Loving Therapy on Stigma

‘A therapist is like a doctor for your heart.’ Loving Therapy.

The name has come to mean other things to me as well. ‘Well, we’re LOVING therapy,’ in response to the stigma that comes with many issues related to counseling and mental health in society. If you have never heard the word ‘stigma‘ it is a very helpful concept for understanding the greater illness of mental illness that comes from society and sometimes even causes mental injury to those already wounded. Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it as ‘a mark of disgrace or dishonor associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.’ This sounds like discrimination. That is because it is.

I have come to understand discrimination as bullying and bullying often as a form of discrimination. It is not against the law to mistreat others. It is not against the law to gossip. However, I am thankful for the laws that do attempt to protect people from not only slander but also discrimination in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has had speakers come to talk to my students at Santa Fe College. I have a friend who is a mediator for businesses and the EEOC and he knows this is a huge issue.Discrimination can be found out in an investigation and it may be evidenced in an interview, hiring, on the job, or retaliation in a demotion or fire.

Illegal interview questions include asking about religion, race, gender, health, family background, genetics, arrests (because there are so many false arrests and slander), sex, height and weight, nationality, housing, etc. If you are asked,”Have you ever been arrested? Who do you live with? Do you have children? How tall are you? What do you weigh?  Are you married? What religious affiliations do you have?,” you may answer by stating that you can understand that they are interested but feel that what makes you a best fit for the job would be your skills and abilities, etc. You can change the subject or you could tell the truth. One student wanted to be a pastor and we addressed the issue of ‘arrest’ and whether a church can ask if a person has ever been arrested. Not that he was ever arrested, but I considered that even though it is illegal to ask, they could. On the other hand Jesus Christ was arrested. Slander is an issue and convicted felons need a new identity and to work as well. I like the idea that people not be punished for mistakes for the rest of their lives. Sometimes there is no law to protect one from ‘discrimination’ and the truth is that a person needs a ‘new identity’ in some sense.  If there was a false arrest that is one issue, but many people do have criminal backgrounds and have to address this in an interview and in society.

These students also watch the documentary Eye of the Storm and discuss how the teacher’s experiment reveals the social development and dynamics in the system of discrimination. If you have not watched this it is a very important experiment that a 3rd grade teacher did with her students after Martin Luther King died. You can find it online here.  The children are told that all the brown eyed children are bad and all the blue eyed children are good. “This is a fact. Blue eyed children are better than brown eyed children.” The brown eyed children had the ‘stigma.’ The children are given special privileges for being blue eyed and impediments for being brown eyed. Over the next few days the children begin to fight and to even have incidences of violence. The brown eyed children start not to do as well in school performance also.The film also reminded me of the film documentary Bully that I saw recently about the bullying problem in US schools. You can read about this film and issue here. The research shows that it is those who stand up for the others being bullied that end the bullying. It is the same with discrimination and you do not have be be the individual who is discriminated against to file a charge or to stand up to it with the EEOC.

Not all cases of discrimination are as obvious. Sometimes the message from the ‘leader’ is not communicated in words or directives of privileges and impediments that are outright stated. Perhaps there is no clear leader in the groupthink that has occurred. People have huddled together out of fear and no one knows how the chaos began or will end. However, all that is important is that the message is communicated and this may be as slight as a facial expression or tone of voice. Perhaps, the one with the ‘tick’ or ‘ADHD’ or ‘Bi-polar’  just was not invited to the party. Perhaps, the girl with the outspoken views on her religious beliefs starts to notice she lost friends, no response to phone calls or texts back in social contacts. At Yale, recently, it was in the news that a woman was allegedly outright told the party was for ‘white girls only.’ However, most people try to hide how they are discriminating. It may also be more likely for someone with limp or funny walk to be made fun of than, for example, in a wheelchair. People often try to protect their reputation when they are being unkind by being discreet about their abuses.

