Dr. Diane Puchbauer

About Me

I believe strongly that therapy can help people solve short-term difficulties and resolve long-standing patterns or habits that interfere with optimal health and life satisfaction.
I provide a safe place for people to explore life's current challenges and the lingering effects of past events. I specialize in treating the following human difficulties:
Family problems including adolescent and childhood issues,
trauma and abuse,
relationship counseling including couples therapy and premarital counseling,
sexual difficulties,
depression and suicidality,
anger management problems
body image difficulties and eating disorders,
addiction problems,
spiritual crisis,
and grief and loss.

I respect the uniqueness of each person and so my therapeutic work is modified to fit each person's needs. For example, in conjunction with traditional talk therapy I may use a variety of creative and experiential techniques such as:
(a) Body-oriented therapy for the resolution of anxiety, depression, and the effects of trauma;
(b) Emotion-Focused Therapy for couples (which has been empirically validated by robust research);
(c) Sandtray, art, play therapy, and attachment-focused therapy for children and adolescents; and
(d) Cognitive-behavioral techniques to teach relaxation, self care, communication, and collaborative problem-solving skills.

I am currently an assistant professor at Azusa Pacific University (APU) where I teach classes such as Child & Adolescent Therapy, Family Therapy, and Human Sexuality & Sex Therapy. I have 9 years of experience working therapeutically with children, college students, and adults in setting such as schools, hospitals, and counseling centers. I have over 5 years experience supervising graduate students and post-doctoral interns in their clinical work and last year I oversaw the training program for the 1st-year doctoral students at APU.

Prior to starting my doctoral degree, I worked for over 12 years as a wilderness instructor with troubled adolescents in wilderness therapy programs (see www.strugglingteens.org for more information about these programs). During this time, I also worked with abused and fostered teenagers in group homes, alternative schools, and outpatient settings. In addition, I taught yoga for 7 years and I currently use that experience to incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into therapy sessions.

For my dissertation, I developed a manual to train wilderness guides in therapeutic skills and activities: Adventure therapy for adolescents: A Skills training manual for adventure counselors. The manual serves as the text for the Clinical First Responder™ training (http://www.peakexperiencetraining.com). It is a handbook of clinical skills and therapeutic activities for use with adolescent clients in wilderness settings. It includes topics such as adolescent development and common adolescent diagnosis, emotion dysregulation and the development of psychopathology, the nature and treatment of addictive behaviors, motivation-enhancing therapy, common factors for change and the therapeutic alliance, the theory and practice of group therapy, and a method for setting limits and consequences. The manual was reviewed by a panel of experts in the field of adventure therapy and is currently being prepared for publication.

See http://www.apu.edu/faculty/bas/dpuchbauer/ for a full resume download