Sean Dwyer, LCSW

Sean Dwyer View Specialties

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • 330 Kennett Pike, Suite 205, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 19317
  • Phone: (484)868-0037
  • Send A Message To Sean.
  • Session Fees: $90-120

    Hello, and welcome to my practice!  My name is Sean Dwyer and I am a licensed clinical social worker.  I have over 15 years experience in helping individuals and couples to resolve the hurts, struggles and conflicts that have been keeping them stuck and I would like to help you as well.  First, however, let me give you the credit you deserve for even beginning the process of researching and finding a good therapist. Admitting to ourselves that we need help is a very difficult thing.  Admitting  to someone else that we need help is even harder! Humans by nature are bent towards self-sufficiency. ("I can do it on my own!")  And while this may be true of many of the various problems and difficulties you have faced in the past, there are surely others  that continue to keep coming back like an annoying rash. It is precisely these recurring problems that require us to reach out for the help of others. And this is where the internal struggle begins. "Who should I reach out to?" "Will they even understand what I am going through?" "How do I know I can trust them?" Let me assure you that these types of questions are perfectly normal (and valid) at this juncture and everyone has them. This is why it is a good idea to start your journey with an experienced licensed professional such as myself. And while I cannot promise you that all of your issues will get fully resolved during our therapy, I will promise you that I will be a safe person for you while we are working on them. A safe person is someone who can be trusted with what you tell them, puts their own feelings aside in order to better understand yours, and accepts you unconditionally. This is extremely important when trying to find help for frustrating and even embarrassing long-term struggles. Let me describe for you what you can expect when you call me to explore the possibility of coming for therapy. You will have a free consultation over the phone where I will ask you some questions about the issue for which you are seeking help. Please be assured that I do not want you to talk about anything that is too uncomfortable for you. After you have explained the situation or problem, I will tell you honestly whether or not I feel that I can help you. If I cannot help you with your issue, I will refer you to someone who can. If we do decide to begin therapy, we will then make an appointment. Either way, however, let me assure you that I will listen attentively to your problem without being critical or judgmental.

