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Phoenix, AZ – Shame is a universal emotion, the most frightening and painful. Everyone wants to hide from it; no one wants to talk about it.
According to Sandy Graham, when you pull shame out of the dark it loses its power. Graham is a licensed professional counselor in Arizona specializing in helping people lead happier, more fulfilling lives. Graham offers counseling services to individuals struggling with a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship problems and other psychological issues. The common thread for most of them, she’s found, is shame.
“Everyone wants to be happy, but true happiness requires we have the ability to connect to other people,” explains Graham. “Shame keeps us from doing that.”
While most counselors treat a diagnosis, Graham’s approach is to get a sense of who a person is to discover the underlying trauma that’s causing their issues. The dysfunctional underlying beliefs we develop in childhood can eventually grow to become serious problems as adults, but, says Graham, we can work on them until they no longer interfere with our happiness.
“Some therapists like to set themselves up as an expert or the one who knows everything or has the answers,” says Graham. “I’m just like you. I’ll approach you as a person, not a diagnosis. I may not have all the answers, but we’re going to figure this out together.”
Graham herself was 29 years old when she first realized that while she had issues, there was nothing wrong with her. 20 years after her own recovery from addiction, the experience inspired her to help other people accept who they are
“I’m always gratified when people are willing to share their feelings with me. I consider that a sacred trust,” says Graham.
It's good to talk.