Matthew Sweger, LPC
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who works primarily with adults and couples in Pittsboro, NC. I help people with difficulties such as depression, anxiety, anger, and relationship conflicts. My passion is helping people choose new ways of being and living in the world. As a therapist my goal is to actively help you to find your strentgths and potential, as well as help you uncover and and uproot the destructive patterns that cause your pain.
I hold a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and am licensed in North Carolina and New York. I have experience working with a diverse range of clients including those with severe and persistant mental illness. I did my clinical internship at Genesee Mental Health Center PROS and was later hired as a clinician running group therapy and working with individuals. I later transferred to Rochester Mental Health Center where I focused on psychotherapy with individuals and couples. I have undergone extensive training in Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and continue to work closely with master therapists to refine my clinical skills. In addition, I am the director of the North Carolina Zen Center and am an authorized Zen meditation and mindfulness teacher. I am fully insured and a member of the American Counseling Association.
I work with individuals and couples who suffer from a wide range of emotional and interpersonal difficulties. I have experience treating problems including:
Trauma and Abuse
Marital and Relationship Problems
Illness and End of Life Issues
I offer a free 30 minute consulation to see if working together makes sense for both of us. After that, I usually like the initial therapy session to be 2 hours in order to get some real work done. Subsequent session are 1 hour long. I work on a sliding fee scale for those who are in financial need. I don't currently take insurance but my services may qualify for out of network coverage. I do offer a sliding scale for anyone in financial need.
I also offer Skype or Facetime sessions if you are out of town.
My approach to therapy is rooted in Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), an evidenced based treatment for emotional and relational difficulties. For more information about ISTDP click here. In addition, my work is informed by 25 plus years of meditation and mindfulness experience. I believe that in order for changes in therapy to take hold and make a true difference in somebody’s life, there has to be an experiential understanding, not just cognitive insight. Many therapies focus on symptom relief but rarely work on understanding and uprooting the causes of pain. I believe that both are essential. My style is attentive, active, and engaging. During our sessions I will pay close attention to your difficulties, life circumstances and your strengths. In addition, I will attend to your moment to moment experience including your anxiety, emotions, and thoughts as they arise in session. This is perhaps the most important territory for real experiential therapy. I will always share my thoughts with you as they arise and listen to your feedback as we move forward.
Much of the time, the distress that we experience in our lives arises out of our dissatisfaction with the way things are. Our jobs, our relationships, our thoughts, our feelings,…..ourselves. Some of the ways we cope with our dissatisfaction are conscious but some are unconscious--they occur without us ever realizing how unhappy we are. Many of the strategies we use to cope with unhappiness can create more pain. When that pain becomes unmanageable we can find ourselves becoming anxious, depressed, angry, or just plain unhappy. A great deal of this pain is rooted in our uncomfortability with and avoidance of painful feelings. Healing is a process of owning and integrating all of our feelings and letting go of our unnecessary defensive ways of relating. This process doesn't happen overnight, but real change is possible.