Individual Therapy

David Eshleman, LMFT

Let Me Be Your Guide

Much of the suffering that we experience in life -whether from emotions, thoughts, or actions – comes from a tension of opposites, the dance between creation and destruction, spirit and matter, Yin and Yang.  To understand this duality is only part of the solution.

I focus on helping you to be seen, to understand the multidimensional aspects of who you are, and to connect to your own intrinsic healing potential.  As a guide on the journey with you, my aim is to provide you the tools, time, and space to grow and experience yourself in this world.  Often, when we begin the journey of self understanding, we start to get closer to our feelings, take ownership of them, and discover that there is valuable information within them about what we need and how we might imagine living.  

We start to recognize this, even when difficult experiences we’d rather continue to forget come up, for this is how we grow.  Our feelings allow for sadness and joy. Anger and fear.  Shame and compassion. And everywhere in between.  As we learn to heal our relationship with ourselves, this world, and each other, we begin to be truly seen, deeply connected, and extraordinarily whole.  Usually, the original problems that we came into therapy with will be gone, changed, or no longer seen in the same light.  

This journey can help you to reduce anxiety, heal and grow in relatoinship with yourself and others, explore meanings and values, and to “Find Balance” in life.

“A genuine odyssey is not about piling up experiences. It is a deeply felt, risky, unpredictable tour of the soul.”

-Thomas Moore

Anxiety & Stress

Anxiety is experienced in so many different ways.  Especially for those of us living in or near a big city like Los Angeles, removed from abundant nature, trees, and the slower way of life.  It may be experienced as uncontrolled worry over big or small things, or nothing specific at all.  For others, it may be constant intrusive thoughts, obsessions and compulsions, a racing mind, being stuck in your head.   Fear of missing out FOMO, Social -with what the other person may be thinking or feeling about you, or just the inability to relax. This can create a constant need to avoid by staying busy such as with work, numbing with addiction, or falling down into depression.

Anxiety within reason is a normal part of life.  It becomes a problem however when it becomes so strong and pervasive that is stops us from living fully.  This often contributes to FOMO, or as I say, TOMO, The Trauma of Missing Out.

My philosophy in treating anxiety comes from my own personal and professional experience in going through and recovering from anxiety.  I find that not only is there great value in understanding ourselves and how we work more fully, but also in learning about what the anxiety is there to teach us.  Working together, we will learn to better understand the root causes of your anxiety so that you may understand and work with it in a new way.  Treating anxiety is a process of learning about yourself and what you need on your journey of becoming more whole, complete and balanced. I can help you.

  • Stress and Anxiety with Dating and Commitment
  • Anxiety with Sex and Intimacy
  • Fear of Missing Out (Fomo)
  • Anxiety and Fear Moving Forward
  • Anxiety and Social Media
  • Anxiety with Career
  • Anxiety with Changing Religion or Stepping Away
  • Social Anxiety & Difficulty Making Friends
Pain & Suffering

If you are depressed, beat down, numb, addicted, or carry a wound from the past, you are likely in touch with a great deal of suffering.  Chances are you are searching for a way away from the suffering.

The mammalian part of our brain is programmed to move towards good, and away from bad.  This seems to be one of the origins of suffering.  The buddhists have an idea, the separation of the two arrows.  One arrow, the act itself of pain, we cannot escape.  The second arrow, our reaction to it, our avoidance of pain and suffering, which creates then more suffering, we can learn to control.  The stoics also had a word for this: Apatheia, which as Ryan Holiday shares, is not about feeling apathetic, but rather a way to not let the bad feelings of suffering effect us as much as they could.

Many ask, is there a way to not suffer?  Can therapy make me forget?  Is there no way to prevent suffering?  Unfortunately, suffering is part of the human condition, the duality of life, because without suffering there cannot be compassion.  This does not mean that we need to suffer needlessly, or that there is no hope for those who suffer, or that we cannot create meaning and find healing through it.  Therapy can help to reduce suffering. Sometimes, as a part of that process, we need to feel the emotions in order to work through them.

  • Suffering from Shame and Criticism
  • Suffering from Rejection and Complex Trauma
  • Suffering from Loneliness & Relationship Addiction
  • Suffering from Spiritual Wounding
  • Suffering from Living In Duality
Exploring Life & Meaning

Do you long to step into your life? With wonder, intention and imagination?  Do you desire to be free of the mold that was made for you, the expectations you’ve inherited?

Sometimes big life changes happen that cause us to question and re-examine how we have been spending our lives. The questions of:

Who am I?  Where am I going? Where do I come from? may arise. 

This can be an opportunity to remember and reconnect to our life’s purpose.

Others may feel like something has always been missing and regularly wonder why they are here, what their purpose is, or ask “what is it all for?”

You are not alone.  You are searching for purpose, meaning, and a deeper connection to yourself in the universe.

You are searching for something that matters to you.  Something that moves you.  

It can be very difficult to dive deep and recognize one’s purpose when so much energy is directed to just surviving and getting by.  Or doing what you “should” be doing.  This will only sink you deeper down into the rabbit hole.

I am here to help you to explore, identify, and reconnect with your true and deeper self while helping you to avoid the negative potential outcomes of an unresolved existential crisis. I am happy to be your guide.

  • Exploring Purpose
  • Exploring Meaning
  • Exploring Values
  • Exploring Spirituality 
  • Identity & Expectations within Culture and Family
  • Stepping Away From Religion of Origin
Relationship With Ourselves

“Your first marriage is to yourself.  For better or worse, in sickness and in health…till death do you part.”  – G.S.

One of the most core experiences of being human is our desire and need for belonging.  At the same time, a deep level of fear, pain or avoidance can get in the way of true connection.   It is easy to be afraid of being hurt, especially when our past wounds come up.  The first step to true belonging is first found with ourselves.

The exploration of “who am I” in relationship is an essentiail part of learning about ourselves that I find comes up often in my work with my clients.

Most of us inherited our ideas of relationship from our parents or early experiences with friends and family.   For something so important, it’s amazing how unintentional many of us can be when it comes to relationship.  This isn’t our fault necessarily.  This is because we tend to live unconsciously and without intention.  We simply react and hope to make it through our time here, clinging to the good and running from the bad.  Many of us never got to learn how to properly be in relationship.

This is because relationship starts with ourselves, and intimacy comes from accepting, and then loving who we are first.  We have to be able to learn how to be with, honor, and love ourselves before we can truly learn what it means and what it takes to be in a relationship with another.  At least in a healthy way.

The fact is, no one is perfect. We are all a bit lopsided.  We all get to make mistakes, and struggle.  This is how we learn and grow.  There is no shame in authentically and compassionately recognizing our own humanness.

When we talk about counseling for relationships, we usually think about last ditch couples therapy to save a relationship in high conflict.  But what if we could be proactive and really address our first relationship, which is the relationship we have with ourselves.  If we can improve the relationship we have with ourselves first, we will have a leg up on dating and looking to meet that special someone because we have truly met ourselves first.  This is the most important idea when it comes to meeting either “the one”, or just a potential partner.  When we know ourselves, we are able to better know what we want, and how we want it.

Therapy to explore and oftentimes heal, our own inner relationships will give us the chance to create a firm foundation, waste less time, and ultimately be better equipped to find the relationship(s) we long for.

  • Learning to Love Ourselves
  • Navigating Loving Others
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Confidence and Identity Issues
  • Highly Sensitive People
  • Embracing Creativity
  • Men’s Work
For more information regarding these topics, visit my blog.