Andrew Bednarzik, MA, LPC
Dads, Men's Issues, Couples, Sports Counseling
It’s important to know that whatever you’re struggling with (and we’re all struggling with something), you are not alone. Talking to someone can really help – even if you’re not sure who to talk to or how, or you haven’t been to counseling and aren’t sure it’s for you. My job as a counselor is to listen and offer compassion, reassurance, a new perspective, and hopefully some tools to help you feel more empowered. Acceptance is the bedrock of my counseling style. It’s invaluable for you to feel that you can say what’s on your mind without fear of judgment. Getting troubling thoughts and emotions out and sharing the burden with someone can be profoundly helpful. The trick is taking the first step to reach out.
Big life transitions are often the reason that people take the step of starting counseling. Becoming a dad has easily been the biggest transition that I’ve experienced in my life. Finding out my wife and I were having twins was downright shocking! Parenting is amazing, utterly difficult, heart-warming, harder than I could’ve imagined, uplifting, pushes me to new edges….you get the idea. I help parents, especially dads, get the support, encouragement, and skills to feel confident and resourced in their role as parents. I remind the parents I work with that they are not alone, even when it feels that way. There are an abundance of resources inside of us and in the community to lean on.
As a former Division I athlete, I love to work with athletes on the challenges that come up on and off the field. Performance anxiety, confidence issues, loss of joy for the game, fear of judgement from coaches or parents are all very common experiences that I help people address. Gaining insight into what's underlying those issues and practicing tools to help address them can help restore the joy that you have for playing your sport - whether you're a recreational or competitive athlete. During sessions we use tools like biofeedback, mindfulness and visualizations. The challenges that come up on the field often mirror challenges we experience in our lives, and consequently positive changes ripple into everyday life.
Our culture is not generally supportive of men openly expressing emotions or being vulnerable. In fact, I would guess that the word “vulnerable” has a negative connotation to the vast majority of men. Many men experience a lot perceived limitations emotionally, creatively, and in their relationships due in large part to the messages that they are subtly, or not so subtly, receiving. I help my clients find the most natural expression of themselves and the courage to take that self out of the office and into their lives.
I love to help clients improve their emotional regulation and awareness of how they experience emotions and sensations physiologically (in their body). I am trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body oriented treatment modality that helps people make the connection between what they are experiencing in their body (physiologically) and what they are experiencing psychologically (emotions, thoughts). The ability to become aware of what you are feeling or experiencing physically combined with the ability to "regulate", or consciously adjust, is a powerful combination.