   When we begin therapy there are several basic things that you can expect from me. The first thing is that I will work very hard to make you feel heard and understood. The reason that this is so important is that it goes a long way toward helping you to feel less alone in your struggle. Feelings of loneliness and isolation tend to make even small problems feel overwhelming. Secondly, we will work on a clear understanding and agreement of exactly what the problem is. In order to have success in therapy the client and therapist must both be "on the same page." Thirdly, we will make a clear plan for solving the problem which will contain specific goals that we are seeking to achieve. And finally, we will evaluate the progress level on a regular basis to see how well these goals are being accomplished.
   At this point let me mention something else about good therapy that needs to be understood. Working on an issue in therapy generally involves two different levels of intervention. The first, of course, is the specific problem that you present when you first start your therapy. You have some type of issue or struggle and require some immediate relief through practical solutions. As you follow through on implementing these solutions you begin to make progress and feel a greater sense of relief about the situation. The overarching reality for all of us, however, is that the problems we have do not exist in a vacuum. They exist in the context of who we are, namely our character. Therefore, the second intervention that needs to be made in order for you to completely resolve your issue involves doing some work on the character issues that underlie your problem. This way, when similar problems arise in the future, you will feel more equipped to be able to deal with and resolve them. Let me give you four specific developmental areas where we all tend to get stuck. Feeling stuck in any of these four areas can often lead to problems such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, eating disorders, or getting caught up in various addictions. Growing in these areas by working with a good therapist tends to resolve these problems and improve mood stability.
   The first area has to do with your ability to connect emotionally with others. How difficult is it for you to make deep friendships and allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable with others? If this is something that has always been hard for you, don't feel bad. Most people struggle with this to one degree or another. This is primarily because our first lessons on how to connect came from the families that we grew up in. How well did your family of origin connect emotionally? What was communication like in your home growing up? The answers to these questions will begin to give you some good insight into your relational problems today. Children learn primarily by modeling and therefore whatever was modeled for you as a young child became your "normal." Unfortunately, if you grew up in a home where people were not comfortable with being open and honest with their feelings and emotions, your tendency would be to keep things inside and isolate when you were hurting or in pain. Good therapy in this area would involve improving your ability to express needs and feelings to others, allowing others to support you, and becoming more comfortable with being vulnerable in relationships.  
   A second area that is very helpful to look at is the ability to separate from other people and things that are not good for us. How much self-control do you possess? Most of us tend to look at self-control in terms of our ability to resist our impulses, but really it is much more than that. It also has to do with the amount of freedom from various types of enslavements that we possess. Many therapy issues have to do with a person's loss of freedom and some sort of enslavement to either internal controlling compulsions or external controlling people. Many people feel controlled by critical voices inside their head while others feel driven by a continual sense of the "shoulds." Externally, people often struggle with allowing others to control them and not being able to say "no" when they don't want to do something. To the degree that someone does not feel free to say "no" to either compulsions or pressure from others, there will be a whole host of problems both relationally and emotionally. Everything from depression, anxiety and addictions to co-dependency and intimacy problems has a loss of self-control as a factor. Most relational problems have at its root the inability, of one or more of the parties, to set healthy boundaries. Good therapy in this area would be focused on empowering you to confront people who are hurting you, and standing up to those who are attempting to control you. This would be accomplished by working on assertiveness, honest expression of self, and using your support system to help you to take stands that are difficult to take. It also might involve increasing healthy structure in certain areas of your life where moderation and self-control are lacking.   
   A third area that is very helpful to look at is examining your "all good" and "all bad" thinking. What is your ability to process loss, failure , or hurt without judging yourself or seeing yourself as "all bad?" In a certain sense, what happens to a person is only one part of his or her difficulty. The other part is the person's ability to process that loss, failure, or hurt and arrive at a healthy place of resolution. Part of the problem is that humans have a tendency to see things in light of their ideal and perfectionistic standards. We judge things in an "all good" or "all bad" manner. We look at our performance and the performance of others perfectionistically and get angry when there is failure. We get angry when we or others fail our expectations and sense of how things "should be." Conversely, we can sometimes see ourselves, others, or situations as "all good." This is not a realistic perspective either. This indicates that we are struggling to see the flaws and failures of certain individuals or situations. Good therapy in this area would begin by helping you to recognize your "all good" and "all bad" thinking so that you could distinguish your "ideal self" from your "real self." At this juncture it is also imperative that you are experiencing enough unconditional acceptance from the safe people in your life to be able to tolerate your own weaknesses, failures, and negative feelings, as well as those of others, without judgment or condemnation. This will then lead to being able to receive forgiveness from others we have hurt, as well as granting forgiveness to those who have wronged us.   
   A fourth area that is sometimes overlooked but nevertheless very important in helping people to get unstuck has to do with seeing yourself as either "one up" or "one down" in relation to others. How equal do you feel with other people? Many times problems such as depression, anxiety, and other relational struggles have this issue at its root. Even though we might have different roles in different situations, we are equal people. Unfortunately, many times people do not experience themselves as equal to others. They can feel inferior and more like a child at times than an adult. They look to other people for approval, judgment, praise, or direction, almost like a child looks to a parent. This is a problem because they are perpetually in a state of fearing disapproval or some other type of judgment. Sometimes, in an attempt to solve this, they try to be in the "one up" position and control others but this always creates more problems than it solves. The root of this particular problem generally has to do with having never grown up in relation to your own parent figures.  Good therapy in this area would consist of exploring how we might still be under the thumb of one or both of our parents or other parent figures. After we identify the people in our lives who are still playing the parent role and keeping us stuck, we can then begin to think for ourselves and work on seeing others more realistically. As we do this we will begin to feel more like an adult and often different emotional symptoms begin to disappear. This does not mean that we no longer depend on others for help, advice, encouragement, or validation. It simply means that we no longer see them as playing a parental role in our lives and we no longer see ourselves as functioning in a child role in theirs.
   Finally, let me end by saying that we all struggle with all four of these areas to one capacity or another simply because we're human. We have all experienced broken relationships in one form or another and hence developed emotional symptoms due to the hurt and pain. This is why relationship reconciliation is at the base of all healing and effective therapy. Also, we must remember that our symptoms are not the problem. It is a common mistake to simply focus on the symptoms and not the issues. Symptoms should be looked at as indicators of the real issues. Issues can be resolved, symptoms cannot. When we resolve the issues, the symptoms will no longer have a reason to be. Meaning, purpose, satisfaction, and fulfillment are all fruits that are produced when we are making progress in these four areas. Meaning comes from love, which flows out of bonding. Purpose comes from direction and truth, which form boundaries. Satisfaction comes from having the less than perfect be "good enough" in the light of the ideal. And fulfillment comes from the adult ability to exercise your gifts, talents, and abilities. If you are feeling a need to work on any of these areas at this time, I encourage you to give me a call. I would be happy to help you to begin this journey.    

Sean Dwyer Reaches

Oxford PA