At Happy Brain Counseling, we help adults have better relationships with their spouses, their families, and most importantly, we encourage a better relationship with your best friend – yourself. We help clients create changes in self-care, nutrition, activity and create positive results with an increased ability to manage emotions and mood.

We use a variety of techniques, including counseling with adults individually, to teach a person to be more aware of self, to increase skills, and to acquire necessary resources. Counseling is an educational experience. We honor you for taking the difficult step to contact us. Thank you for contacting us and we will do our very best to help you.

Benefits of Counseling

We believe there are many benefits of counseling and the advantages are different for each person who walks through our door.  Here are some of the things we help each individual accomplish:

  • increase self-confidence
  • improve skills and tools to reduce or eliminate depression and anxiety
  • offer support and comfort when the environment may not offer this to you
  • improve decision-making skills
  • improve relationships
  • improve communication at home or work
  • improve parenting skills
  • navigate through difficult issues such as divorce, custody¬†or acquiring medication

Issues most commonly addressed in counseling include:


If you’re feeling alone, overwhelmed or unmotivated, you may be suffering from depression. The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, quick and aggravated mood changes or low self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.

People who suffer from depression may experience changes in the following areas:

  • Appetite
  • Weight
  • Mood
  • Cognition
  • Sleep
  • Behavior


Once you experience childhood trauma, your life is forever changed. Children who are abused or neglected or suffer a major loss may continue to have serious psychological problems even after they are adults. If you find you have difficulty having healthy relationships or being successful at work, it may be childhood trauma that’s holding you back from having the life you want, even if you don’t recognize the signs that you were abused, neglected or suffered severe and chronic trauma. The good news is that you can identify and heal from childhood trauma. When you do, you can move past the trauma and create the life you want most.

Childhood trauma can often lead to passive aggressive behavior, passivity, the development of a false self and victimhood thinking. Childhood trauma doesn’t usually go away on its own. Counseling can lead a client to healthy patterns of thinking and guide them as they untangle some of the wounds of the past. This is not easy work, but healthier thought patterns can lead to better decision making and behaviors and overall well-being and happiness.


Self-esteem is a highly researched topic. In the past, it was thought to be acquired through positive messages from our parents that were often unsubstantiated by the person’s work product. In other words, a caregiver would say “You are so smart.” when the child’s grade achievement was not what it needed to be. What brings true self-worth is through work, effort and accomplishment. As children, we accomplish this through good grades, completion of tasks and assigned chores, learning to play an instrument, becoming proficient at a sport and through self-care. This does not mean that we make our children work hard all the time or that we withhold rest, relaxation and lots of play time. It does mean that these accomplishments occur through the course of our every day lives. Self-esteem is damaged when adults do too much for the child, over-protecting the child, allowing for too much time on electronics and over-gifting and not enough time to play with respectable peers.

As adults, we need to achieve a work, life, play, rest, sleep and self-care balance. Self-esteem is the degree to which we feel worthy, valuable and confident. These feelings or beliefs greatly affect our well-being and social interactions. Self-worth allows us to kindly and respectfully set boundaries with others. It allows for time and attention to our own needs and wants to be met. Self-esteem also allows us to be emotionally mature and embrace the needs of others without harshness, criticism or contempt. We help clients work, create and accomplish to promote a balanced amount of pride, confidence and increased self-care.


We believe that intimacy is an emotional experience when we feel safe to share our thoughts, feelings and enthusiasm without fear of criticism, mocking or rejection. Sex is a more primal and physical expression, that is not necessarily correlated with connection or intimacy. We believe that intimacy and a healthy sexual life are experienced through effective communication, adequate sex-care and working to achieve our needs with a special person. We promote emotional safety within the sessions so that our clients are comfortable discussing these sensitive topics. We work hard to be open, warm and non-critical.


Anxiety is so common is our American culture. We often do not experience adequate states of rest and sleep. We often do not feel we have enough time to complete tasks thoroughly due to ambitious deadlines. At the core of our anxiety are negative messages from fear, a primary emotion, that say we are “not good enough”, “not worthy”, “will fail” and the like.” Our counselors work with you to identify the core causes of your anxiety disorder. We then assist you in addressing them. We provide counseling for major anxiety disorders including:

  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Specific Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)



Is your life complicated by difficult emotional issues? At Happy Brain, we have professionals who have life experience, such as marriage and raising children, and that have been professionals in other corporate environments. We have had vast professional training, such as Six Sigma, LEAN, Just Culture, the field of biology and research, management and leadership. We believe this helps us work with professionals, even executives, to reduce burdens of self-criticism, to improve communication and conflict tools, to achieve professional growth and personal well-being.

Do you struggle with relationships, both personal and professional?

Do you often feel like you are struggling to survive?

Professional counseling can help you sort through these kinds of challenges by addressing the issues and helping you to develop winning strategies for life.


Conflict is often seen negatively. We believe conflict is, or can be, an opportunity to come together and align, to bond and to move forward. We use the Thomas Killmann Conflict Inventory. This assessment organizes successful conflict in five categories or individual tools that need to be used moderately:

  • Avoidance
  • Competing for our Needs
  • Compromise
  • Collaboration
  • Accommodation

We help clients share their perspectives with others without anger, abusive speech, raised voices or rage. We believe that the most powerful approach is delivered with few words, a mild tone and is thoughtfully expressed.



Yong Kang Clinic
528 Woodleaf Court
Kirkwood, MO, 63122

Michael Shanker, MD, or Daniel Reising, MD
Clayton Behavioral
9890 Clayton Road
St Louis MO 63124

Dale Anderson, M.D.
6365 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117


Dan Levin, Ph.D.
8515 Delmar Blvd Suite 220
St Louis MO 63124

Lisa Emmenegger, MD
7750 Clayton Rd, Suite 204
St Louis MO 63117

Dan Weinstein, Psy.D., LLC
7730 Carondelet Ave, Suite 307
Clayton, MO 63105


Cultivating Lasting Happiness, Terry Fralick


Self-Compassion, The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, Dr Kristin Neff


No Drama Discipline, Dan Siegel


The Parenting Handbook, Don Dinkmeyer