Treatment Approach

Dr. Giardina utilizes an integrative or holistic approach to psychotherapy. Simply put, the doctor addresses emotional wellness by connecting and promoting the health of the mind, body and spirit, while combining traditional psychological therapies. Dr. Giardina believes all humans have an abundance of healthy resources within them, which he will help you discover. Holistic psychotherapy emphasizes balanced living, inner strength, and self-awareness.  But Dr. Giardina recognizes that we do not live as monks in the mountains, and life is not a yoga retreat every day - practical application of psychological and spiritual insight is key!

Consider this. You may seek therapy because you think you are depressed and that is the problem that needs to be fixed. However, Dr. Giardina’s approach recognizes that depression is not the problem but rather the symptom. Imagine yourself as an automobile when the engine light starts blinking right before breakdown -  depression in this case is red light signaling emotional or physical pain and an imbalance somewhere in the self. Just like an automobile, you may go in for a quick fix in the engine but while evaluating the car you may find that it’s not the engine but other parts of the automobile that are causing the engine to blink. Pain in this case is the red light that signals us to stop - and come in for a tune-up.

Dr. Giardina’s approach coordinates with other treatment modalities from physicians as well as professionals in the domains of yoga, meditation, nutritional guidance, physical activities, wellness retreats, homeopathic medicine, reiki, and other outside of box methods of healing.

Dr. Giardina treats patients as couples or individuals, in weekly one hour sessions at his Coral Gables office.

Distance counseling or tele-therapy can be arranged via Skype, FaceTime or VSee - additional fees may apply (not covered by insurance). The Doctor MUST perform an initial, in-person evaluation before distance counseling will be considered. This service is reserved for certain clientele only.

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MINDFULNESS
You will learn how to live fully present in the moment - no judgment, no distress, just being.
Choosing consciously becomes the goal - choose to eat broccoli, choose to eat cake - there is no right answer, just so long as you knowingly chose. (Part of consciousness of choice is recognition of patterns of behavior across your lifespan).

In a broader sense, spirituality is often a component of Dr. Giardina's work with patients.

Grief Counseling Coral Gables

GRIEF COUNSELING
Coping with losses matters, but losses must be viewed as more than just death of a loved one. (Obviously, such grief and loss is the most severe and necessary to address).
Dr. Giardina aids in recovery from the loss of identity, phase of life, physical appearance, finances, relationships, physical health, and so on.
A great emphasis in therapy is placed on the concept of moving forward by accepting and letting go.

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IDENTITY EXPLORATION AND SELF ESTEEM
Who am I? Why am I this way? What is good about me? Am I living the life I want or deserve?
Dr. Giardina assists his patients in answering these questions. Together you will explore early relationships, significant life altering circumstances & societal roles and pressures.
You will find a means to give voice to all parts of your identity. You will come to value your health and your body. You will develop assertiveness skills to communicate your needs and wants.
Under this domain is also the understanding that your (mis)communication with others matters - see couples therapy tab below.

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EMPOWERMENT
Dr. Giardina uses a feminist therapeutic model, a large component of which is empowerment of patients to find their voice, to take life into their own control. He will help you develop your own power and agency to change your reactions, your relationships, or your day to day routine. The first step is accepting your role in the problem; the second step is recognizing what societal, financial, cultural or other factors limit your ability to change. The final step is taking action to improve your situation, given all of the above facts.

Dr. Giardina works with the "teach a man to fish..." approach to therapy. He has a goal of providing patients with insight, tools and confidence to then "fish" on their own, without requiring his services.
While this is probably not a smart financial choice, Dr. Giardina feels this pays dividends later in time, with patients referring their friends and family, or returning for a "tune up" when new life challenges arise.

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MOTIVATION TO CHANGE
You can have an intention or idea that something needs to change, but without the necessary drive and motivation, success may be lacking. The "why" matters.
Why haven't you made this change yet? Why are you making this change now?
But sometimes the roadmap matters. Dr. Giardina shows his patients how to use their strengths, and plan for pitfalls.
What are your assets? What are your roadblocks?
And even more distressing, you will examine the motivation of your family and loved ones to help or hurt you in your change efforts.
Who undercuts your efforts? Who is your cheerleader?
Dr. Giardina has great success in helping patients make healthy behavior changes. He has given several lectures on this very topic.

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ACTIVITY LOG
Dr. Giardina insists on patients keeping track of their habits - he often has people keep a journal or log. You may not see patterns in your behavior, but these often  become obvious to the Doctor once the data is all laid out. This information may help with making healthy behavior changes regarding your diet, exercise, weight, sleep, smoking, drinking and so on. Relationship and communication patterns may be found as well.

"Homework" and "Psychological Prescriptions" are given at the end of many sessions - these include the activity log, as well as new thoughts, behaviors or habits the Doctor suggests toward your goal of happier living.

Couples Therapy

By learning how to identify your own emotions, and better share them with your partner, each member of a couple can finally truly understand each other. While couples therapy does not guarantee that the relationship/marriage remains intact, Dr. Giardina prides himself in aiding couples achieve improved quality of life through the process.