desire to be free from cycles of injury, isolation, and suffering.

  • Transformation
    We continue to grow throughout our lives. When we are struggling, it is easy to believe “this is just how I am.” However, there is always, always the potential for transformation.

Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail. 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

One day, you finally knew what
you had to do, and began

– Mary Oliver

A Changing Field

Psychotherapy has gone through what some call a “revolution” in the past 10 years. Through advances in brain research and new models of conceptualizing our emotions, we have taken a huge leap forward in our ability to create lasting change.

Initially, emotions were considered dangerous and primitive (like Freud’s concept of the “Id”), which led to a variety of attempts to control, contain, and suppress emotional responses. These control / contain approaches can be very valuable in the short-term, but seem to be ineffective long-term.

Now, we can see how our emotions impact the brain, what functions they serve, and how they become adapted to different situations. We know that the emotions are far more powerful than our “rational brain” and that our emotions are important body processes that keep us healthy, when able to operate properly.

We also know that the only way to change an emotional response is from the inside. You cannot change an emotion without feeling it first. Therefore, the work of psychotherapy is more important and valuable than ever: creating a safe place to tranform difficult emotions, thoughts, and behaviors at the very roots.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…  You must do that thing you think you cannot do.

-Eleanor Roosevelt