My Approach to Helping
My mission is to work collaboratively with you, and to help you identify and achieve your goals. I specialize in working with men of all ages who are experiencing difficulty related to anger management, substance abuse, and relationship/sexual concerns. I also love to work with the families of kids who are getting into trouble at home, school, etc., for angry, oppositional, or defiant behavior. My approach is straightforward, non-judgmental, and non-shaming for the simple and practical reason that deep feelings of shame are often at the root of our anger, substance abuse, and relationship difficulties! To test the truth of this statement, we need only to consider the shame and remorse we feel following an incident with anger that we wish we would have handled differently. If these words resonate with you, and you're ready for something different, then I would love to speak with you to see if we might be a good fit!
More Info About My Practice
In addition to individual therapy, I also offer group therapy for men. I have been facilitating therapy groups for the past 10 years, and my experience has taught me that it is often THE BEST therapy for men who are struggling in their interpersonal lives. The group provides a powerful arena in which to explore one's own personal relational dynamics, and to receive constructive feedback about how one "comes across" to others. This feedback can prove invaluable in your intimate relationships and also you work or career life. With the therapist as a guide, the group allows (encourages) you to experiment with different ways of being in a safe and supportive environment.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
Emotional or psychological pain is rooted in our pathogenic beliefs, therefore the purpose of psychotherapy is the relinquishment of our pathogenic beliefs. Pathogenic beliefs are grim, deeply held, unconscious beliefs about ourselves and the world that guide our behavior without us being aware of it. These beliefs are preverbal, and are beneath statements and feelings that we are inferior, stupid, dirty, bad, damaged, and worthless. Pathogenic beliefs cause us to believe we somehow deserved abuse or at the very least, that we should "get over it." They are also beneath justifications and rationalizations for our own abusive and violent behavior, seen in statements like "he/she deserved it."
Psychotherapy with an attuned therapist will help you to identify and relinquish the pathogenic beliefs that have held you back. You will learn to have compassion for yourself as you gradually begin to realize that even your most self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors made sense at some point in your life as a creative adaptation to a bad or traumatic situation. You will realize that you are seeking therapy at this time, because these creative adaptations are no longer working for you, and are causing you more grief than relief. You will learn how to change this. The process can be difficult, but the ultimate result is that your life will open up to you in ways you may have never dared to think possible.
My Role as a Therapist
All people come to therapy with a "plan" on how to get better. All plans are healthy and geared towards psychological growth because nobody truly desires to be miserable, sick, or unhappy. Often times this "plan" is unconscious, but all people who seek therapy have one. The "plan" is different (though connected) with your stated goal (for example, to stop getting drunk and yelling at my partner). The "plan" is the "how" of psychotherapy. It determines how psychotherapy will "work" for you. My job is to help you to uncover this plan and to conduct and structure therapy in such a way that facilitates and promotes your plan.