*All services offered at the main office, 9219 Katy Freeway Suite 296, Houston, TX 77024.
*Telephone counseling and online HIPAA compliant video-therapy are now also offered when appropriate.
*Guided imagery, hypnosis CDs and books are now easily available for purchase here online: 

Psychotherapy with Sandy Clay

Imago logo

Licensed Professional Counselor        
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Imago Relationships Therapist
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
Individual and couples therapy, personality and cognitive assessment 
Welcome to finding out about therapy for individuals and couples that strives to heal heart, mind and spirit. 
 
Sandy K. Clay, M.A., LPC, LMFT is a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who opened West Houston Counseling and Assessment in 1990 and has been providing individual, couples and family therapy to adults since then.
 
She also provides personality, vocational and educational testing, hypnosis, and area seminars. Sandy produces therapeutic articles and tapes/CD's for sale currently available by mail order personal request (see products on this site).
 
Sandy is committed to participating in the healing of individuals from trauma, depression, and anxiety as well as helping couples create loving relationships founded on the principles of personal growth, Jungian and object relations theory, Imago, and cognitive psychotherapy
                                  
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Sandy K. Clay, M.A., LPC, LMFT, CIRT, CCH

9219 Katy Freeway Suite 296 

Houston, TX 77024

713-464-8501

Email: lltsandy@hotmail.com

(photo by Douglas Wilson of peggyanddoug.com)

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BREAKING NEW GROUND IN AND OUTSIDE THE OFFICE

(Photo used by permission 2012 Memorial Day Lantern Launching )
In addition to continuing her individual and couples private psychotherapy sessions, Sandy is offering seminars available for the public and/or for continuing ed for counseling and other health care organizations or nonprofits.
 
Topics include:
Conscious Relating,
Ethical integration of Spirituality and Therapy,
Building Lasting Loving Marriages,
Defeating Depression & Anxiety,
as well as special requests.
(Photo used by permission from Isabel Guadiz Tobey,M.D.)
A  personal message from Sandy:
"No matter what trauma you have been through, do not give up on the possibility of healing.  I have had the humble honor of journeying with men and women from some of the most horribly abusive childhoods, into new lives where they find who they are and heal others.
Not everyone finds psychotherapy helpful, yet I have found, the integrated approach of mind, body and spirit has produced remarkable changes for those willing to take the journey. Your physical health, mental and spiritual health are intertwined and when you address the three prongs of health, you support the whole person.  Naturally some are only willing to address the psychological pain, so we start where you are and identify where you want to go (your goals).
For those struggling with challenges in their marriage, be encouraged.  It is a very high sacred calling to live a committed marriage,  Yet it is not only possible, but very healthy, (check out the research ) to live in monogamous committed marriage.
With Imago therapy we have many supports in addition to accessing your own strengths, to live a fulfilling married life.   One of the myths of our modern culture is that If I am not happy, I don't need to stay.  Some of the most powerful witnesses of reality based love know that it involves my stretching to grow in sometimes challenging ways to love my partner.
This way of loving will call to the depths of my being, yet it is precisely what I need to do to grow as an individual anyway.  Do not be surprised by conflict, rather expect it and learn to embrace it as a sign of being called to grow.
In therapy we discover not only what old wounds make us vulnerable to misinterpretation and reactive behaviors, but also how to self regulate and use our mind, body and spirit to make intentional choices and respond from the front brain vs. the amygdala, better yet integrating cognition and affect, thought and emotion."
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REACHING OUT: Opportunities to learn vital skills outside the therapy room for minimal cost
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While a college student at Rice, Sandy's research impacted her in ways that caused her to remain committed to find a way to get quality mental health to those who need it most.  It is now as it was then, true that those who most need help, often have the least access to it.  Additionally traditional therapy is not always effective with all populations, and Sandy became aware long ago, there are many paths to help persons heal and grow.

At an Imago International Conference in 2013 we all were given information many counselors have known for years that sadly only a small percentage of those who actually need help ever make it to a therapist's office, yet it inspired Sandy afresh to reach out in new ways to churches, and other organizations who are supportive of humanity's deep needs for relationship and integrated health. 

If you or your organization desires to be part of the new outreach, please call the office and request contact.  There are 3 specific program areas are planned, which will address some of the most common challenges of our times. 

*** Defeating Depression and Anxiety...integrating best practices in mental health with new research identifying the vital role of spiritual practices
*** Building lasting loving relationships ...using relationship research and practical ways of shifting to loving as a way of being in a complex and cluttered world
*** Building the Hermitage within, nurturing contemplative spirituality with treasured practices of the early desert fathers and mothers
 
 (Photo by Sandy Clay...from inside the Cistercian monastery in Huerta, Spain 2008)
  "Light Breaks Through"
Finding places that nurture and feed our souls is vital as well as building the internal sacred place from which way can allow ourselves to be loved and then give love... agape love.
 
