My Approach to Helping
If you are looking for practical help, I may be a good fit. I like teaching concepts and skills to people, and usually have some tools or ideas to offer. At the same time, when we incorporate our imagination and creativity together, and approach this as a collaboration, that kind of relationship is what is likely to give you lasting and satisfying results. I work especially well with people who are looking for a blend of talk therapy, focus on the body and sensation (to better understand emotions) and just having a place to discuss deep concerns about the state of the world and how we can live lives with meaning, conscience and integrity. This type of therapy is sometimes described as existential: figuring out your own answers to why we are alive and what matters to you. I especially love to help people make connections with community resources, so they can find support and kindred spirits companionship outside the therapy work we are doing.
More Info About My Practice
I have had a great deal of experience as a therapist. My broad knowledge base of approaches to therapy includes mindful awareness and solution-focused techniques; I also provide coaching services, which offer you an opportunity to get some useful information without necessarily having to be a "therapy patient". Using therapy at times is a way to live a more thoughtful and aware life. I tend to be direct and to give a great deal of feedback. I also rely a lot on modeling; giving you examples and specific wording about how you might handle difficult conversations or interactions. I don't necessarily know the right way for you to handle things, but I give you something to react to and then you can choose your own way.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
I want to know what new clients are hoping to achieve in therapy and what they have tried in order to address their problem on their own. It is helpful to hear the client's own ideas about why they have the problems or issues they are grappling with. What is getting in the way or preventing them from doing things they way they want to? If a new client can tell me what has worked in previous therapies, or what has been unhelpful about prior attempts at therapy, that is also useful so I know what approaches to avoid.
Eventually, I listen for information that might be relevant about their learning style, strengths, beliefs and values, as well as whatever relevant family or personal history informs and influences our work together.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The most reliable and solid research available about the effects of therapy shows that the quality of the relationship between therapist and client determines the results and the potential benefit of therapy. I use feedback forms developed by an academic research team that studied this concept and offer them to clients at each session. They only take a few seconds to complete and most people like using them. Whether clients choose to use the forms or not, we find a comfortable way to keep tabs on your satisfaction and the results we are getting. That way we make sure that our conversations are useful to you and that we keep steadily moving toward whatever goals you seek to achieve.