As a result of messages being sometimes so slight, sometimes things are misunderstood as discrimination. For example, the case of Oprah’s shopping trip for a purse is considered a likely misunderstanding. She thought the store clerk would not get the purse out of the case because they assumed she was too poor to buy it, but then later it was said that those were the display purses and they had to get the one down from up top for her to look at to buy- the same purse. How could they not have recognized Oprah anyway and they must know she is rich? Could it be that Oprah still remembers going shopping when she was poor and how that felt, like a beggar at times at the cash register? I remember her talking on her TV show about how she was so poor she used to eat her cereal with Kool-Aid instead of milk. It would be hard to forget those feelings and sales associates definitely do this to people- just see here a clip from Pretty Woman.

Too often WE GET IT. We understood. We understand. We are Loving Therapy, thank you.

When I called the EEOC I was on hold for forty minutes. I have had more experience with sexual harassment and I see this also as a form of bullying. There is no law against male chauvinism, sexism, or patronizing, but sexual harassment is illegal and often not pursued through the EEOC. Perhaps women and others should file more charges.  The research shows that it is the ones who stand up for the person being bullied that end the bullying. We can also stand up for ourselves. I see discrimination and racism as a form of slander. If slander is ‘the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation,’ then racism and other forms of discrimination slanders a whole group of people. I looked into some legal cases and found that slander can also be of someone who really does have a mental illness and is spoken of in terms only of disability, and not their abilities. For example, they are referred to as the mental illness, by name. Many people have some disability and mental illness, but this is NOT who they are.

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. This is about identity and truth. This is about the lies told about us and how they affect our life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; our well-being, our mental health, and the health ultimately of our society. We need the gifts and abilities even of those considered MOST weak in society. There are tens of thousands of people in Florida alone who have some ‘disability‘ and are working. What a disaster it would be if we did not have them and if they believed any lie spoken about them by others or in messages given in society.

I had a vision that touched my heart for the people I love who suffer with chronic illnesses, when they are in the most acute phases and most dysfunctional. I will share it the best I can. I saw these people that I love and I felt no different than them- I am the same, their equal, and we are friends, even family. I do not see the illness and I see them. But I see them through a glass and I can reach out to them through their eyes and almost touch them. I could see them as they really are and they are healed.They are not even ‘healed’- they are just whole and as they truly were made to be. I saw them through these scriptures, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Corinthians 13:12).” Also, “. . .  what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).” “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me (Matthew 25:36).'” “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me (Matthew 25:37-40).’”

There is no more stigma. Christ takes it on the cross and defeats it in the resurrection from the dead- the new definition of stigma being life. In a moment I saw God and became healed myself and saw my loved ones also like God and as they truly are, whole, healthy, holy, and loved.

This is about how everyone is imperfect and when we meet God face to face and know him we will be like him and perfect. But we will also, after so much longing, finally see each other fully and know one another in truth.

I told a friend of mine this vision. They stated that they thought maybe they had a vision of Jesus once. I said, “Oh, what was it?” They said, “Well, I was at the back of a very large crowd and I saw a man standing at the front of it. . . ”

“And. . . what did you see?”

“Well, that was it. . .”

I laughed. Then they said that they felt at first like they could not go up to get healed because there were so many other people who needed help but then they thought they needed healing just as much as everyone else and so they went up too. I could relate to that.

“Well, it was a really simple vision. Maybe that means it was real.”

“Me too.”

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory


Rachel Hofer, MS


Play Therapy: Experiential Play Therapy

I am currently working on a certification in Play Therapy. I have attended a Sandplay workshop before and now I am studying all the research and different theories on Play Therapy at Capella University online. I will write a series of blog posts on different types of Play Therapy. Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter, was the first therapist to claim that toys and play could be used with children in psychotherapy. The clinic she founded is still serving children in London today.

I have studied and mostly used Child Centered Play Therapy, the theory developed by Virginia Axline from Carl Rogers work and later developed by Gary Landreth. Through this program I have begun to have a great respect for many other theories and techniques and to use them in therapy. I really like Adlerian Play Therapy, Jungian Play Therapy, and Filial Play Therapy with parents and kids. Today I will share some of what I wrote about Experiential Play Therapy. Some of the posts on this site are ‘Readers Digest’ and others are more academic.

