My Approach to Helping
Life doesn't come with an owners manual, or any kind of guarantee. Therapy is a service, far from perfect, but a rare and precious attempt to counteract the isolation and confusion of existence. I'm here to hear you, believe you, value and welcome you. I'm here to adapt to your style and needs, and in your time, witness and support the work you've come to do.
I specialize in life meaning: facilitating connections in families of all kinds; helping you and your intimate partner admire, celebrate, and join one another; and helping you, as an individual, connect with, understand, and listen to yourself.
I seek to facilitate your growth through a genuine, committed, professional relationship that values you, your experience, your needs, and preferences above all else.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
You'd think after millennia of human relationships we'd have a firm grip on how to thrive in long- term relationships. In some ways we do, we know what behaviors most readily predict divorce or separation, and which predict stability, but cause and effect aren't clear. Does distress cause the "bad behaviors" or the other way around? Either way, introducing the good behaviors, and removing the bad, does strengthen a relationship, increase a sense of safety, and provide the space for more enduring connection, fondness, and friendship to return.
In other ways, the human relationship remains as mysterious as the mind itself. It's quite like it's own animal, living outside the partners who give it life, and affecting each of you in subtle and profound ways.
I've received hundreds of hours of focused training in the art of helping couples find each other. I'm here for each of you as individuals, and for both of you together. I'm here to create safety for you both in therapy, to make meaning from the pain you may be feeling. I'll stick around when the going gets tough because I know how deeply nourishing a healthy relationship can be, and I want that for you both.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
In some ways the medical model of mental health - our acceptance of Major Depressive Disorder as a medical disorder, for instance, rather than a strange life choice or character deficiency - has been a great benefit to society. For one reason or another we find labels enormously comforting and legitimizing. Giving our mental suffering a medical name helps friends and family to accept our problems as legitimate, promotes compassion in society, and helps us to accept, rather than deny, avoid, and struggle against our difficult experiences. These are no small accomplishments. Let's not lose those benefits!
At the same time, I hope this cultural moment might be a stepping stone to a time when we afford compassion to others (and ourselves) without the need for a label. This may require us to grow out of simple stories about "normal" and "disordered", and get better at talking about how complex and diverse human minds actually are.
This is not to minimize the distressing psychological symptoms you may want freedom from, it's to put them in context: you aren't diseased or sick. These patterns of impulsiveness, listlessness, anger, or fear, aren't results of deficiencies or deformities in your brain, body, or character, they are brilliant adaptations to a difficult environment, and part of an integrated whole: you. You can't just "snap out of it". But, like a plant growing toward sunlight, given the right attention, time, and energy, you have all the equipment you need to grow strong, flexible, connected, and at peace in yourself.