My Approach to Helping
Do you ever feel so uncomfortable in your skin or so depressed or anxious that you can't sleep, can't get anything done, you can't focus, you miss the boat on aspects of your life that really matter to you -- and yet you can't for sure say exactly why you're so upset?
I've come to understand these murky sensations, thoughts and feelings as an "integrated family" inside each of us that work together to express what's really going on with us. When we listen, they have lots to share. By listening with care to this internal system we get to tune in (and begin to understand) not only to what's currently bothering us, but to some of the long-standing stories or "plot lines" that have been guiding our lives -- from back stage, so to speak -- outside our daily awareness. It's an amazing process to experience this "hero's journey" to the center of your Self. As a therapist (and former massage therapist) I never stop being inspired by the people I work with and how much they achieve when they do this. It's a powerful reason for why I do this work.
More Info About My Practice
I work mostly from a model called Internal Family Systems therapy, a system of understanding a whole person as a multiplicity of aspects or parts, much like a patchwork quilt, a beautiful mosaic, or as the name implies, a family of parts. Many parts make up the whole person. Viewed through this model even parts that are troubling for you are well-intended and purpose driven, doing their best under the circumstances -- there are no "bad" parts or labels, only an internal system that needs rebalancing. Throughout our work together this "parts" approach will help you to more easily understand your life and how to realign its balance as you begin to feel better. As we work together we may also explore other tools for feeling better, such as EMDR, mindfulness experiences, journaling, creative projects, or cognitive inquiry.
My Therapy Focus
You probably already know that there are all sorts of great “therapies” out there. Theories, methods, and models abound -- each with its own language and its own unique way of understanding the painful challenges people face, and how best to help. You also no doubt know there are different degrees and licenses for therapists with different backgrounds so it’s important to be sure the therapist you choose has a solid background and credentials (which this directory makes easier by verifying that for you). Here’s how I see it: the best way to avoid getting stuck in “analysis paralysis” over which one to choose is to get out of your head and follow your heart and trustworthy intuitive sense. When you talk to a therapist the first time, notice how you feel, notice if you feel uncomfortable, less ok... or if you feel yourself settling down a little, maybe even able to breathe a little easier. Notice if the therapist is willing to answer your questions, given the time allowed in that first brief call... See if there’s that click that tells you that you two are beginning to connect. Once you are sure your potential therapist is credentialed, follow that connection because without it, all the credentials in the world won’t be able to help you experience the sense of warm acceptance and safety that are prime ingredients of therapy.