Experiential Play Therapy focuses on allowing the child to express his or her feelings through the symbolism of play. Building trust with the child, validating, expressing respect and supporting their expression of feeling is the important role of the therapist in this theory. The child first will use fantasy and metaphors, which they communicate with as early as age 2, and as trust and confidence grows the child will begin to recreate unresolved difficult situations more closely resembling reality (Shaeffer, 2011, p.187). EPT also involves the parent or parents if possible. The parents can even act in the role of the therapist with a bug in their ear and while the therapist watches and prompts them through a double-sided mirror ( Shaeffer, 2011, 194-196).

There are five distinct phases of therapy in this model: exploratory, testing for protection, dependency, therapeutic growth, and termination. In the exploratory phase the child is just learning what toys are in the playroom and their uses, as well as that the therapist is there as a support and not to make them uncomfortable. The therapist in this phase focuses on reflecting behavior and not so much feelings yet so that the child is not intimidated by focus on vulnerable emotions (Shaeffer, 2011, 188-189). In the testing for protection stage the therapist must convey that he or she will allow the child to freely express their emotions and validate them by acting them out and reflecting them for the child rather than not allowing these expressions or ignoring them. The therapist must set limits while also validating the child’s feelings and needs. Once the child surrenders to the direction of the therapist in setting limits the child will begin to trust and confront their upsetting emotions. This may lead to regressions at home in their behavior (Shaeffer, 2011, p, 189-190). During the next stage, dependency, the child begins to act out the traumatic experience as the aggressor and the therapist must effectively express the meaning of what the child went through in their experience of trauma. Then the child will switch roles and act out their own experience and the therapist must allow the child to overcome the aggressor as the therapist acts out that role (Shaeffer, 2011, p. 190-191). In the last stage, the therapeutic growth stage, the child grieves the loss of their trauma persona and begins exploratory play again to gain a sense of mastery. The child may regress to earlier stages of development which they missed out on because of the trauma and pretend to be a baby asking for nurturing, for example. In the termination phase the therapist must introduce the idea early in the session and allow a few sessions for the child to process the significance of the therapy and gain a sense of closure. The therapist must allow the child to express the importance of the relationship with the therapist and play and reciprocate that to the child (Shaeffer, 2011, p. 192).

EPT also harnesses the power of play for therapeutic purposes. In short, a picture is worth a thousand words and a therapist may enter that picture in ways that are not possible for an expression of an idea such as “I was so scared when this happened (Shaeffer, 2011, 193-194).” Metaphors and symbolism of toys or pictures also allow the child to express ideas with more emotional control over the level of arousal associated with traumatic memories (Shaeffer, 2011, p. 193). This is a good point about play therapy in general that emphasizes the importance of its use with adults as well as children.

EPT is best for children who have disorders that are related to some experience that was traumatic. Some of these include ODD, PTSD, SAD, AD, OCD, and elimination disorders (Shaeffer, 2011, p. 196). ADHD may sometimes be a misdiagnosis for these disorders as traumatic experiences can affect attention and focus.

EPT is a newer concept in play therapy but there is evidence to support its effectiveness. There are studies of relationship therapies that are experiential models and they have evidence of positive outcomes (Ray & Bratton, 2010, C. Norton & Norton, 2002). Another study which was very important in overcoming my skepticism and concerns, especially considering any court involvement, proved that the metaphors and symbols children use in their play are consistent with the actual events of trauma even at an early age of 2 years, for example (Paley & Alpert, 2003). Of course any disclosure of a child’s therapy and notes is used with discretion or by Judge’s subpoena. Decisions based upon the child’s play are considered in light of the whole case as well as the research and discretion given the ‘private’ and even ‘secret’ nature of therapy. There is also research on how the brain’s memories and processes are activated therapeutically through EPT (Shaeffer, 2011, p. 197-198).

Ray, D. & Bratton, S. (2010).What the research shows about play therapy: Twenty-first century update.