See the "Products you can order "page for helpful ways to build your own sacred space...or call to schedule an appointment, or learn about the new outreach offered. 

Peace
(Photo used by permission:  Galveston, TX at sunrise in December 2007)

Sandy is a certified Imago Relationship therapist, and is listed in Houston  Imago Therapy website http://imagohouston.com/ and the International Imago Therapy website www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com therapist directory with a link back to her website.

Sandy was also accepted onto www.CatholicTherapists.com referral website.  She additionally is a member of Catholic Psychotherapy Association, and the Houston Catholic Mental Health Counselor Association.

Information on Imago therapy, and  other helpful online couples tools can be found on:

www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com

Check out the newly designed easy process for ordering products on the

"Products you may Order" page

CDS books and images for growth and healing


EXCITING NEW PROGRAMS

NOW AVAILABLE :

(FOR YOUR CHURCH, COMMUNITY GROUP OR ORGANIZATION)

THE MYSTERY UNLOCKED OF BUILDING LASTING LOVING MARRIAGES

DEFEATING DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: PRACTICAL AND PROVEN TOOLS OF CURRENT BEST THERAPY PRACTICES & NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH SUPPORTING THE EFFECTS OF MEDITATIVE PRAYER

BUILDING THE HERMITAGE WITHIN...HOW DEEPENING YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE AIDS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. With practices from ancient desert wisdom traditions.

Email  or call the office to schedule a meeting or have information sent to you.

lltsandy@hotmail.com

713-464-8501 ext. 1


Watch this column for articles you may print for free for personal use... these are protected intellectual property though so please do not reuse without permission in writing via email from Sandy Clay.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR CHANGE

by Sandy Clay

What initiates change and what inhibits or interferes with it?  This is a most important question, not only for therapists, but for anyone seeking personal growth, healing or beginning to choose a therapist.

From 25+ years of therapy in private practice, I see a crucial difference in those who succeed in reaching their goals and those who remain stuck.  While the therapist is responsible for doing his/her best work, and that is a separate issue for consideration, the client who presents with a “belief” in the process, the therapist or their own personal faith life seems to reach the transformative goals they set and actually reach them sooner.  I have seen this regardless of the severity of the wounding.

While this issue is seldom addressed honestly in the literature, it is a crucial piece to consider before one invests time, energy or finances in the endeavor to change.

If I am serious about change, it will require a willingness to look inward honestly at what is truly within my capacity to change.  It is an unrealistic and fruitless effort to spend hours of therapy discussing the perceived problems of those around me.  In other words, blame needs to cease.  Put in the positive, proactive, I need to have the courage to take responsibility for what is mine, and let go of judging others.

This sounds obvious, but often the first step in couples improving their relationship seems to be a dwelling on and viewing the other in a positive light again.  Harville Hendrix in Getting the Love You Want and in Imago therapy models describes what he call re-romanticizing or gifting the partner with what that partner sees as gifts or signs of caring in target specific ways whether the gifting partner feels like it or not.

This gifting or stretching to give to the other actually is one of the most helpful Imago tools in producing an initial shift in perception among partners.  Understandably so, because as I mention before, it involves a mental process and action that creates a new image of the partner….and possibly the self. 

So, I cease blaming, and begin to become a more loving person, see myself doing loving things, and see my partner in a more loving light as they often are touched by the act of love sent their way.  Individually I can see this as well.  I do not need to continue blaming someone who gossips about me or tries to criticize whether in friendships, work, neighbors, family, etc.  I need to become and live what I profess or what I hope to be.

In other words, the first and surest path to personal change, will involve beginning to work on being conscious of my own behaviors and thoughts I wish to alter and opening up to possibilities to ‘do it differently’.    Too often I hear, but my father did it this way or my parents or my teachers, or someone else who influenced me did this to me, so I am stuck forever with this way of being.  Not so. 

There are well-formed neural pathways and perhaps even genetic predispositions, but we can do much to influence this through conscious and intentional shifts in our thinking and acting. 

Prayer also whether vocal, mental or contemplative has great effect on the brain in those who have a faith life and positive image of God as compassionate.    Much of the new brain research validates this, and one can check out Andrew Newberg’s books Why God Won’t Go Away.

So step one, look to working on what is truly within my capacity to work on…Ask for grace to see clearly, to act on what self-awareness and knowledge leads one to desire positive change.  Stop focusing on the ‘plank in my brother’s eye’…good advice. 

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Schedule a session with Sandy

Call or email Sandy regarding any further questions or to schedule a session or speaking engagement.