Request a Call Back

Call (949) 249-9040 / e-mail: info@orangecountytherapy.com for an appointment.




My Services

men’s issues

I enjoy working with men on a variety of issues. Much of my enjoyment derives from working with males that I have much in common with. All males in our culture and in present day have witnessed the changing male/female roles as a result of the women’s movement. And many have struggled as a result. We haven’t, along with the women in our lives, achieved the effective communication necessary (both verbal and non-verbal) to feel the emotional closeness we long for.

We may not even be aware of or value that we too need emotional closeness. Our society has robbed men of the ability to identify our full range of feelings and needs, let alone celebrate our way that we feel close. We are clear that women need to talk, be heard and share in order to feel close, but men have needs that are just as important. Contrary to popular belief, thanks to the media, we need more than food, alcohol and sex to be fulfilled.

Many of us have put years of hard work into successful careers and businesses giving us earning power that we always dreamed about, but still feel something is missing. And something is missing. We are missing emotional closeness, peer relationships, hobbies…we are missing our full potential.

 

addiction

Addiction may take many forms. People may be addicted to sex, food, or other behaviors and substances. I have a keen understanding of addiction. I have over 17 years experience with working the 12 steps which has brought me the gift of abstinence.

When we are addicted to any substance we go through stages. These stages progress as we move through our disease. The first stage is when we move from occasional use of a substance/behavior to constant using to experience a relief. This relief is to experience some type of psychological escape (such as from stress, fear or depression). This stage may last months or years. If someone in this stage does not receive help they will build a tolerance and move to the next stage.
At this second level many addicts will experience periods of dissociation. Loss of control is a characteristic, as well as a preoccupation. Some addicts will be inclined to sneak their using at this level. The third level may involve the physical need for the substance or behaviors being abused. People tend to attempt to stop on their own at this level, and some may succeed at stopping at this level, but only to relapse. The periods of abstinence when trying to stop are usually short term.

The final and fourth level is when the addict is dominated by his/her using. This individual may experience his/her life as “falling apart” or debilitating. This person may demonstrate signs of physical withdrawal when unable to obtain the given substance or behavior of choice. Please note, it is essential that any individual who has become physiologically dependent on a some chemical substances receive medical attention and assistance before attempting abstinence. For example, withdrawal from alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Briefly participating in an inpatient facility to detox safely may be required.

Following is the AA Twenty Question List. This self-report is a good preliminary screening device which was developed at John’s Hopkins University Hospital to determine whether an individual has a problem with alcohol. I have often used this tool to determine whether an individual has a problem with different types of substances/behaviors. For example, you could substitute the words “drink” and “drinking” with “drugs, food, sex, gambling” and “using, compulsive overeating, or sexually acting out”.

The A.A. Twenty Question List

Answer with a “yes” or a “no”.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
  2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
  3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
  4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
  6. Have you gotten into financial trouble as a result of your drinking?
  7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
  8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?
  9. Has you ambition decreased since your drinking?
  10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
  11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
  12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
  14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
  15. Do you drink to escape worries or troubles?
  16. Do you drink alone?
  17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
  18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
  19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
  20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?
    • If you answered “yes” to any one of the questions, this is a definite warning that you may be alcoholic.
    • If you answered “yes” to any two, the chances are that you are an alcoholic.
    • If you answered “yes” to three or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.

anxiety

I enjoy working with men on a variety of issues. Much of my enjoyment derives from working with males that I have much in common with. All males in our culture and in present day have witnessed the changing male/female roles as a result of the women’s movement. And many have struggled as a result. We haven’t, along with the women in our lives, achieved the effective communication necessary (both verbal and non-verbal) to feel the emotional closeness we long for.

We may not even be aware of or value that we too need emotional closeness. Our society has robbed men of the ability to identify our full range of feelings and needs, let alone celebrate our way that we feel close. We are clear that women need to talk, be heard and share in order to feel close, but men have needs that are just as important. Contrary to popular belief, thanks to the media, we need more than food, alcohol and sex to be fulfilled.

Many of us have put years of hard work into successful careers and businesses giving us earning power that we always dreamed about, but still feel something is missing. And something is missing. We are missing emotional closeness, peer relationships, hobbies…we are missing our full potential.

depression

Depression involves feelings of extraordinary sadness, lack of energy and negative thoughts about self and the future. Basic biological functioning is also affected by depression, for example, sleeping patterns are likely to be disrupted, appetite may be lessened and a reduced libido may be affected. The risk of suicide is a significant factor when one is depressed. Most depressions, even milder ones, occur in the company of significant anxiety. Fortunately, psychotherapy can significantly reduce the symptoms of depression.

Most people question where their depression comes from. Many people experience depression after a loss, such as the loss of a relationship, loss of health, or loss of a job. And some even after a “success” in life, such as a graduation. Some people are more prone to depression than others. It has long been observed that women are twice as likely to become clinically depressed as men. However, many men can, and often do, suffer from this debilitating condition. A child needs a secure attachment to a parental figure in order to be resistant to depression in later life; therefore, some who were not given love and support as a child may be more prone to depression as well. In short, any incident in life that is highly stressful can result in a person feeling depressed.

