Mental Health Resources

Name: Timothy Kavanagh, L.P.C., M.A.

Address: 747 North Fourth St., Montrose, CO 81401

Office Number: 970-249-1335

Fax Number: 970-240-1386

Specialty/Specialties: Family, Child and Adolescent Issues, Marriage

Qualifications: Licensed Professional with more than 30 years experience in the field of counseling.

About: Tim Kavanagh is a Licensed Professional with more than 30 years experience in the field of counseling. I have extensive experience in Marriage Counseling, but also see Individuals, Families, Children and Adolescents.

My fees are based on a sliding scale according to income. I am available Tuesday thru Friday with some Saturday appointments.

My theoretical approach is based on Rational Emotive Therapy and other treatment modalities. The most central ideas in my work are that we can change our emotional responses and our behavior but are very limited as to our ability to change others behavior.

The goals of my treatment are to help clients define their areas of problems and challenges clearly, and then develop an attainable and reasonable plan of action that we both can agree upon.

I think of my approach to helping people with their problems as an educational one. The type of therapy I do is called "rational-emotive therapy," or RET. It was developed by Albert Ellis, PhD, and is described in dozens of books. We often believe that our behaviors and feelings are caused by what happens in the real world. However, this is not quite true. When we have any kind of experience, it does not affect us directly. Rather, we first give it a meaning through our beliefs about it. For example, if I hear a sound in the kitchen and believe it is made by my wife, I am not bothered at all. But if I believe I am alone in the house, the same sound can bother me a great deal. Here we see that feelings and behaviors (my actions about the sound) flow from the active process of thinking about or adding meaning to the actual event (the sound).

Dr. Ellis separates beliefs into two kinds: "rational" beliefs, or ones based on reality, and "irrational" beliefs, or ones based on false or unrealistic ideas. When we have irrational beliefs, we suffer from strong negative emotions (like rage, depression, and anxiety). When we act on the basis of irrational beliefs, our actions are often not effective and can even be harmful. If we have rational beliefs, we will experience more of the positive emotions (like pleasure, hope, and joy). We can still feel the mildly negative emotions, like irritation, sadness, and concern, but our behaviors will be more effective.

Anyone can learn to recognize irrational beliefs, dispute them, and replace them with more rational beliefs. We can, with practice, unlearn these beliefs and become happier persons who function better in the world. This is what I mean by an educational approach.


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