My Approach to Helping
I approach each individual that I work with as just that - an individual. I have been practicing the art of therapy since 2005 and in that time I have worked in almost every type of treatment setting, with all age groups, and all sorts of problems. This wide breadth of experience, in combination with extensive doctoral and postdoctoral training, allows me to quickly understand what my clients need from me.
My main areas of specialty are in trauma, complex trauma, and personality pathology. I am also passionate about social equality and have extensive training in working with the impacts of discrimination and oppression as they occur in day-to-day life.
With each person that comes to see me, I look for two things: First, what is causing the problem? And second, what are this person's unique strengths that keep them going? The causes of seemingly simple problems can be complicated and I am skilled at sorting out these complexities and making them clear for my clients. This clarity gives both of us a map on how to proceed, and our starting point for change is optimizing those strengths that the client brings with them when they walk in the door.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Deciding to go to therapy is not always easy. Many people wait a while and try many other solutions before they attempt therapy. Some people think that choosing to go to therapy is like acknowledging that something is "wrong" with them. Others fear being judged or "analyzed" talking about things that they usually try to avoid even thinking about. Most people don't really know how therapy works and do not feel confident that it can really help.
I'm happy to say that research demonstrates clearly that therapy is effective in helping with a wide variety of problems. If you'd like more information about how therapy can be used with your particular issue - this is exactly the question you should ask in a consultation with a therapist.
With regard to fear of judgment, I cannot say that I never have opinions about things my clients tell me (for this reason I have a standing rule that anyone who wants to ask what I think about something can ask - and I will tell them), but I can say that therapists are typically far less judgmental than your average person. This is not because we have any special personal qualities, we are just flawed human beings like everyone else. It's just that we know about the things that everyone thinks about but never talks about.
It takes courage to take the leap of trying therapy, and there is risk involved, but the investment in yourself pays dividends in every area of your life.