My Approach to Helping
If you have anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, problems with alcohol or substances, or relationship issues, my aim is to help you to feel better, do better, and get better. I strive to 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 (so it doesn't happen again) and the second is on changing your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Goal are mutually decided: We would work together to make the changes that you desire.
More Info About My Practice
My background includes providing psychotherapy in both private practice and community centers since 1992. I have also supervised other therapists (including supervising supervisors), written several articles and three books, 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 trust/betrayal.
One way of looking at therapy is what I call "tool replacement." Unhealthy and unhelpful coping strategies can be replaced by tools that are self-enhancing and create better relationships - including the one with yourself.
My Guiding Ethical Principles
Before you even begin, I recognize that one of my roles is to work my way out of a job with you someday. I try 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, getting to work, and staying with 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.
All that said, part of my role is to help you to look at options - sometimes ones that perhaps you haven't considered. When you feel stuck, you may need a therapist for the wheels to stop spinning and to gain some traction in order to move forward. If you want that, it's something I have helped people do for over 20 years as a licensed therapist.