My Approach to Helping
If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, problems with alcohol or substances, or relationship challenges, I provide a particular kind of therapy to help feel better, do better, and get better. Together we will create a safe, productive environment in order for you to achieve your goals and live the life you want to lead.
I take a two-prong approach. The first is developing insight into how you got to this place to begin with. If you don't know how you got here, there's nothing to prevent it from happening again.
The second prong has to do with our coping strategies (behavior). The longer I've been in practice, the more I believe that we're 'emotional managers.' That is, we're trying to manage our emotional state several times, if not more, per day. Unhelpful behavior and coping strategies (everything from avoiding social situations, lying, and starting fights with your partner to using drugs and alcohol) started out as helpful... Until they weren't.
Part of the therapy I provide offers 'tool replacement' - to help you replace unhealthy coping strategies to more positive ones - whether it's at work, with your partner, or with yourself.
More Info About My Practice
My office is centrally located near Crescent Heights and Wilshire. You will find it comfortable and comforting. I've been at this office for over 15 years. Prior to that, I was licensed in another state.
My background includes providing psychotherapy in both private practice and non-profit community centers since 1992. I have also supervised other therapists , written several articles and three two books on relationships, taught psychology and counseling courses, and provided workshops for mental health clinicians and the general public.
My Role as a Therapist
As a therapist, my only interest is in helping you change and grow, as well as assisting you to achieve your goals. I help people to resolve depression and anxiety as well as change long-standing patterns and vicious cycles, such as unwanted behavior and poor self-esteem. I also help couples who are struggling with difficult issues such as growing apart, ongoing conflict, addictions, and betrayal.
I'm here to support you, encourage you, and occasionally challenge you in order to create new ways of thinking and behaving. I will also offer options and ideas that you may not have considered.
I'm far from a passive therapist - head nodding and "tell me how you feel." You'll see from the moment you enter the office that I am highly interactive.
My Guiding Ethical Principles
I work to get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible and work on what you're coming in for by rolling up my sleeves, and staying with you and supporting you for the duration.
I'm a big believer in your independence - it's in your best interest and mine for me to never tell you what to do or give you advice: You will avoid creating an unhealthy and unnatural dependence on me. And I will not have to accept responsibility for deciding for you. The hardest time was when I was the clinic director working with victims of domestic violence: I learned to NOT tell people to leave their relationships, as they already have someone who's telling them what to do! (and it turns out that leaving is the most dangerous time). Respecting peoples' choices is paramount.
When you feel stuck or overwhelmed, you may need a therapist for the wheels to stop spinning and to gain some traction in order to move forward. It's something I have helped people do for over 25 years as a licensed therapist.