My specialties include helping people with depression and anxiety; grief and loss; childhood (or more recent) trauma such as emotional or physical abuse; relationship or family issues; “codependence”; and addictions—including problems with alcohol or drugs or sexual compulsivity. I also specialize in working with men on male-related issues, such as sexuality or “mid-life crisis”, as well as other miscellaneous challenges related to whatever is standing in the way of finding greater happiness and success. I work collaboratively, with the strong belief that everyone has his or her own distinctive voice and point of view that can become repressed or “pushed aside” due to trauma or other painful experiences. It can be hard to seek help, and doing so does not mean “failure,” when problems leave us overwhelmed, lonely, or lost. I have been in private practice over ten years and have wide experience in helping people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs.
Hello, and thank you for visiting my website. I hope you find it helpful. My name is Darren Haber and I am a fully licensed psychotherapist (LMFT) and trained psychoanalyst (PsyD). My office is in west Los Angeles near the corner of Olympic and Barrington. I work with adults and young adults, in an attempt to help them with whatever problems or issues are blocking them from being happier.
I know that, for most folks, seeking out therapy is a last resort. People seeking psychotherapy are often frustrated, depressed, anxious or all of the above. I honestly believe, however, that seeking help is an act of courage. My overall goal is to help you become happier and more satisfied with your life, career and relationships. Sometimes therapy is a matter of removing or working through longstanding historical patterns that are quite stubborn, no matter how hard you try.
Many of our fears or negative self-talk/self-esteem are unconscious. As an expert at listening for and illuminating those unconscious feelings/concepts, I can help you find ways to change. It is, quite honestly, not always comfortable, but those who stick with it frequently get results. Finally, some might say "well I'm open to change but my loved ones -- partner, family, children -- are not." The good news is that relationships form a "system," much like molecules making up an atom. The "movement" or orbit of one of those molecules, i.e. yourself, changes the entire system. Those who begin making changes often find that their loved ones also want to change, in order to keep up and not get left behind! I believe quite strongly in the process: therapy is like learning a new language or playing an instrument, it works if you keep at it. I always try my very best to help clients make the challenging but rewarding changes they desire.
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.
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.