My Approach to Helping
I am an experienced therapist providing specialist care in the areas of sex therapy, couple and relationship therapy, and trauma treatment, including sex therapy for trauma survivors. While I draw on several approaches to therapy depending on presenting issues and client styles, the core of my approach is the relational perspective. I have come to value relationships, including a good quality therapeutic reltionship, as integrally important to healing. My approach is active, direct, and empathic. I understand that coming to therapy is a vulnerable experience, and I will be in it with you.
An important foundation for working together is for me to get to understand who you are, what your values are, what works for you, how you best function. I assume and celebrate differences and want to collaboratively develop an approach that deeply honors who you are.
I work from a stance of curiosity and respect to cultivate a safe environment for sensitive therapeutic work. What moves me most as a therapist is the privilege of accompanying clients as they claim their voices and move into increasing authenticity.
More Info About My Practice
I am an out-of-network provider. For clients who wish to use insurance, I encourage that they check their benefits. I request payment at the time of service, and am happy to provide a monthly statement that clients may submit to their insurance company to seek reimbursement based on their particular plan. I feel that working outside the managed care system, while it can have some drawbacks, offers the most freedom, privacy, and the ability for my client and I to make all of the decisions about therapy.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
One of my niche areas is working on sexual issues with trauma survivors (individual or couple work). My work is informed by in-depth training in both trauma treatment and sex therapy, and I have many years experience balancing these lenses to support the sexual healing of survivors. I have also led workshops in this area for survivors, for partners of survivors, and for couples, and I have trained and consulted to other professionals on these topics.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
I see psychotherapy as a process of healing and supporting wellness and growth. Depending on the particular needs of the person or the couple, this may include insight, developing new skills and coping strategies, finding ways to shift challenging behaviors, or a new experience of relationship.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
I often start with the present, with what is the current experience or concern. I fill in the history as we go (sometimes more intensively in the first session to two). I am curious about a person's historical experience and the narratives that arise from it, and I am curious about how a person works: how they function best, what is meaningful to them, what they know about themselves. I also check in with people as we go about how the process is feeling, and what seems possible or not possible, helpful or unhelpful.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
I respect ambivalence. I like to understand what the specific concerns are, and sometimes I will then have information that is helpful or clarifying. I sometimes suggest that the person may consider contracting briefly, say for 3 or 6 sessions, to experience the process and see if it feels like a right thing for them to further commit to or not. I also do single-session consultations, which includes me laying out directions for possible therapy, and can help someone decide if they want to continue or not. I'm happy to have a phone conversation as well, and invite your questions to help you assess whether I would be a good fit for you.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
I see a good quality therapy relationship as key, and depending on the specific needs of the client, well-matched expertise and experience can also be very important. It is essential that a person feel respected and that both therapist and client are active participants in the creation of a therapy plan and in the process of therapy.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The client-therapist relationship is one of the central factors of healing. The relationship should be safe, have well-defined roles, and has the potential to offer a reparative experience of relationship.
My clients can expect me to be respectful, non-shaming, and collaborative. Consistency and follow-through are important to me: I do what I say I'm going to do. I welcome questions and value the expertise of my client on his or her own life and experience.