Hello, my name is Lola Haag and I am a licensed Marriage and family Therapist with 25 years of experience working to reduce stress and improve relationships. I thoroughly enjoy helping clients deal with the multitude of life's challenges.
I use Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy in my practice. These are evidence-based treatment modalities that are based on the connection between beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and behavior. I also believe that individuals and family members have patterns of interaction and communication that sometimes work against individuals getting their needs met. This pattern can create stress and unhappiness. In addition, I focus on the individual's connection to their internal emotional experience. In this world, we often lose sight of our own emotions and their connection to our well-being and our behavior.
I have worked extensively with individuals who are struggling with transitions, relationship struggles, or emotional overwhelm. Many times, in adulthood, prior abuse or dysfunctional family-of-origin issues resurface to cause distress. I work to help adults resolve the past from over-influencing the present and the future. Teens have so many stressors that they have to manage. I work to give them an additional supportive adult to listen to and increase coping strategies to ease their challenges. I work with couples to increase positive communication, resolve issues of conflict, and help them to problem-solve together.
My communication style
I use a warm and relaxed environment to put my clients at ease. It is not unusual to hear mutual laughter in my sessions. I like people and typically we enjoy each other's company. I often use quotes or some of my personal observations with my clients as a method of teaching a concept or making a point.
My journey to mental healthcare
I, like so many therapists, became a therapist as part of my own personal journey. My children were older and no longer needed as much care so I took a few psychology classes. I was hooked! Ha! I applied for a job with a rape crisis center and began my career by providing advocacy for rape crisis clients during their med-legal exam in the hospital. I got my BA and moved on to my Masters degree. I worked at a Battered Women's shelter and gave anger management classes to perpetrators and individual therapy to victims of partner violence. When I became licensed, I opened my private practice. In addition, I worked as an administrator, therapist, and clinical supervisor for various organizations working with high-risk youth, youth immediately after hospitalization, adults who were abused or abusers, and dysfunctional families. I enjoy private practice the most because it is an opportunity to help individuals, couples or families change a pattern in a life that is not working. I enjoy helping people become happier and more self-actualized. It is so rewarding. It also helps me personally. I believe that I gain as much as I give to each and every client.
My goals for you
I listen closely to the clients' descriptions of the presenting problem and what they would like to gain from therapy. I also get a complete history including medications, health, living situation, safety, sleep, suicidal ideation, etc. I include relationship history. Goals are developed together with measurable outcomes. Goals are assessed regularly and modified as needed.
My first session with you
We would get to know each other. I would explore their presenting problem, describe the limits of confidentiality, and obtain a history of the problem and other histories of the client's relationships and current living environment. I would assess the safety issues of the client and develop an emergency plan if necessary. I would describe how I work and develop rapport with the client.