My Approach to Helping
Life can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming, and we may not know where to turn. You are not alone, however, as I am here to support and guide you; to accompany you on your journey. I provide a warm and caring sensitivity for your concerns, and a safe space in which to explore. We all have strengths but may not be able to recognize them. My role is to help you find balance in your life - to learn new ways of coping, managing your emotions, and improving your relationships with others. I can also help you to set and maintain boundaries in a consistent manner, with your children, peers, significant others, co-workers, and parents. Working together, we will find the best way to make a life worth living.
More Info About My Practice
I offer daytime and early evening hours Monday -Thursday in a convenient location with free parking. Counseling via secure video conferencing is available when coming to my office is not convenient for you.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I am intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and this is quite helpful for teens and adults who have difficulty with anxiety, depression, and managing their emotions and behaviors. I also have extensive experience in helping teens and adults who struggle with hyperactivity, inattention, focus and concentration. Another area in which I feel especially able to help is the coming out process for LGBTQ individuals and their families.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
It can be scary to begin therapy - talking with a stranger, unburdening yourself concerning painful issues - But all I can say is that making the decision to pick up the phone and make the 1st appointment is probably the best thing you could ever do for yourself. You deserve to feel better - and if you don't take care of yourself, how can you take care of the important people in your life? I understand your hesitation, and will not push you to a place that is frightening for you. We go at your pace as you grow comfortable with me and with the process of therapy. Most of my clients tell me that they feel better when they leave, and this is my hope for you also. This doesn't mean that we will not do the hard work that is necessary - but it does mean that you do not do it alone. I am your support and guide on this journey.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
Oh yes, so much so! In fact, the reason I am a therapist is because of my personal struggles! This is a second career for me - I was looking for a more meaningful life - and I came to learn about therapy and counselors when our child was struggling with ADHD. My husband & I didn't know where to turn, until we and our child began to work with caring therapists who helped us learn how to manage the symptoms and distress that comes with them. Later, two of my three children came out to us, one as gay and one transgender, and we had to learn a whole new way of being. The process was certainly not easy. But one thing I know, if it hadn't been for the assistance of some caring therapists, as well as my training as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, life would be difficult indeed.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
In my opinion, the therapeutic alliance is the underpinning of everything that we do together. Another way to think of it is as the "Working Alliance." This is when the counselor and client band together in the service of common goals. Without this alliance, the counselor cannot "get" the client and the client does not feel safe enough to share. This requires me to fully embrace the Core Conditions: to have empathy for my client; to be real and genuine, and to be accepting of all aspects of the client, no matter what. Interestingly, did you know that research shows that the therapeutic alliance begins before we even meet? And, it is solidified (or not) within the first three sessions. If you are working with a therapist with whom you do not feel a bond after this time, its time to find someone with whom you do.