In Braggerly, D.. Ray, & S. Bratton (Eds.), Child-centered play therapy research. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Norton, C.,  & Norton, B. (2002). Reaching children through play therapy: an experiential approach (2nd ed.) Denver, CO: White Apple Press.

Paley, J.,  & Alpert, J. (2003). Memory of infant trauma. Psychoanalytic Psychology, (20)2, 329-347.

Schaeffer, Charles E. (2011). Foundations of Play Therapy. 2nd Ed. Wiley and Sons


Rachel Hofer, MS

October is also Bullying Prevention Month


Like Dr. Porter, developer of the “Hands on Hero” program, on FACEBOOK

Kids Websites for Stop Bullying- http://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/index.html




Loving Therapy is giving a talk at Sun Country Sports on Preventing Bullying this week!

Report Bullying Now Alachua County Public Schools

Click to access nature_and_the_prevention_of_bullying_-_bully_busting_activity_-_gene.pdf


National Forgiveness Day Proclamation Petition


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News Coverage of the Event in 2015

The Independent Florida Alligator

National Forgiveness Day to focus on mental health

National Forgiveness Day to focus on mental health _ Campus _ alligator.org (1)

Rachel Hofer always wanted to understand mental illness.

It came from a love for her community and concern for mental health awareness, a desire that pushed her to become a counselor and form Loving Therapy and Life Coaching, a Gainesville nonprofit mental health counseling service, in 2013.

“I’ve always been a really deep thinker,” she said. “My friends tell me that I’m very self-reflective and I always have been.”

Now, Hofer, 32, is pushing for statewide recognition of National Forgiveness Day, so people with disabilities and people who have been bullied can address and forgive the mental damage done.

The purpose of the day is to celebrate the power and importance of forgiveness, Hofer said.

“It doesn’t mean that you pretend that something negative didn’t happen to you, and it doesn’t mean you weren’t wronged,” Hofer said. “The focus is really on self-forgiveness here.”

“National Forgiveness Day is a big thing that can help people who have been through a lot in their lives,” said Daphnee Paul, who graduated from UF last May with a degree in family, youth and community sciences.

Paul, 24, a volunteer with Loving Therapy, said she was bullied as a child and even attacked by a group of boys. She believes people hurt themselves when they bottle up their feelings instead of forgiving those who have hurt them.

“They’re only hurting themselves by keeping it inside,” she said. “It’s good to talk to a counselor and let it out.”

Gainesville observes National Forgiveness Day

Gainesville observes National Forgiveness Day _ Local _ alligator.org

Rachel Wayne stood in front of a microphone on Saturday and spoke about bullying.

She talked about her cousin who was bullied throughout high school for being gay. He had to deal with online bullying where people liked a Facebook page created for him.

“It’s impossible to forgive yourself for the mental loops that you go through in struggling with this [trauma] if you keeping having people tell you, ‘well this happened to you because you were x or y,’” Wayne said.

“You’re not the reason anybody did this to you,” she said.

Rachel Hofer, who works for Private Reflections Counseling, LLC, a company that provides mental health counseling, decided to hold the event because she said forgiveness has been incredibly powerful in her life.

“I don’t think anybody has walked through life and not been hurt at some point,” Hofer said. “We want to validate the pain but help people to let go of that so they’re not continuing to focus on that.”

At the event, guests were encouraged to participate in dancing and the open mic, where they could speak about different topics, such as mental health and forgiveness, read poetry and perform music.

While attendance was low, Hofer wasn’t discouraged, and said she plans to do it again with a bigger budget.

“Forgiveness is just a hard topic for people to come out for,” Hofer said, adding the event was worth it.

Comedian Alyson Chadwick performed a routine to bring some laughter to the event.

Chadwick said she feels the topic of forgiveness is really important.

“I mean, in comedy there seems to be — in any creative endeavor, when people get into it, there seems to be — a higher level of mental illness,” Chadwick said. “I think that we need to treat mental illness the same way we treat physical illness because it is a physical illness.”

Tannu Jiwnani, 24, who is graduating from UF in December with a master’s in information systems and operations management, attended the event after hearing about it from a friend.

