Psychotherapy is often referred to as talk therapy. It is a proven technique in which you share your strengths, challenges, and insights surrounding your life. As an experienced therapist, Valerie believes that lasting change comes from motivation and inner strength from the whole person. For each client to achieve this change, Valerie provides a safe, caring, nonjudgmental, and collaborative space to create a therapeutic alliance with each person. This relationship is a healing space to find and take the steps to create a more satisfying emotional life for yourself. Valerie’s approach is eclectic which means that she utilizes different modalities or ways to view your issues that will help you.
Some of the types of therapy Valerie uses are:
Valerie counsels children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. She taught and counseled children and families in the Fairbanks School District for twenty-one years and thoroughly enjoyed helping children and parents find better ways to communicate. Valerie provides child and teen therapy for those struggling with their feelings, behaviors, and relationships, or when their parents are experiencing a divorce.
Valerie will work with you and your children or adolescents to develop an action plan that will help everyone involved more easily navigate their key developmental years. At times, children and teens may face some of the same issues as adults. Whatever the issues are, the only difference is that they have fewer skills, resources, and less life experiences to help cope with their concerns and solve their problems. Valerie has experience with and uses play and art therapy. She has extensive knowledge with girls and women who self-injure.
Valerie works with straight and gay couples with a broad spectrum of relationship issues. Whether you are dating, living together, need pre-marital counseling, marital counseling, or want second or third marriage counseling, Valerie can help you work through your challenges and build a stronger connection with your partner. Every couple encounters issues that require the ability to communicate to reach compromises. Often, issues are “put on the shelf,” and never resolved. These issues most likely will resurface again and again but are seldom resolved. Unfortunately, many couples try to communicate when emotionally hurt or upset, when it is extremely difficult to listen to your partner. Communication breaks down when we want to be right and when we lose sight of our partner’s feelings. In couples counseling you can learn new understandings regarding respect, affection, closeness, anger and conflict, and strengthen and continue improvements in your relationship.
Divorce is one of the most stressful events that a person will experience. Valerie has worked with many couples that are trying to decide to stay together, separate or divorce. When the divorce involves children it can make decision making more complicated. Valerie can help parents figure out how to discuss child custody issues, develop parenting plans and understand and navigate the legal process.
Valerie belongs to the Alaska Association of Collaborative Professionals who is dedicated to offering an out-of-court alternative to divorcing couples that wish to avoid the cost, stress and unpredictability of divorce litigation. Working together as a team, the parties, their attorneys, a mental health professional and a financial professional work in joint sessions to seek and identify the needs, interests and priorities of each family member as well as the areas where the parties disagree. The Collaborative team then assists the parties in using problem solving strategies to resolve these disagreements and to arrive at a carefully thought out settlement, which meets the needs of each family member.
Family Therapy works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.
Regardless of the origin of the problem, and regardless of whether you consider it an “individual” or “family” issue, involving families in solutions is often beneficial. This involvement of families is commonly accomplished by their direct participation in the therapy session. The skills of the family therapist thus include the ability to influence conversations in a way that catalyzes the strengths, wisdom and support of family members.
Family therapy uses a range of counseling and other techniques including:
The number of sessions depends on the situation. A family therapist usually meets several members of the family at the same time. This has the advantage of making differences between the ways family members perceive mutual relations as well as interaction patterns in the session apparent both for the therapist and the family.
For your family therapy needs, call us for an appointment today!
Valerie Anne Demming, Ph.D., L.P.C. is a licensed professional counselor. Valerie was born and raised in Palmer, Alaska and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska for her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, graduated in 1975, and subsequently earned her Masters degree in Community Counseling with a certification in Elementary School Counseling in 1984 from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Starting in the mid 70’s, Valerie spent 13 years teaching 2nd, 3rd and 5th grades, and then counseled as an elementary school counselor with students from Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade including emotionally impaired children for 10 years in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.
In 1993 she started a part-time private counseling practice and after retiring from the school district in 1998, she expanded her practice to full-time and taught at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in the Masters in Counseling Program for nine years.
In 2002 she moved to Anchorage, began her full-time private counseling practice and taught at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, in the Masters in Counseling Program from 2003-2009. Valerie graduated with a Doctorate in Psychology from Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, California, February 2009.