My Approach to Helping
I believe that clients will receive the most benefit from therapy when they feel safe enough to challenge themselves. Because of this, I work to create safety in the therapy room. This allows clients to truly let their defenses down, and creates a trusting, collaborative and productive environment. I have a psychodynamic approach, and integrate methods like EMDR, Motivational Interviewing, and Gottman Method Couples Therapy to facilitate healing and insight. This journey has been very rewarding for me; the trust that I get from my clients is a gift, seeing them heal and grow means a lot to me, and inspires my work.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
A lot of my most rewarding work over the past few years has been with teenagers. Many people are nervous about working with teens, but I truly enjoy it, and somehow they tend to enjoy me.
Adolescence is such an interesting transitional time: hormones are rioting, their bodies are nearly mature, but the decision-making part of their brains is not fully developed (and won't be until their mid-twenties), they are trying to establish their independence from their families, as their peer groups grow in importance. This is the time period where they're learning so quickly where they fit in the world.
With all of this, of course they need help with navigation. They need an unbiased and supportive adult to bounce their thoughts off of, one who respects their growing autonomy, but still wants the best for them, and is protective, one who can symbolically represent the world at large. EMDR, one of my favorite therapy tools, is very effective in helping teens to regulate their emotions, and problem solve, even if they don't want to talk much.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
The goal of psychotherapy is to help people come to understand and accept their own truth. Left to our own devices our thoughts can spin or repeat; we have thought patterns that we grew into, that are grounded in our understanding of the world. These thought patterns are similar to a primary language in that people use them automatically and without consciousness. Maybe if empowered with a conscious choice, we would choose different thought patterns.
Psychotherapists are trained to empower clients to look inward, explore their own values and the reasons for those values, identify their deep desires and bring them to light, and then make a conscious choice and plan. I see psychotherapy as a time you choose to claim for yourself to figure out what you want your life to be. This might mean finally healing old wounds, recovering from a trauma and becoming reacquainted with your own "normal," maybe it would be figuring out what you really want from life and clarifying the steps to achieve it, or it could be coming to terms with a loss or a regret and then working through the sadness.
The purpose of psychotherapy can manifest in many different ways, each unique to the client and therapist, and the relationship and goals they forge together. It can, and should be an amazing and powerful journey.
My Therapy Focus
I am certified in EMDR, and am a strong advocate for it. I have used it with children, adolescents, and adults; in individual and in collaborative sessions. For those of you who don't know about EMDR, it is a remarkable method designed to work with trauma and PTSD, and endorsed by both the Veterans Association, and the American Psychological Association. It's also useful in any circumstance where there is a disconnect or conflict between conscious thoughts, emotions, and actions. In other words: addictions, anxieties, phobias, eating disorders, difficult or conflicted transitions, etc. Please see my website for more information, and know that I am happy to talk more about it in consultation.