Jiwnani, who had never previously heard about a forgiveness day, said she feels that it’s good people are taking initiative and talking about mental health issues, not only in women but people as a whole.

“It’s covering a large group of people,” Jiwnani said, “helping them out to live life better.”

The Gainesville Sun

One Day Event Aims to Explore Forgiveness Theme

One-day event aims to explore forgiveness theme – News – Gainesville Sun – Gainesville, FL

“If we can’t let go of our past hurts and our wounds . . . then we’re just going to be stuck and re-traumatizing ourselves,” said Rachel Hofer, founder of Gainesville-based Loving Therapy and the event’s co-organizer.

Hofer said the event will address both personal trauma and national tragedies, like the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and others like him.

There will be an emphasis on self-forgiveness, as well.

“It’s something that everyone has experienced, and just talking about it is healing,” Hofer said.

Fourteen states, excluding Florida, have a proclamation recognizing a Forgiveness Day in October.

Hofer said she’s asked Gov. Rick Scott to make a similar proclamation, but hasn’t heard back yet.

“Whether it’s state-recognized or not, we’re celebrating it,” she said.


14 other states already have similar proclamations!

“I think Forgiveness Day is a great idea because, just like Valentine’s Day, it may give people just that extra push to do what they already want to and know they should- to move closer with people they love.”

Click the document above to view the petition in google docs and click in the form below for an invitation to sign this October. Pass on the Love! Share the invite to sign the petition and to the event with 3 other people!!!

“WHEREAS, both wisdom proverb and research admonish to us the need to remove anger, hurt, bitterness, and unforgiveness from our hearts by forgiving ourselves and others as essential to living healthy, happy, stress-free lives; and

WHEREAS, it is important to take time to repair, restore, rebuild, and revive damaged relationships through the power of love and joy of forgiveness and to seek peace as well as justice;

WHEREAS, volunteers and supporters from Florida and across the nation will join together throughout the month of October to celebrate National Forgiveness Month, Forgiveness Week (week leading up to the third Saturday of October), and Forgiveness Day (the third Saturday in October); and

WHEREAS, people of diverse race, sex, religion, background, and life history will be asked to practice forgiving all others, forgiving themselves, asking bitterness to be removed, and asking joy to be restored also through loving expressions in art, poetry, and appreciating diverse cultures;

WHEREAS, this observance is to create an awareness and understanding of the power of love and forgiveness in producing good health, happiness, and stress-free living in the lives of individuals in our homes, work, and worship environments; and

WHEREAS, Florida will be the 15th state to issue such proclamation;

THEREFORE, I, _____________Governor of the State of ___________, do hereby proclaim October 17, 2015, as NATIONAL FORGIVENESS DAY, and encourage citizens to forgive themselves and others on this day and throughout the year.

Signed_______________        Date__________”

Saturday October 17th at 4pm! This event is happening again after two years!

Who: SConnection Aerial Arts, Loving Therapy, . . .
currently still open to artists and community partners joining in for the event! call 352-577-8431 or email lovingtherapy@gmail.com

What: Aerial and Circus Arts performances, live music, food, poetry, art activities to promote forgiveness. Open Mic!

Where: Market Street Pub, 112 SW 1 Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 317-1516

When: Saturday October 17, 2015 from 4pm-8pm

Why: To Celebrate National Forgiveness Day and to promote an awareness of the importance of forgiveness for our community and nation. We are also celebrating SConnection’s new Gym, Loving Therapy, Inc. gaining non-profit status, as well as many community partners.

Pictures from the last event and ARTWORK and link to the Facebook event this year.

This year we invite you to upload and share videos about what forgiveness means to you on the event page, beautiful stories of forgiveness, submit artwork and poetry on the page, and to practice the principles of forgiveness.

One Definition is: Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.

It is important to note this point from Psychology Today Magazine:

“Mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us, instead of allowing anger toward them to eat away at us, is the course of action recommended by most psychologists. An exception to the belief that burying the hatchet brings peace to the soul may be sexual abuse: Some victims of these crimes are empowered when given permission to not forgive.”

