Ben Braaksma

Mental Health Counselor
Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate
Accepted Insurance Plans:
  • Cash Only
  • Paypal Accepted
  • Sliding Scale Available

About Ben Braaksma

Do you feel stuck in life? Overwhelmed by intrusive thoughts and feelings? Bogged down by depression or anxiety? Would you like to feel more relaxed and fulfilled in your relationships or a greater sense of who you are? While these challenges may feel daunting, there is hope and I can help. You will find me warm, attentive, and accepting and our work together will enable you to experience greater freedom, to pursue and achieve your goals, to develop satisfying relationships, and to live a more present and authentic life.

In our work, we will explore your challenges together, forming a deeper understanding of your present experiences, their root causes, and how you would like to move forward. At the same time, we will develop strategies to cope with any unsettled feelings; drawing from well-established theory and practice.

I bring training and experience in utilizing humanistic, psychodynamic, and attachment based therapies to help you develop greater insight, security, and efficacy in pursuing your goals. Call or email anytime with questions or to set up an appointment. I hope to hear from you soon!

Answers  (35)

It sounds like you have the perception that people are frequently disappointed in you, wish you were different or someone else, and ultimately reject you. One question I would have for you is what is your evidence that people feel this way? Is there anything in people's words or behaviors that gives... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you are feeling pretty overwhelmed and stuck between wanting to improve your work situation and worrying that you won't be able to. It is possible that the paralysis, uncertainty, and self-doubt that you describe are contributing to your difficulty in getting  and maintaining a... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you would like to let other people get close to you and at the same time you are finding yourself compelled to keep people at a distance. Often times, when we have difficulty trusting others, it is because we have specific fears about what would happen if we get close or let our guard... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you are feeling pretty stuck, lonely, and hopeless; like you have a desire to be more connected to people and to find purpose in life, but are not sure what to do. I am glad to hear that you have at least one friend and I think it is great that you are reaching out for more connection... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you are feeling pretty overwhelmed with worry about being continuously monitored, with no privacy even in your own mind, and as if people are constantly saying things about you in whispers on in the media. It's hard to say from a post online what is at the root of this experience, but... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you had a very confusing and painful experience in this relationship, and now you feel hesitant to let yourself get close to people. It is understandable that when we are hurt in relationships, we may have trouble trusting and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with others. Therapy... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

First of all, I am very sorry for your loss, and I can understand the urge to drink and smoke to try and cope. As I'm sure you understand, alcohol and marijuana may take the edge off of the pain in the short run, but in the long run they may prevent you from being able to work through the thoughts... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you are having difficulty knowing if people are saying things to you, or if you only thought someone was talking to you, and this is anxiety producing. It's understandable that it could be confusing and/or a bit scary to be unsure if people are speaking to you or not. It's hard to say... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

There is no scientifically established formula for understanding dreams, that I know about, however, many people get a great deal of value from exploring what their dreams mean. It is believed by many that our dreams contain metaphors that represent meaningful patterns in our lives and relationships... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

As far as the formal diagnosis of depression goes, it would be hard to determine without more information. It sounds like you are noticing that there is a significant difference between how you are feeling on the inside and how you express yourself outwardly. Part of you is quite distressed and yet... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Individual and/or group therapy can be a powerful antidote for social anxiety. Often in therapy, the things that tend to get in the way of our securing satisfying and lasting personal relationships will appear in some way in the therapy relationship and a competent therapist will be able to help you... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It's sounds like you are feeling pretty overwhelmed with intrusive thoughts and are feeling very criticized by others as well. I think it is great that you are reaching out and I can tell that you want this to change. Working with a competent therapist may be a good option for getting some more... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It can be very difficult, when our parents do not approve of significant aspects of who we are. As children, we need our parents approval, and as adults, we often still desire it. Some things I am wondering about are, how do you feel about your sexuality and your relationship with your mother? Is... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you are feeling helpless and out of control, you are concerned about your behavior, and at the same time you feel compelled to continue it. In working with a therapist, you may be able to get insight into what is motivating these behaviors, develop strategies for taking care of... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you have some ambivalent feelings towards your ex-boyfriend that are difficult to sort out. You notice that there are both desirable and undesirable things about him, and this is true of everyone to one degree or another. One question that I would have for you is, are you satisfied... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.