My Approach to Helping
People often come away from mental health professionals believing that they're deeply ill and that there's little to be done but swallow a few pills and hope for the best. For that reason, I think differently about my job, so I try to stick to a few principles when I sit down with a client:
1. Hardship, suffering, and distress are inevitable in life, and we have very little control over whether and when they occur. But that doesn't mean we don't have a choice about how to respond to these things. We do, of course. Therapy, at its best, is a way of figuring out how best to do that.
2. When you work with me, you are the expert on yourself.
3. Regardless of what brings you to see me, therapy is a time and a place in which you decide who you are and where you want to go instead of being told who you are and what you cannot do.
More Info About My Practice
My practice is a little unusual in that I have no physical office space -- I only work with clients over encrypted video conferencing like Skype and Wire. For some prospective clients, this can be a little odd, especially if they've been in therapy before. "Can you still make that unique connection to a therapist through a screen?"
It turns out that yes, indeed you can, and there's an already large and quickly growing body of empirical literature supporting it (Germain, Marchand, et al., 2010; Tutty, Spangler, et al., 2010). There are other reasons to give video-based psychotherapy a shot, though, especially if you live in a large city and you have a typical nine-to-five job:
1. You don't have to sit in traffic an extra hour (or two) to get to your therapist.
2. You can schedule sessions more flexibly with the time you save. Instead of trying to duck out of work at lunch to have your session, you can do so in your office or at home or wherever you can find a quiet and private place.
3. You can see me from wherever you have a web connection. No need to skip a session for a business trip if you don't want to.
There's one more reason, though, and it may end up being the best one: you can try it and if you don't like it, I won't charge you for your first session and I'll help connect you to another therapist.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Chances are that mine is not the first profile you've looked at on GoodTherapy. Chances are also high that, in the other profiles you've seen, therapists have listed, about 47 specific issues they claim to be helpful in dealing with. The reason for this is that, by and large, we're nervous to show clients that we'll be able to help them. The problem is that no one believes (nor should anyone believe) that they're able to effectively treat every single form of human suffering under the sun.
So, I don't make those claims. Instead, I'm more like In-N-Out, or Five Guys: I do a few things well and leave the rest to other people. My version of "burgers, fries, shakes"?
That's what I'm good at helping people with. I've done it for a long time and I'm pretty good at it.