Forgiveness is a process. Forgiveness does not mean we do not feel badly when we do wrong, or others do wrong against us.


Declare the day a joyful day. Speak the truth with love. Ask good questions. Listen with understanding. Think in silence. Do not give permission for anger and hurt to take away your joy. Restore relationships by asking what you can do to make the relationship better.

Use your 7 super powers. You have the power to control attitude, honesty, communications, love, encouragement, forgiveness and being humble and admitting shortcomings. Say these 21 wonderful words as often as possible: I’m wrong. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. You’re welcome. Please. What is your opinion? I love you. Yes dear. We is the most important word. We are all made beautifully. Know that the power of love and the joy of forgiveness exists inside of you. Love to all.

Ask for forgiveness and forgive others. This may bring about a beautiful reconciliation.

Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. That is not always possible; it’s an attitude of the heart. Forgiveness means you let go of seeking out justice for the wrong done yourself with your own hands. Reconcilition has been attempted but is not an option. It means you were wronged, but forgive within your heart and wish the best for the other person. You may report to the appropriate authority, and then let it go. They may still have consequences and no longer be a part of your life but you wish them the best.

If you are a person of faith find forgiveness also through prayer.

Find peace through love. Love yourself. Love others.

belly dance karen3 karen2 aerialcory aerial2 aerial5 jimporter jimporter2 hula1 aerial6 forgiveness1 hulaforgiveness jimporter3 larry2 larry1 sconnection

Stories, Videos, Art, Poetry, Dance, Music

“Laughter is a huge part of forgiveness! It helps us to love ourselves with all of our flaws, faults, failures, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. Blaise Pascal has said, ‘The same things make us laugh and cry.’ Laughter is good medicine.”


“Art has to be a kind of confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them, too — the terms with which they are connected to other people.”
— James Baldwin, 1961


On what Baldwin says here: When we are able to look ourselves in the face and truly accept ourselves with all our faults and failures we can represent that through art. Art is a process that helps us to do this and only when we truly see ourselves and love every part can we truly see and love others and feel that connection- and vice versa. Art is a part of how we know ourselves, forgive ourselves, love ourselves and others.


Camus once said, “We all carry within us our ravages, our crimes, our places of exile.” Are there ravages you still inwardly struggle with?


Rachel Hofer, MS



Volunteering with Loving Therapy

Looking for volunteers to help with a variety of tasks including potentially (depending on area of interest):

planning and coordinating events
public speaking
graphic design
Public Relations, community liaison
office work
medical billing
Grant Writing/Fundraising
Creative Project Development/Think Tank

If you are looking for an opportunity to learn and grow, to train, or just to give back we would love to have you on our team!

Email rachel@lovingtherapy.com for the volunteer application!

Rachel Hofer, MS


In Loving Memory



As I watched her working throughout the time when she lived with cancer and through chemotherapy treatments I admired her so much. She always had a positive attitude and encouraged the people who came in to see her. She dedicated her time and attention fully. She reminded me of the proverb, “A generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).”

The name ‘Loving Therapy’ comes from an idea I had about how she explained to a child what a therapist is. She said, “A therapist is like a doctor for your heart and your feelings.”

Dr. Cheryl Laird was my first supervisor. I am thankful for her often for all that she taught me and miss her. God bless her family and work.

Rachel Hofer, MS


Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples


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Rachel Hofer, MS, is a contractor and works with Rachel Cannon Ghulamani, M.S., LMHC at Private Reflections, LLC. Rachel Cannon Ghulamani, LMHC, specializes in providing couple’s and marriage counseling through Emotion Focused Therapy. This therapy focuses on the underlying attachment needs and fears and the underlying negative cycles.  Through recognizing these cycles and working in session on communicating unmet needs and primary fears, relationships that were once dead can come alive again.  This is the most cutting edge and successful type of couple’s counseling.  It is essential when choosing a relationship counselor that you choose a counselor who uses Emotion Focused Therapy.  It is the most successful form of couple’s therapy and there are only a handful of marriage counselors in the Gainesville area that are trained in this type of counseling.

The book Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson is a wonderful resource for couples in therapy.