My Approach to Helping
Working with adults on relationship issues is my passion and my specialty. Couples, especially, who are struggling with communication and trust, partners who do not know how to close the distance between them, but want to - these are my ideal clients. I also love helping those whose partner will not come to therapy, people struggling whether to end their relationship, or dealing with a break-up.
More Info About My Practice
I sometimes bring my hypoallergenic dog (Bichon mix), Chester, into the office with me. During the Covid-19 era, you might also catch glimpses of one of my cats as well. They seem drawn to my computer keyboard just when I have telehealth sessions scheduled.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
I didn't come from a perfect background, and I've made plenty of mistakes in life. I have joked that, rather than learning from others' missteps, I have to wade halfway across a raging river to realize it might be ill-advised. I have just had to learn through experience.
Because of this, I have earned any wisdom I gained. Not much of what I know about lives and relationships came too easily, and I think that helps me understand where my clients are coming from. It's hard to admit when we are not where, or who, we want to be. I get it. Things get tough and we do the best we can. I serve my clients better because I know my limitations, my past mistakes, and that keeps me humble, compassionate, and always striving toward growth. In that way, I am just like my clients.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
Prospective clients will occasionally ask me how many sessions a typical client or couple needs to reach their therapy goals.
I know that what they want to know is, "How long will this take me, and how much is it going to cost?"
I have no way to accurately answer this question, because there are far too many variables that influence the process and outcomes of therapy, and many of these are obscured from my view:
What was the culture of caring and safety in your family, growing up? How was anger handled? Sadness, shame, fear? Was there an organizing event or condition that effected the family system? How old were you? What was your role? Were you abused or neglected? Subtly or overtly? Was this ever acknowledged? Have you had major losses? How have you coped? Did you have to fight for your right to be your own person? Has that ever felt safe? How much support did you have, and do you have now? What is your high dream, and what are your fears?
Similarly, prospective couples will ask me, what's my success rate?
Well, how do you measure success?
How bad has it gotten, before seeking therapy? Do you still hope for that connection, or have you started to give up? How hard are you willing to work, and how vulnerable are you willing to get?
Is staying together the measure of success? Though that is always my hope, that doesn't end up being right for everyone.
No client is typical, and many of these answers reveal themselves as we are engaged in a process of discovery. All I can do is guide clients on their journey. The rest will be up to them.