|Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. I hope you find it helpful. My name is Darren Haber and I am a licensed psychotherapist (LMFT).
My specialties include treating addictions (including problems with alcohol or drugs), sex addiction, codependence and trauma. I have helped many people find relief from these problems.
My office is in west Los Angeles near the corner of Olympic and Barrington. I work with adults and young adults, as well as couples and families in an attempt to help them with whatever problems or issues are blocking them from being happier.
I know that, for most folks, finding a therapist is not the first option. For many it is a last resort. People who seek psychotherapy are often frustrated, worn out, anxious or all of the above. The overall goal is for you to be happier and more satisfied with your life, career and relationships. Sometimes happiness is a matter of removing or working through problems that are stubborn and won't go away, no matter what you try. Helping you remove these obstacles on your path towards a happier, more productive life, is what my work is all about.
First, however, you have to know what the problem is – which is often anything but simple. Sometimes things just feel bad, but it's hard or impossible to know why, and frustrating not to know. It can be scary too, to start to wonder how serious one's problems really are.
When it comes to addictions, or behaviors that may look like addictions, I take a very nonjudgmental approach. Each person is different. You may be wondering if you are going through a "stage" or truly hooked. Perhaps you are doing it in secret and wonder why. Or maybe someone in your family was an addict and you wonder if you have the same issue. Perhaps a person close to you is pushing you to get some help, and you wonder if you really need it. You may find you can "take it or leave it" sometimes, but not always ... or can walk away from everything except for alcohol or a certain drug. Confusing, right? And can someone really be "addicted" to marijuana?
Perhaps you know someone who might have a drug or alcohol problem.
What to do? How to help? Sometimes we wonder if we are "enabling" if we don't take drastic action as soon as possible. But if they don't respond, should we kick this person out of our life? How can we do that if we love them? Talking about this with someone is a helpful first step, and can bring to light what you can and can't do to help your loved one. Sometimes getting help for ourselves is the very best thing we can do for those we love. Finding the right therapist is a good first step.
Or maybe you're having an affair, and feeling terribly torn about it.
You feel overwhelming guilt but aren't sure you want it to end, maybe because things with your partner are not going so great. Perhaps you're having problems with your partner, or a family member, and feeling a lot of anger – anger which soon becomes guilt or shame after you express it. These are bewildering, often overwhelming issues to get through by without some kind of help.
One of the most confusing and potentially embarrassing addictions, or addictive-type patterns, involves compulsions related to sex.
For many in our society, sexual challenges bring shame, confusion and a desire to hide. Out of this hiding develops a "double life" that can become a real albatross. Deciding who to tell and what to do about it becomes a challenge. Perhaps you've developed a growing habit of looking at online porn. Maybe this habit has begun to intrude at work or home, stealing time from your partner or family. Maybe those occasional visits to massage parlors or prostitutes have become a more frequent occurrence, arousing fear and shame. Perhaps you've developed a "cyber" relationship that is humiliating to contemplate but impossible to stop. The thought of anyone finding out is the worst thing imaginable. Yet holding these secrets is painful. Even if these behaviors do not represent an actual addiction, talking about it with someone who understands, and can help you deal with it, is a major step towards relief.
I will help you with these questions, but at the end of the day, you decide the severity of the problem. I never make assumptions or tell anyone what they "should" do. Therapy is a collaboration. Of course, if I believe your well-being is in danger, I will tell you. I am gentle, but always honest and direct.
Finally, I am a fully trained EMDR practitioner who helps people deal with traumatic experiences which have left psychological scars. These scars most often show up in the form of memories, nightmares or uncontrollable emotions which can leave a person paralyzed, frightened and overwhelmed. Very often these types of symptoms are diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a catch-all diagnosis which covers a wide variety of problems, stemming from a single event (such as a car accident or injury) or a long-term pattern (physical or sexual abuse, and so on). You needn't suffer anymore from these debilitating symptoms. Help is available, and many find that at least some relief comes quickly with this proven, effective form of treatment. Even my non-PTSD clients find EMDR helpful in alleviating the stress of a memory, self-concept or emotion that blocks them from achieving their goals.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have, I welcome any and all of them – especially the difficult ones! Thanks again for stopping by.