My Approach to Helping
Are you stuck, and unsure how to move forward? My clinical work has one overarching goal: to help people build the lives they want. Sometimes it's clear what's wrong, and our work will involve enacting a plan: to move forward after a breakup or loss, to get out of a rut at work or at home, or to address relationship problems or stress or social anxiety. Other times, the roots of the problem are not as clear, and we must dig deep-- like with a history of depression, or problematic relationships with food or substances. And finally, some people come to me because although they feel their lives are "okay," they know they want something more-- and it's eating away at them. Whether you know exactly what you want to work on or are feeling unsure of how to begin, I create a space of warmth and understanding that belongs to you and you alone. I have years of experience with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and am constantly updating my techniques to include the latest research; currently, a lot of my clients are seeing additional benefits of mindfulness exercises. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of a therapeutic connection-- it's a beautiful blend of art and science-- and that empathy, compassion, and even humor (it's allowed!) are the foundations of a healing experience. I have special expertise in social relationships, stress and anxiety, and women's issues, and work with a lot of people on the cusp of a new phase of life. I have long been featured in various media as the voice of the science of psychology. Additionally, I serve on the faculty of Georgetown University and am the author of two books: one on friendship and the other on how famous (and infamous!) psychology theories play out in modern, everyday life.
More Info About My Practice
I offer a free phone consultation for us to figure out whether working together could be a good fit. It's an opportunity for me to listen to what's going on for you, explain more about how we might work together, and most important, address any questions or concerns you might have about what the experience would be like.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
In my years of clinical practice, I have developed a rather unusual specialty: those who are facing a crossroads in their lives. I often work with people going through relationship changes (breakups, engagements, marriages), the transition to parenthood, geographical or job changes, graduations and retirement. I also work with people experiencing the painful aftermath of a trauma or the soul-shattering grief that can come with the loss of a loved one. As someone who has written a book on friendship, I also frequently help people experiencing issues with their social lives. Many people tend to find me through my work in the media (I am the voice behind the longtime mental health advice column Baggage Check in the Washington Post, along with regular appearances across broadcast media.) But although I am passionate about spreading knowledge of mental health to the general public, in the therapy room our work is personalized to you.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
As much as the stigma of seeking therapy is diminishing, we know it's still alive and well, and it's sometimes hard to talk to others about seeking treatment-- which means there is a lot of confusion and mystery about what therapy is all about. Quite frankly, you might be embarrassed or downright unsure of how talking to someone can help. It's important to recognize that decades of meta-analyses in the scientific literature have shown that psychotherapy can be remarkably effective for treating depression and anxiety, in addition to many other challenges. It's not "just talking," but rather using research-backed techniques to develop new ways of thinking and interpreting your environment. In changing the way you think, you can gain the power to change your emotions, your behavior, and your relationships-- the building blocks of a meaningful and purposeful life.