My Approach to Helping
Cinderella gets a bad rap from people who think she sold out for some Blahniks. Nah. See, I know that after the magic wore off, life around the castle looked pretty much like it does at your house. Cinders and Prince had to learn the same thing you do -- you have to be strong individually in order to make a strong relationship. Each of you is special: intelligent, committed, creative and motivated. Frustrated, angry? Depressed? You're not dysfunctional! You just need to find that "slipper" that's lost in the closet somewhere. I'll help you find it.
My work with you is special: I'm creative and passionate about reassuring couples that they ARE healthier than they may think. I've spent a career polishing an approach that lets both partners "be heard".
Life experience makes me a special teacher. I was married, I am married, I have multiple sclerosis, and I've been around for over 60 years. I get it.
More Info About My Practice
The Ideal Client Couple is "Healthy". If you don't think your relationship is healthy, you may be surprised.
The presence of emotional symptoms like sadness or depression, arguing, crying, confusion, anger, frustration, etc. don't necessarily mean your relationship is unhealthy. In fact, negative emotions can be expected when there are relationship problems.
You're not sick or diagnosable. You're intelligent, committed, motivated and honest -- and hurting. You don't need therapy, you need hope. And you've probably let things go so long that you feel about as hopeless as you've ever felt before. You don't need therapy, you need skills in caring for yourself as well as your partner and that includes better communication.
In contrast "unhealthy couples", those couples not suited for my practice, have addiction problems, don't function well in a group situation, have one partner unsure about committing to the relationship, or where a "last-ditch effort" to save the relationship is being made.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
My interest and skill are in working with couples, especially those whose relationship is impacted by 'invisible disability'; cancer, colitis, hearing loss, fibromyalgia are all examples. Relationship stuff seeps into all parts of your life -- sexuality, finances, children and extended family, socially and at work.
So many of my clients tell me how relieved they are because I "get it". Having multiple sclerosis and being in a marital relationship, I sure do!
How Psychotherapy Can Help
There's good psychotherapy, not-so-good, or even harmful therapy. What makes the difference? I really, really believe that a good therapist doesn't just have smarts; she also genuinely likes and cares about you and makes you feel that way.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
Therapy's purpose is to get you off autopilot so you make decisions based on awareness of yourself and your world, not just on an emotional reaction. Learn to put yourself in charge -- make lots more active choices and far fewer reactive ones.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I'm totally jazzed when a couple's relationship looks like what they've always wanted it to be. To see people happy with themselves and each other, holding hands, actually talking to each other. Very cool.
My Role as a Therapist
I'm a kick in the butt, a listener, an educator, a cheerleader, a beacon, a safety net, a translator, a coach, a facilitator...
My Therapy Focus
It's my job to help you figure out what's gotta change and then help you make change happen.
What I Usually Need to Know to Help
I've been on the other side of the couch, too, so I know how threatening it can be to spill to a stranger. When you realize I'm worthy of your trust, I need you to be honest and forthright with me.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Whoever's on the short list of therapists who specialize in what you need, make sure none of their profiles say they do it all. A worthy therapist will meet with you in-person so you can all check each other out. You need to feel safe, understood, listened to, trusting, and comfortable. Be sure it's there; even the most technically-savvy therapist can't be helpful to you without that fit.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
I've been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for half my life. I've been married twice, with my second marriage now in its 27th year. There was a big helping of drama-trauma in growing up. I learned to be a therapist because I wanted to give people what I'd always needed and rarely got in therapy. I know about emotional, and even physical, pain. And I know that I can help by mostly staying on the outside of your pain, where you need me to be.