Therapy With Abby
Abby Hartman MS, NCC, LPC
EMDR Trained Therapist
Relationship & Couples Counselor
Individual Therapy In Richardson Texas
My name is Abby Hartman. I’m a mental health therapist based in Dallas, Texas. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC). I have specialized training in trauma and am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)—an innovative treatment for processing and reducing symptoms of trauma. I strive to create a safe, supportive space for my clients to approach issues that are painful or uncomfortable. In addition to trauma, I also specialize in treating anxiety, depression, LGBTQ+ issues, and complex PTSD.
I provide individual counseling to those who are struggling with a wide variety of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, LGBTQ issues, family of origin issues, and identity issues. Individual therapy begins with an initial intake session so that I can learn more about who you are as a person, or who you want to be. I will gather information about your childhood and major life experiences which have brought you to where you are now.
My goal is to hear your presenting concerns and how these are currently impacting your life. As we continue with individual therapy I will be looking for patterns which may have existed throughout your life or how major life events could have negatively impacted you. As we get to know each other better I will be able to identify an approach which may work best for you and your specific needs. With individual therapy my goal is to provide you a safe and open space for you to process uncomfortable, painful emotions and experiences as well as to guide you through the uncertainties that come with life.
Through individual therapy I will also help you learn more about where your current mental health concerns are coming from, and while we process the past we will also identify coping skills for you to use in the present day to alleviate any negative symptoms you may be having such as anxiety, panic attacks, dissociation, or depression. My priority is to create a nurturing relationship for my clients and to empower you to take the steps needed to feel like the best version of yourself.
Sometimes life gets difficult and we need help to sort things out. That’s where I come in. Individual therapy is beneficial for all kinds of reasons, whether that is overcoming a challenge you’re facing or pushing toward your goals. Individual therapy involves meeting one-on-one for a set amount of time at regular intervals--usually weekly or every other week. At Therapy With Abby, I’ll start by conducting an assessment to see where you’re at. Then we’ll set goals and expectations together before getting to work.
Individual therapy may be a good idea if you’re facing:
Mental health concerns
Unwanted thoughts and feelings
A painful event, like grief or rejection
A difficult life transition, like divorce or job change
Feeling “stuck,” maybe even without knowing why
As a licensed, Masters-level clinician, I have expertise in a wide variety of mental health disorders and how to treat them. Disorders often treated in individual therapy include:
Bipolar I and II
Personality disorders like borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
There are different techniques and models used within individual therapy. The most commonly used model is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. It involves identifying irrational or unhelpful thoughts, and then learning and practicing healthier, more adaptive ways of thinking and behaving. Another common model is interpersonal therapy, or IPT. IPT involves building understanding and insight into problems you’re facing, typically relationships.
Does Individual Therapy Work?
Each therapy technique has its own research behind it. Generally, though, evidence indicates therapy is very effective. For many mental health issues, such as anxiety, therapy is shown to be even more effective than medication.
The American Psychological Association reviewed research on the effectiveness of therapy, and found the following benefits:
Reduced disability and mortality
Improved functioning at work
New life skills that last well beyond the end of therapy
Fewer side effects than medication, if any
There are a few tricks to making sure you’re getting the most out of therapy. One of them is finding the right therapist—someone who sees your strengths and respects your unique goals. I try to do this for all my clients by individualizing treatment for each of them.
Myths of Therapy
Sometimes people think they need to have a “good reason” to go to therapy. They might feel that therapy is only for people with severe mental health problems, like suicidal thoughts. Or they might think it’s for “crazy” people, though just what that means is different from person to person.
These ideas are often tied to stigma around mental health. Just like people’s physical health suffers from time to time, so does mental health. Events that could cause someone to try therapy include a life transition, like divorce or job change; hardships like work stress or being bullied at school; or no reason at all. Sometimes people find themselves “stuck” without knowing why, and therapy helps them find what’s keeping them from moving forward.
There are also people who feel that anyone can be a therapist, and there’s no need to find a professional when they can rely on friends, family, etc. for support. Those types of supports, or “informal” supports, are great to have and are definitely helpful. But there are times when a professional or “formal” support, like a therapist, is helpful because they are consistent, knowledgeable, and experienced.
Some people also believe that if they start therapy, they’ll be going to therapy forever. This isn’t true, and actually, therapy is never meant to go on indefinitely. Good therapy involves concrete goals that, once met, mean you’re ready to stop. If therapy isn’t working for whatever reason, it could be that another form of treatment is needed. We’ll check in with each other regularly on how you’re progressing, how you’re doing on goals, and approximately how much longer you need in therapy to reach those goals.
If you think individual therapy may be right for you, reach out to me! I opened my therapy practice here in Dallas, Texas to help people in my community be as healthy as they can be. I’d love to talk with you about your goals and how we can work together to achieve them.