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Michael Pipich, LMFT

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

720-255-9113

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Michael Pipich, LMFT   720.255.9113

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areas of treatment


click on a topic:

anxiety disorders
bipolar disorder
childhood trauma
chronic illness & pain
depression
marital/relationship problems
military/law enforcement/first responders
psychotic disorders
PTSD
substance abuse/addiction
traumatic brain injury (TBI)
workplace stress


anxiety disorders

There are different forms of anxiety disorders, including general anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's necessary to clarify these differences with a therapist who understands that each type of disorder requires an approach to fit that individual. One common issue in all anxiety issues, however, is fearing a loss of control with one's self and with life in general. I you have anxiety, you might be afraid that therapy could actually make you worse. I understand this issue, and work with you to develop a therapy plan that addresses the sources of stress and fear that generates anxiety, while helping you to gain a healthy sense of control and balance to your life.

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bipolar disorder

Recent findings show that up to 5% of the population may have some form of bipolar disorder, which is a genetically-based condition that affects the brain's ability to regulate emotions. As a result, adults and children with bipolar can experience intense and destructive mood swings. But bipolar disorder is frequently misidentified and mistreated. Suicide is quite common in bipolar, so immediate diagnosis and care are very critical. I specialize in treating people with bipolar and their families through my three-phase therapy approach, which I have developed and taught to therapists and doctors around the country. I have authored a book on bipolar for patients and families, along with many published articles and radio features on the subject of bipolar disorder.

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childhood trauma

People of all ages can suffer from the effects of childhood trauma, including physical, mental or sexual abuse, or neglect. Trauma can result in psychological disorders or substance abuse later in life, but many people with a history of trauma can appear very functional to the outside world while suffering in silence. It's also common for people to suppress their feelings and memories of childhood to avoid the great emotional pain it's caused. One of those buried feelings is often inappropriate guilt and shame. That is, people emotionally wounded in childhood commonly blame themselves for the traumatic events, though they were in no way responsible for them. They can go on in life feeling guilty and shameful in all aspects of life. No matter how long ago the trauma occurred, I believe therapy can heal the wounds of childhood, and liberate you from sadness, resentment and needless shame.

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chronic illness & pain

People with chronic medical illnesses or chronic pain often also deal with depression and anxiety, while feeling forgotten by the world around them. If you suffer from a chronic condition, the physical and emotional pain can seem unbearable, along with a loss of esteem that happens when you can't work or be productive in life overall. I have over 30 years of experience helping patients and families improve chronic illness and pain management through therapy, which can help relieve anxiety and other intense emotions that can otherwise make a medical condition worse. Depression, loss of esteem, and suicidal thoughts or actions can be improved through therapy as well, while feeling reconnected with life around you.

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depression

We all can suffer temporary grief when going through a loss in life. But depression is something different. When energy, ambition and hope seem forever lost, or thoughts of suicide or death are present, it's time to get professional help. Unfortunately, some people don't believe that depression requires specialized treatment. There can be a stigma against admitting that you're suffering. But know that, in spite of how you may feel, depression is often successfully treated with the right approach. Mood disorders like depression are not uncommon. Let me show you how you can begin to address what may be causing depression while no longer feeling alone in it.

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marital/relationship problems

As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I have worked with all kinds of couples, no matter their personal values or sexual orientation. I believe in helping adults in any type of relationship achieve excellent communication and mutual respect through a better understanding of each other's feelings and needs. Whether a couple is in serious crisis, or trying to prevent one, it's necessary to experience a sense of "being heard" by one's partner in an emotional safe environment. As a couple's therapist, I work to establish that safe communication zone in the therapy office, while helping couples improve their interpersonal skills to recreate that safe environment in their daily lives.

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military/law enforcement/first responders

The people who protect us and guard our freedoms often need help, too. As a therapist, I have always made it my priority to help them and their families, whether problems arise from PTSD, debilitating injuries, or life adjustments during or after deployment. If you need help, don't be afraid to reach out. It's not uncommon for military personnel, law enforcement officers and first-responders to feel like no one could possibly understand what they go through on a daily basis. But staying in that isolation can affect personal happiness and relationship success. Therapy services are confidential and can help you improve mood and life satisfaction, while reducing the chance of worsening clinical or relationship problems for you and your family.

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psychotic disorders

Psychotic disorders are mental illnesses that cause a severe disturbance in one's sense of reality, and can involve delusional thinking, paranoia and hallucinations. These symptoms of psychosis can be the result of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, brain injury, substance abuse or a catastrophic life event. If you or a loved one has suffered a psychotic disorder, life can feel frightening, and trusting others can feel intimidating. My approach in treating psychotic disorders is to develop a sense of trust that helps you feel safe to discuss your perceptions and fears, so you can be more productive in your life. It's important to form a treatment team, including family members when it is appropriate to do so, but in a manner that preserves trust towards resolving psychotic symptoms.

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PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can happen to anyone who has been subjected to or witnessed an exceptionally traumatic event. These events can include severe injury, physical or sexual assault, car accidents, workplace injury or harassment, robbery, or any sudden and tragic loss in life. Symptoms include heightened anxiety, hypervigilance, poor sleep or nightmares, and flashbacks of the event. Sometimes these symptoms can occur right away, or they may take a longer time to develop. In any case, if you suspect you have PTSD, an immediate diagnosis and treatment can help you recover more quickly recover from the effects of PTSD and prevent greater psychological problems in the future. That's why I'll work quickly to establish a therapy plan to work through fears and anxiety that comes with PTSD, and help you regain a sense of trust and hope that can be damaged by the traumatic experience.

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substance abuse/addiction

Substance use disorders represent an epidemic in our country, and it can strike any individual or family. Whether it's alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana or the "harder" addictive substances like cocaine, meth or heroin, I believe it's important to have therapy as an essential component to an overall sobriety approach. If you are trying to get off substances or stay off them, therapy can address the reasons why you've needed to turn to substances, and learn how to have a productive, fulfilling life without them. While in therapy, you'll come to understand the concept of "self-medication," which is common for people with physical or psychological disorders, self-esteem problems, or relationship difficulties. Treating these underlying problems along with sobriety needs, often improves overall success.

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traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Sudden or progressive changes in functioning as the result of brain injuries can cause terrible changes in the life of a patient and the family. If traumatic brain injury has become a part of your life, it's important to consider therapy as an important part of your overall neurological treatment plan. My clinical experience includes a background in neuropsychology and psychopharmacology, which I integrate in therapy with TBI patients and their families. The result can offer you a better way to adapt to the many life changes brought on by brain injury.

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workplace stress

The modern workplace can be a stressful, unfulfilling environment. If you feel overworked, overwhelmed, disrespected, or even harassed, therapy can help relieve tension and avoid further disruption to your overall health, relationships, and future goals. Therapy is particularly useful if you're feeling trapped in your job. I can help you better understand whatever is causing your stressful circumstances, sort out your feelings and options to address workplace issues, and develop immediate and long-term occupational goals. Working together in therapy can help you get unstuck in your situation and rebuild hope.

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