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Advanced Counseling Therapies
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Michael Oster, MSW, LICSW
(978) 682-2500
184 Pleasant Valley St.
Methuen, MA 01844
actherapies@comcast.net
Welcome

It takes courage to recognize when you need help and to take that first step to reach out for it. Maybe you've been struggling in a relationship, or consumed by irrational fears or a paralyzing depression. Or, maybe you just can't get out of your own way, and make your life work for you at all, and you're stuck. It's hard for friends and family to sometimes fully understand what it's like to live with tremendous emotional and psychological pain, let alone provide us with the objectivity we need to see the issues and challenges we're facing differently. It's even harder to find someone to help who won't just offer opinions but can provide you with the skills and tools you need to actually do something about it.


As a practical, interactive, therapist, my treatment approach is simple, straight-forward, and focused on helping you to define the problem, identify solutions, and develop the tools you need to not only get "unstuck," but get back on the road to living a fulfilling life. 

Based on a comprehensive knowledge of the most current and effective techniques for addressing complex issues, mood disorders, and psychological challenges, I draw from a selection of proven  techniques to incorporate what is most helpful for each individual to bring comprehensive change to a wide range of these personal life challenges to achieve a successful outcome. With dynamic feedback, insightful observation, and ongoing support, individuals, couples, and families learn to dramatically improve communication skills, bring resolution to conflicts, and deepen the relationships that bind all of us together. 
 
Many of the methods I introduce to you are based on cognitive-behavioral therapies. Cognitive (our thoughts and how we think them), and behavioral (the actions we take in reaction and response to them), Therapy is active and energizing in its approach and may be different than your previous experiences in treatment with other therapists.
 
Those who have never experienced therapy before may have the expectation that all therapists work in the same manner. In fact, there are numerous forms of therapy and not all of them involve lying on a couch and digging around in your childhood searching for the answers to current pain in past hurts.
 
Our experiences during childhood are certainly important and form the foundations of who we are. They give us our sense of identity, belief systems and establish a template for the relationships we form with ourselves, spouses, children, and others in the world around us. This template is uniquely determined by our experiences growing up. Unfortunately, this knowledge alone isn’t always helpful in solving the problems we face today. Knowing “why” we do the things we do, does not necessarily prepare us for knowing “how” to handle them.
 
Making your life work for you today is about changing your mind and doing things differently. Learning better ways to solve problems, improve and repair relationships, manage overwhelming feelings, and achieve personal goals, requires making choices and coming up with a new plan and strategy to accomplish it. Letting go of false expectations, self-defeating thoughts and believing in your self is not beyond our reach but within our grasp, and it begins by imagining the possibility that it might be within yours.

Michael Oster, MSW, LICSW