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Phoenix, AZ Marriage & Family Counselor
Gordon A. Gunnell, MS, PLC
Personal Statement
People most often seek a therapist or counselor when they have tried, but have not been able to effect change in their lives. It is my view that when we face seemingly unsolvable problems, individual or relational, life is asking us to learn something that CAN ultimately be for our good. The process of learning to live happily in a problem saturated world is admittedly difficult, but not impossible. When we do that process successfully, we feel empowered, confident, and happy. We feel a greater sense of personal control over our lives. Often, we do this process on our own, without the help of professionals. Sometimes, however, individual and/or relationship problems overwhelm us. As things seem to get worse, we sometimes panic, become upset. So, we try harder, and put increasing amounts of effort into making change happen. But if the problem(s) worsen, despite our best effort, or at least if they don't seem to improve, we may begin to lose hope and confidence. We start to feel powerless. Some describe it as being STUCK. When STUCK, we may experience many distressing emotions--symptoms that are associated with such terms as anxiety, depression, grief, anger, resentment, helplessness, and many others. Sometimes, we try to cope when we are discouraged. Coping and acceptance are healthy strategies when dealing with something that cannot be changed. If change is possible, however, and it is our lack of knowing how to effect change that stands in the way, coping can unintentionally become a way of avoiding what we must learn and do differently. So we stay STUCK. When we identify what keeps us STUCK, we can and do experience new perspectives of our problem(s), permitting us to act in ways that we had not previously considered or even thought of. Then we become UNSTUCK.

Because I have been trained in a research-based clinical program, I use scientifically valid and reliable therapy and counseling approaches that are known to help couples, families, and individuals experience change. Among these are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), brief solution focused therapy (BST), and emotion focused therapy (EFT). I also incorporate mindfulness, acceptance, and commitment ideals into therapy, known to encourage and permit desirable change.

I have more than 3 years of clinical training under the direct supervision of Dr. William A. Griffin, post-doctoral fellow of Dr. John M. Gottman (see www.gottman.com). I am also listed as a qualified practitioner at www.marriagefriendlytherapists.com. And, I have been married for 40 years.

Having participated in doing research with couples at the university level for 3 years, I discovered that spouses and partners CREATE a relationship together, as opposed to being IN a relationship. Many, if not most, mental health practitioners do have this training or understanding. And not having this understanding is very often a significant influence on whether couples therapy is successful. The notion of being IN a relationship is often suggestive of not having control of it. On the other hand, knowing and understanding that relationships are CREATED by two people, one interaction at a time, permits couples to feel a sense of control over changing what they don't like. Couples most often discover that it is not their partner, but the relationship they have with their partner that is making them unhappy. Getting couples to focus on changing their relationship instead of each other very often results in a desire to change oneself for the good of the relationship. That perspective gets couples "unstuck", and enables them to solve problems together and to become happier and more emotionally connected. Improved communication is often a side-effect of having changed the relationship. The negative ways couples perceive, experience, and interact with each other decrease, and positive interactions become more frequent. Couples feel more positive about themselves and each other.

In MARRIAGE THERAPY, I take a balanced, pro-commitment stance, meaning that staying together is a desirable outcome unless there is a compelling reason not to. If you are UNDECIDED about your commitment to a spouse or partner, I can help you discover the factors that keep you stuck in indecision. If your family has experienced DIVORCE, I can help you and/or your children successfully adjust to the changes brought about by family dissolution and separation.

As an INDIVIDUAL THERAPIST, I understand how to help you reduce stress, anxiety, panic, depression, anger, PTSD, grief/loss, obsessive and/or compulsive behaviors, and other high intensity emotions that interfere with your ability to pursue and achieve your goals in life. From both individual, couple, and family perspectives, if you struggle with ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS, I can help you find ways of controlling the addictive "pull" of drug/alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, and other habits that interfere with your ability to pursue and achieve what is important to you in your life.

Good research shows that when selecting a therapist, the first impressions you have about the therapist, and the rapport that you develop with the therapist in the first couple of sessions, has the single strongest influence on the outcome of therapy than all other factors that are used to assess the helpfulness of therapy. So, therapy is more likely to be helpful to you if you have confidence in and follow your impressions when selecting a therapist.

I am happy to spend a few minutes with you to discuss any questions you may have. Please call 480-220-7050 for a FREE 10 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION, or you may email me at gordon@aztherapyhelp.com. I reply to all calls personally, and I DO REPLY. If I do not answer when you call, please leave your name and call-back number on my voice mail, along with the ideal time(s) for me to return you call. If I am not in session with clients during the times you suggest, I will attempt to return your call at those times. Otherwise, I WILL return your call later in the evening, or the following morning.


General Office Information
Office Hours
By appointment Tuesday thru Thursday, including evenings. Other days/times may be available by special arrangement. Contact me directly by PHONE : 480-220-7050 or by EMAIL : gordon@therapythatworks.net.com

Directions to Office
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PHOENIX: I-10 and Chandler Blvd exit; turn west (right) to 48th Street; turn north (right); drive 1/4 mile to The Reserve professional office park (on your right). Follow signs to "Change of Heart Counseling" sign over entrance, last building (Bldg 1) on the right in the back of the complex. Entrance faces east, toward English Dermatology.
Avg. Session Cost: $140.00 (may be reimburseable)
Sliding Scale: No
Years in Practice: 14
Accepts Insurance: No
Graduate School: Arizona State University - Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Graduated: 2002
License Number: LMFT-10218
License State: AZ
Client Focus
Ethnicity: Any
Religous Orientation: Any
Gay/Lesbian Focus : No
Additional Languages: German

Gordon Gunnell
15215 South 48th Street
Suite 116
Phoenix, AZ 85044
(480) 220-7050
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