Counseling in Fort Collins, CO
"Judy was always there for me. She’s trustworthy, smart, competent and kind. She taught me how to become the person I wanted to be. I feel lucky to have found her."
- University Professor
Today, the most common sexual problems in the U.S. are lack of desire in women and premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction in men. Whether your issues are similar or different from these, we help you get to the root cause of your sexual problems so you can have a satisfying sex life.
All people grieve in their own way and in their own time. No one way of grieving is better than another and there is no timetable for resolving grief. Each experience of grief is unique, complex and personal. We will help you work through your grief in ways that are best for your individual situation.
Affirming Alternative Lifestyles
We believe that non-traditional relationships (e.g., same-sex, transgendered, polyamorous, living together) are just as valid as traditional heterosexual marriage. If you are living a non-traditional lifestyle, we respect that lifestyle and will help you with whatever issues you have. It is important to us that people feel accepted so they can work on their own issues without a therapist passing judgment on them.
We recommend that when you are looking for a therapist, make sure to find an accepting one. You want to work on the issues you have, not on the issues a therapist may have with your lifestyle.
You may have relationships with lovers, spouses, children, parents, friends, and colleagues. Getting along more effectively with others can enhance your life, but when relationships are not going smoothly, your life can spin out of control.
We assist people in all types of relationships: intimate, work, family, or friends. Problems in these relationships often revolve around roles, control, and communication.
When it comes to intimate relationships, we work with both individuals and couples. What we rarely do is recommend whether you should stay together or split up. Instead, we help you figure out what's best for you.
Stress is a reaction to something in the environment – good or bad. Stress can affect your body (blood pressure, breathing, pain), as well as your emotions. We teach you effective stress management techniques to acknowledge, accept, and deal with stress in a healthy way.
Anxiety is often a result of stress, producing unpleasant physical symptoms. These may include: feeling uncomfortable, out of control, fearful, or full of dread. Anxiety can result in sleep disturbances or nervous mannerisms such as hair pulling, nail biting, or jiggling a leg. Anxiety can lead to panic attacks and phobias. Anxiety can make it hard to live your life. Our goal is to get to the root of your anxiety and reduce or eliminate it.
Feeling depressed can be a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or injured self-esteem. But when feelings of intense sadness, helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness persist for many days or weeks, it may become difficult to function. This is depression.
If you think you are depressed or have been diagnosed with depression, we can help. Our philosophy is to recommend therapy first before suggesting consultation for medication. However, if you are already taking medication, we are happy to work with you. If you are suicidal, that is not our area of expertise. We can refer you to other therapists who can help you.
People with codependency are “people-pleasers” and show approval seeking behavior. They fulfill everyone’s needs but their own or put themselves last. They usually have low self-esteem, guilt, poor boundaries, fear of being alone and are out of touch with their own needs and wants.
We can help you identify your codependent behaviors and transform unhealthy patterns.
Our Counseling Approach
"I find it difficult to write about Dr. Judy Underwood without gushing. She is so skillful that you don't notice how really good she is. She has made an enormous positive difference in my life."
- high-tech employee
When you're in emotional pain and need help, it's hard to know how to choose a therapist. Working with us, you will find kindness, caring, competence, and a depth and breadth of counseling experience that is unusual in our field. With a private therapy practice for more than 30 years each, we have developed the intelligence, intuition, and skill to begin making a difference right away. We listen deeply to what you say and to the meanings underneath the words.
Today's world is chaotic, frantic, fast-paced and often overwhelming. Our world with our clients is not. We are committed to being there for you in a way that most have never experienced in their lives. Many have commented on how unusual it is for therapists to respond to inquiries so quickly. We provide a place where you are truly listened to and where your concerns are paramount. We take the time needed and select from a multitude of approaches to provide the help that is best for you. We use a combination of psychotherapy, counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy and life coaching to help you achieve your goals. Whether you need help with relationships, sexual issues, stress, anxiety, depression, grief, codependency or something else, we are here for you. We go way beyond "the call of duty."
We are not for everyone. Our goal is to continue to attract those people who are searching for the highest quality counseling—and who are committed to making their lives and their families' lives better. We want to provide therapy to people interested in making significant changes and people who want to recover from past hurts and negative patterns—not by covering them up with a bandage but by spending the time and energy to make deep, lasting changes.
