My Approach to Helping
What's important is helping each person to find the inner resources to make the changes and experience the healing they need and want. In the 40 years that I've been helping people find peace I've spent more and more time focusing on what's right, and less and less on what's "wrong". Life is not black and white- it's shades, textures, and patterns of grey. I help my clients chip away what's not truly them so they can know peace within themselves. That's why I stopped "diagnosis" long ago. I work with individuals and couples, especially in reducing anxiety, healing from trauma of all kinds and improving intimacy. I use a number of different approaches including EMDR and often people find their lives improving very rapidly. "Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I will meet you there." (Rumi)
More Info About My Practice
I can help you wherever you are with telephonic coaching or counseling. On my dime I call you at the specified appointment time and we do telephone sessions. Many people find these are preferable for them, especially since it's often difficult to talk about anxiety or sexual issues face to face. Phone sessions are also extremely convenient and you can even participate wearing your pajamas! Talk to me more about this by simply calling me at 805-534-1101. If you get my voice mail be sure to leave your phone number.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I'm particularly adept at helping people with any type of post traumatic stress, or "fall-out" from abuse, violence, neglect or trauma of any kind. When I was in my early 20's I was sexually assaulted by a stranger that had been stalking me, and was unable to find good therapy of any kind in the greater Los Angeles area. This led me to psychology graduate school so I could help people who had similar experiences. I worked for 8 years as clinical director of a local rape crisis center, training many therapists to help survivors of all types of sexual assault, particularly when the perpetrator was a family member or acquaintance. Now I specialize in work with anxiety in all its many forms...I just don't view it necessarily as a "disorder" but as a natural response to trauma that I can help to alleviate with "good therapy" and EMDR (Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I truly love witnessing the transformation that occurs when people learn to let go of expectations and attachment to outcome in their lives. As I learn to be more mindful and experience more and more peace in my own life I take joy in sharing with my clients how they can do the same.
My Role as a Therapist
My role is to walk beside my clients - not ahead of them and not shoving from behind. I help them to recognize, accept, and investigate whatever is going on for them. If there are difficulties, I help them to let go or release whatever is blocking them from inner peace and healing.
My Guiding Ethical Principles
In my work with couples I use a three-legged stool approach in that I see the couple, then each person individually, with each leg crucial. If someone shares something with me in an individual session, I will not share this information when they come with their partner. This ensures that each person can open up to me about anything and trust that I will keep their disclosure private. Eventually they might choose to share this with their partner, but its always their decision. Many of my former clients have told me how much they appreciated being able to open up like this.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Most therapists are trained first and foremost to diagnose - to focus on what is "wrong." This reductionistic approach means that they are seeing their client as a "disorder" or cluster of disorders rather than a person who is frightened or confused or blocked from their true self. In choosing a therapist I look for someone who is interested in ferreting out what is "right" with me - my wisdom and my inner strength.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Yes indeed...my struggles with fear and anxiety mean that I can empathize with people who are scared - not just sympathize. I know what it's like to wake up first thing every morning with a knot in my stomach! And I can share with clients that path that has led me away from this experience to the relative peace I now experience.
Theoretical Influences that Guide My Work
I've been profoundly inspired by the work of Carl Rogers, who looked for the good and the strength in his client centered approach. In my work as a CSAT (certified sexual addiction therapist) I've been trained and inspired by Dr.Patrick Carnes. And I love the work of Carl Jung (two Carls!) and his spiritual approach to dreams and healing.