My Approach to Helping
All roads lead to Rome! It doesn't matter where we jump in, if you’re ready, we’ll still get there. My approach is based in Attachment Theory and the idea that much of our conflict and distress stems from old wounds & unmet needs. De-coding this blueprint can provide a path toward healing and fulfillment. Relational issues, trauma, addiction, unleashing the creative spirit, living life “on purpose”, and the plight of the pre-teen, are all areas I am passionate about. I incorporate both conventional therapeutic modalities as well as a Buddhist Psychology perspective. I embrace all forms of spirituality as a source of healing
More Info About My Practice
Full disclosure, I believe in equality for all, present as politically liberal, spiritually-minded and am an ally for all underrepresented. disenfranchised and discriminated-against communities.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
There is no greater reward than helping someone find answers where before there were none, than helping a couple understand each other in ways they never could, in teaching emotional language to help better communication, the benefits of which you will help you for the rest of your life. This is my second career. I couldn't possibly imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life. It is a privilege.
My Therapy Focus
I almost immediately try to uncover the Big T and little t traumas. And if I had a nickel for every client who told me they had no trauma in their history, well, I could buy a lot of over-priced coffees : ) Just to be clear, trauma is not just surviving assault, or a war, or abuse (though it is absolutely ALL those things), but it is anything, ANY thing that overwhelms a person's emotional capacity to tolerate it. If you stubbed your toe and it overwhelmed your capacity to tolerate it, that's a "version" of trauma. Equally as important as "stubbing your toe" is the question: who was there for you to help you manage your pain? What resources and support did you have? Lots of answers to be found there.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
I usually need to know about your family of origin. Which, I know, can be a mixed bag. And while I tend to rarely "blame" original caretakers, ignoring the messages, patterns and behaviors we internalized from those developmental years would be a detrimental oversight to understanding and healing. Additionally, I need to know how committed you are to doing the work. And to be clear, it is emotional work. But it pays off. I promise.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Not gonna lie, it requires an ample amount of bravery. And it can get messy, and painful and can get worse before it gets better, but the potential for a more peaceful, contented life and more harmonious relationships is priceless. If the scale is slowly tipping for you in the direction of therapy, give me a call and let's talk about your reservations.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
Try, try again!! Feeling connected to someone can be a mysterious crapshoot! Please don't let not vibing with one therapist, or perhaps not feeling safe or heard in a therapeutic experience permanently color you on the possibility of healing. Please don't give up!
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
I do believe walking through our own personal fire can help us relate and empathize in meaningful ways. I am mindful, though, of my own biases and countertransference. And even if we didn't share the same experience it is likely that we share similar feelings and emotions attached to those experiences. Being truly "heard" and "seen" can be profoundly healing in and of itself. At the time of this writing, my actual chronological time as a therapist is relatively short, but the amount of life lived and experiences had is more than enough to help you navigate your challenges.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
Therapy is only for the Brave. To be human is to be flawed. That goes for you and every person in your life. Let's share and celebrate our humanness and vulnerabilities and lead forward with a compassionate heart. Even if, or ESPECIALLY if that compassion is primarily for ourselves.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
My view on the nature of "disorders" is that everything is a trauma response and deserves to be seen from that lens. The 4 main trauma responses are Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn. Very early on you figured out what "works" for you to stay safe. Very early on you assessed whether the threat (or perceived threat) is something you can Fight (Anger,protest, hypervigilance) and if not, can you run from it (Flight: anxiety, addictions, obsessionscompulsion. etc)? and if we can't fight or run we Freeze (Depression) or Fawn (people-please, co-dependency). Very early on we learned what we need to do, who we need to be to survive. These responses served us when we were powerless. Now, they are liabilities that tend to get in the way of being fully functional. All that is to say, it's not your fault. Let's figure it out.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
I believe in "front-loading" therapy, at least once a week for the first few weeksmonth so as to establish our relationship and to gain some safety, security, and stability in the process. If you're in crisis I recommend twice a week. If we are feeling stable, I'm fine with bi-weekly. And once we are solid, I'm happy to just be your touchstone whenever life throws you a curveball.