Whether you need short-term crisis counseling to get through a specific period or longer-term therapy to heal from emotional trauma or deal with troublesome life patterns, we are here to help.
"Dr. Underwood's compassion, experience, and wisdom guided me through some of the most difficult moments of my life. She helped me to find the self-worth and self-respect that I had lacked for most of my life, and as a result, I feel worthy of living the life that I have always wanted."
- Ph.D. Student
George Makes the Connection Between His Anger and Low Self-Esteem
George seemed to be angry all the time, and this created particular problems with his wife. Faced with the prospect of becoming a father himself, George came to therapy wanting to be different from his own father. He came to understand that his father's distance was not the result of inherent flaws in George. Letting go of this lifelong belief—that he was inherently flawed—reduced his anger, increased his empathy, allowed him to give up his drinking habit and led to much improved communication with his wife and father.
Chris & His Parents in Washington Develop New Understanding for Each Other
Chris didn't trust anyone. Growing up with a highly critical and judgmental father, Chris, now a college student, had gone to increasingly drastic measures to call attention to his need for help. After Chris began to trust and feel supported by his therapist, the sessions started to include his parents, who called in from Washington. Over time, Chris and his parents resolved topics that had long been unapproachable. They made agreements. They shifted their relationship from one of anger, criticism and fear to one of caring, understanding and encouragement.
While it is difficult to capture in a few sentences the breadth of work accomplished in therapy, below are some examples of people we have helped create easier, more meaningful ways of being in their lives.These clients, whose names have been changed to protect their confidentiality, wanted their stories told because they thought it might help others.
Kathy and Peter Unravel the Truth Beneath Their Sex Issues
Smart, professional, in their 40s and married for many years with two children, Kathy and Peter seemed to have everything. Only they had no sex life. Kathy was completely uninterested, and Peter felt increasingly rejected and unloved. Working in therapy, Kathy admitted she was unhappy in her job and felt unable to leave it. She was angry with Peter for working so much, while Peter felt unappreciated for the effort he was making for the family. As they began to understand each other's view of the world, and as Kathy left her job and became happier, they naturally became more loving. Over time, they enjoyed sexual intimacy as an expression of their love.
Larry Reduces His Anxiety and Stress About Potential Downsizing
Larry was so anxious about being the next to go during the massive layoffs in the high-tech industry that he had graduated from chewing his nails and was biting the skin off his fingers. Therapy helped Larry shift from worry to wonder by making a contingency plan and by helping him achieve more balance in his life. He bike rides now and has begun traveling with his wife. And he did not get laid off—though he knows what he'll do if he does.
Gerry and Louisa Rebuild Their Marriage After Infidelity
After Louisa discovered Gerry's infidelity, the couple came into therapy right away, where they could focus on why the affair had occurred. What they discovered was that Gerry was hungry for connection with a strong, self-assured, professional woman—which Louisa had been when they first married. But self-doubt, pride and constant negative comparisons had eroded Louisa's belief in herself, and she had grown to think of herself as the victim. Their marriage began to repair itself when Louisa was able to see her part in the infidelity.
Mary and Kimberly Learn to Talk to Each Other in Respectful, Non-Defensive Ways
Kimberly deferred to Mary in everything. Together for 19 years, Mary made all the decisions and set all the schedules. If Kimberly offered a rare difference of opinion, Mary would "correct" her thinking. Yet Mary desperately wanted a relationship with an "equal." In therapy, Mary was able to see her role in creating the inequality in their relationship. She learned to respect Kimberly's thoughts, opinions and decisions, even when she didn't agree with them. Kimberly realized that in her relationship with Mary, she was repeating patterns from her large, authoritarian family of origin, in which individual opinions were not allowed. She learned to express her feelings non-defensively and ask for what she wanted.
Jennifer Transforms the Beliefs Causing Her Depression & Suicidal Thoughts
Jennifer had attempted suicide years earlier, and an early menopause triggered the recurrence of her suicidal thoughts. Through her therapy, Jennifer became aware that her "happy" childhood had, in fact, been full of abuse and neglect, leading her to believe that she was disposable, not worthy of taking up space. Giving new messages to Jennifer's "younger self"—often with the Welcome to the World tape created by Judy—helped shift these beliefs and quiet the suicidal voices.