My Approach to Helping
My approach to psychotherapy is to provide a setting in which you can come to know yourself, be yourself, and understand what has lead you to the problems you are currently experiencing. I believe that the therapist\'s empathy and insight are essential, as is helping you to develop the tools that you take with you once you complete your work in therapy. I believe that when we understand what we have been trying to work through in our lives, we can live more consciously and constructively. My goal is to work with you cooperatively in a related, realistic, and grounded way.
I also believe in helping clients to understand their role in their therapeutic process. My book, I\'m Working On It In Therapy: How To Get The Most Out Of Psychotherapy (Skyhorse, 2015), explains ten tools that clients can use to help them to make the changes they are seeking in therapy. Clients usually know that therapy takes work, but they aren\'t always sure what that work entails. Reading my book is by no means required to work with me. But while I do try to explain the process gradually in sessions, some appreciate having a book to refer to outside of session where they can come to understand their role in more detail.
I am also the author of The Healthy Compulsive: Healing Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and Taking the Wheel of the Driven Personality. This book serves as a guide for growth for the many people who struggle with perfectionism, control issues, work addiction and Type A personality. Clinically, this is usually described as Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) , but I prefer not to think about it in a pathologizing way. You can read more about this on my blog, www.thehealthycompulsive.com.
More Info About My Practice
I do not accept insurance, but if you are unable to pay a full fee, I would be willing to discuss moderating my fee during a consultation. If we are unable to agree on a fee that is comfortable for both of us, I would not charge you for the consultation.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
While I work with a wide variety of issues, I've thought and written about three in particular that interest me: depression, work addiction and the driven personality, and anger management. In each of these cases, my goal is to help you understand what underlies the tendency, and what you may be trying unconsciously to work through. I've found that people with depression have often taken on far too much responsibility, and are plagued by a constant sense of internal demands and self-criticism. Their depression may be an unconscious attempt to find a way out. Those clients who are driven tend to work compulsively, in whatever form, may be trying to compensate for some insecurity, and have literally wired themselves so that productivity has become an addiction. A deep re-examining of values is part of the healing that needs to take place, along with understanding the many feelings that have been avoided in the process. For those of you who struggle with anger, I find it helpful not only to develop techniques to manage anger, I also feel that it is important to understand the triggers that cause you to be so angry so that you generate less anger in the first place.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
While the therapist's insight and empathy are essential, so is the therapist's assistance in understanding your role in the therapeutic process. There are tools that are essential to using therapy effectively and productively. I do my best to help you understand these tools, and the particular ways they will function for you personally, so that you take them with you when you have completed your work in therapy.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
Therapy ideally helps us to understand the strategies that we adopted early in life to cope with difficult situations. No family is perfect, and no parents could give us everything we needed. We have all developed ways of dealing with those gaps, some of them helpful, some of them not so helpful. These gaps and old strategies may have kept us from our individuation, our capacity to be a unique and whole human being. Therapy provides a setting in which we can move toward wholeness and being the unique individuals we are capable of being by integrating parts of the personality that have been left out. Healing and growth are related--each leads to the other and psychotherapy supports those processes.