There are two types of clinical depression that fall into the mild to moderate levels. The first is dysthymia. This depression lasts for more than two years and the person experiences the depression more days than not. It is important to note that someone with dysthymia does not experience depressive symptoms everyday. In addition, someone with dysthymia must also experience two of the following symptoms: poor appetite or overeating, sleep disturbance, low energy, difficulties concentrating or making decisions, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness.

When someone experiences a stressor, such as a loss or relocation an “adjustment” may trigger a depression. This is the other clinical depression that falls into the mild to moderate level. A depression that is brought on by an “adjustment” differs from dysthymia in that it does not last longer than six months.

A more severe level of depression is when the person exhibits more symptoms than are required for dysthymia and the symptoms are more persistent. This means that periods of normal mood will not be experienced as is the case with dysthymia. The person may also experience four or more of the following symptoms: fatigue or loss of energy, too much or too little sleep, decreased appetite and significant weight loss or gain, a slowdown of mental and physical functioning, diminished ability to think or concentrate, feelings of worthlessness, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. It is extremely important that an individual who is suffering from these symptoms receives compassionate help from a mental health professional. It is an unfortunate irony that the higher the level of depression an individual experiences, the more difficult it is for that person to work through the inevitable feelings of paralysis and seek treatment.

Depression is a painful condition that affects millions of people All deserve to benefit from the effective treatment that is available.

self esteem

Many clients inquire about therapy after years of suffering from lack of confidence. Some people are lucky to have inherited self-esteem from their parents; however, many people struggle with self-image. Most things in their lives appear normal. They are able to function in many areas of life, but their lack of self-admiration causes them to lose job opportunities, miss social engagements, or feel “less than”. This may be due to a history of abuse, depression, lack of nurturing, or other mental health issue.

Some individuals not only lack self confidence, but are additionally burdened by the presence of shame/guilt. Shame and guilt are extremely destructive agents that can have detrimental effects on interpersonal relationships. This can lead to isolation, loneliness and despair.

Positive self image is something that is attainable. It requires work and maintenance. It is not something magical that appears one day after you have made it to the top of the corporate ladder or after you are married with children. I assist clients in not only raising their self-image, but also learning new skills for coping that enhance their self-respect. By identifying strengths that have not been uncovered and learning new skills a new level of self-esteem will develop. Furthermore, when one is able to hold him or herself in esteem, one is able to participate in reciprocal relationships of respect, love, and intimacy.

childhood abuse

Survivors of childhood abuse are just that “survivors”. However, these survivors have not survived the abuse without wounds. There are several types of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect. Many people suffered as children form one or a combination of these types of abuse. Some were abused physically, emotionally and sexually by family members, friends of the family, and yet others have been abused by complete strangers. Some victims have experienced moderate symptoms that affect their relationships, careers and self-esteem. Other less fortunate victims have experienced serious trauma. The consequences of childhood abuse are both short term and long term. Some of the most common consequences I have seen are anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, lack of trust, sleep disturbances, acting out sexually or no sexual interest, and poor self-esteem. Abuse can, and often does, impact all aspects of the victim’s life.

When we grow up in households where there is significant inadequate parenting, deprivation and abuse, we learn to think certain ways and behave certain ways that may help us survive as children. However, many of these thoughts and behaviors are not useful long-term into adulthood, and, in fact,
can be detrimental to our functioning. I believe that relief can be achieved by challenging and learning new thoughts and behaviors. It is also important to understand patterns of abuse in your life and in the life of your family. Rebuilding a sense of self-worth and overcoming the overwhelming sense of guilt, shame, fear, and sadness is achievable. Resolving feelings of fear and depression while improving communication and clear boundaries in relationships with family, friends and co-workers are important. Eliminating the denial and putting the responsibility of the abuse on the perpetrator is a necessity. Increasing support will help you in your healing process. The final result will be you building self-esteem, a sense of empowerment and increasing your overall participation and joy in life. Healing the wounds of childhood abuse can help you move beyond survival. There is hope.

For information about group therapy for a adult survivors of abuse, please visit my Group Therapy

Laguna Hills therapists, Laguna Hills therapist, Laguna Hills counselors, Laguna Hills counselor, Laguna Hills therapy, Laguna Hills psychotherapists, Laguna Hills psychotherapist, Laguna Hills counseling, find a Laguna Hills therapist, finding a Laguna Hills therapist, Laguna Hills marriage counseling, Laguna Hills marital counseling, Laguna Hills relationship counseling, Laguna Hills individual therapy for depression, anxiety, group, self esteem, and/or addiction. 92653 92656 92637 OrangeCountyTherapy.com,Couples

Dr. Evan Fewsmith Evan Fewsmith, Psy.D., M.F.T. Mission Viejo Therapist and Counselor Therapy in Orange County for individuals, couples, and families. Serving: Mission Viejo*Ladera Ranch* Coto de Caza*Rancho Santa Margarita*Laguna Niguel* Aliso Viejo*Laguna Hills Mission Viejo Therapist (contact me link) * Mission Viejo Therapists Services(list indv etc) * Orange County Couples Counseling * Orange County Marriage Counseling * Orange County Counselors(contact me) * Orange County Therapists *