My Approach to Helping
I listen with compassion, respect, and focus, learning from you about what your life has been, how it is for you now, and where you want it to go. Together we clarify what you're dealing with, building a new understanding that will help you to face life with confidence and loving self-acceptance. Our work will be an active, two-person job: I create a safe space for you to feel your feelings, and you share what you're experiencing as the two of us make sense of it. I'm a highly experienced and empathic professional, here to help you move on from pain and fear, into flourishing and joy.
More Info About My Practice
Every person has a unique inner life, shaped by a stream of personal experience that nobody else fully knows. I honor that specialness, avoiding assumptions about who you are or just what you need. As you share with me more and more of the life you've lived, I help you shape your own story into one that makes good sense to you---changing burdens like shame, guilt, blame, envy, or resentment into insight, empathy, and understanding. My training, research, and 15 years of clinical experience tell me that peace comes mainly from making wholesome and genuine connections with other people. That can be hard to do, especially in a society that emphasizes constant competition. No culture is perfect, and often the one that surrounds us has limited respect for human diversity, for the challenges of living, and for the humble strength it takes to be vulnerable enough to stay fully alive. Therapy is a safe place to explore your possibilities, identify and replace harmful patterns of thought and action, and heal the pain that makes it hard to think clearly. We all deserve a therapist, whether our current goal is just to survive and to cope, or to grow and to flourish.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
You and I will work as a team to find the source of what holds you back and weighs you down. I will give you skilled, gentle guidance in changing, while providing the support you need as you begin to feel better about yourself and your life. I'm a fairly active therapist---you won't be left talking to a "blank wall." My specialty areas include: relationship difficulties, anxiety, depression, identity and sexual orientation issues, and all of the psychological issues that arise in relation to adoption. I also provide the testing and assessments that are often required in international adoptions.
I am a member of the American Psychological Association and of the special divisions on Developmental Psychology; Psychology of Women; Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice; Family Psychology; Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race; and Trauma Psychology. I'm a member of The Adoption and Foster Family Coalition, and current President of the Nepal Adoptive Families Association. I serve on the Board of Directors of Second Nurture.
I have particular expertise in the area of the psychological needs of adoptees and their families, and the psychological impact of institutionalization on international adoptees throughout the lifespan.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
Therapy helps you to build the skill of feeling your real feelings, neither allowing them to overwhelm you, nor avoiding them with numbness or denial or addiction. That requires some love for oneself, so this kind of progress helps people to give and receive love more fully; to find, sustain, and appreciate meaningful work; and to get in touch with our own gifts, desires, and needs. It all takes courage---and you have plenty, or you wouldn't be seeking therapy. Welcome to the journey.