My Approach to Helping
I work with many people who feel stressed or overwhelmed to some degree. This can happen due to traumatic events, or simply when life, career, feelings or relationships get to be "too much". The effects can show up as post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, low motivation, panic attacks, substance abuse, eating disorders, or other issues.
I also work with a lot of people who have already done a lot of therapy, but still find themselves stuck in some ways. In my experience, this is usually because they have worked with the cognitive (thoughts) and the emotional parts of their pasts, but there is still traumatic residue in the nervous system or even other parts of the body. This results in a lot of involuntary thoughts, feelings and actions that they may not quite understand, or know how to get rid of. Fortunately, my primary modality, somatic psychotherapy, specializes in treating such issues.
So, I help people learn how to become grounded, find the positive and work through things at a manageable pace, which varies from person to person. This happens in the context of a supportive interpersonal relationship; I really enjoy getting to know my clients and supporting them in becoming most fully themselves. I help people discover why they are having the symptoms they have, and how they can reduce and eliminate their own symptoms. Therapy should also be fun at least some of the time; I help people find and practice a little playfulness, and experience the joy of being alive.
I'm a certified Practitioner of Somatic Experiencing(R). This is a body-oriented method for trauma healing developed by Dr. Peter Levine. Although I work from several different theoretical orientations, including humanistic, psychodynamic, developmental and behavioral, I am primarily a somatically based therapist because I find this by far the most effective and efficient method I have experienced or practiced. I also hold a certificate in Ecopsychology. I work with many people who experience eco-anxiety, despair, etc. about the current human-driven state of our world. I do believe that people and nature can heal each other, as I have seen this and experienced it myself. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this method or anything else here on my profile.
I also assist (help teach) Somatic Experiencing trainings around the Los Angeles area, nationally and internationally.
More Info About My Practice
I am also a practicing eco therapist. That means I support people in discovering and healing their relationship with nature, if they are interested in doing so. I also work with eco-anxiety and eco-despair: the underlying sense of anxiety and dread about the current state of our natural world, and what we can do about it.
I have a particular knack for working with creative, artistic, unusual, unconventional or "out of the box" people, and helping them find solutions that work within their unique frame of reference.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
I know it can be really difficult to reach out and make that first phone call. There are many reasons why people hesitate: finances, stigma, shyness, anxiety about trying something new. And what would your friendsneighbors (etc) think, if they knew you were going to therapy? But you know what? If you don't at least try, you'll never know if it could have helped you. Even if it doesn't, it's a pretty good bet that you'll learn at least something useful from the experience. (And your friendsneighborsetc., might not think anything bad about you for trying it--they might be in therapy themselves, actually!)
Therapy has been around for a long time because it tends to work. Humans are social creatures. We are herd animals. Our nervous systems actually use each other to regulate themselves. That's why it's much easier to solve these problems with help and support. It's very difficult if not impossible to heal interpersonal wounds in isolation. A trained professional usually has skills and neutrality that your friends and family don't; and often, it's nicer to not have to burden them with this stuff on an ongoing basis.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
This idea is itself based on a flawed and incomplete understanding of human nature. Going to therapy does NOT mean that someone is "weak", "flawed" or "crazy". It just means that you are human and your system needs a little tune-up. I've heard many people say (and I agree) that everyone can benefit from therapy, at some point in their lives.
Whether or not we want to admit it, people need each other. Our strength is in numbers. We are herd animals; that is how we evolved. If you are a lizard, you can pop out of the egg, flick your tongue and be pretty much ready to scurry away and eat a bug. Humans, on the other hand, are much more complex. We are born helpless and incomplete. We literally build our nervous systems via our interactions with our caregivers. Since no parent is perfect, even "good enough" parenting leaves a few holes in the structure, which therapy is designed to repair.
This attitude of "just suck it up and keep going" can be useful on a short-term basis. But on the long term, it's kind of like continuing to take Novocaine for a sore tooth without fixing the problem. The underlying problem may seem to hurt less; but it tends to deteriorate underneath. Bottling emotions and experiences tends to be really damaging to the person doing it. In my experience, learning how to recognize, and deal with emotions, and then let them go, is very healing. Therapy is a great (and private!) place to do that.