My Approach to Helping
Change starts with being truly heard, understood, and validated - but this is only one part of what makes therapy powerful. That's why I'm not a therapist who "just listens and nods." There are many techniques, tools and concepts that can help you - and my role is to share these ideas, build on your strengths, and increase your self-awareness so that you can transform your life. My goal is to help you not need me anymore, in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Therapy can be a tremendous resource for change in your life, but great results require a great "fit" between you and your therapist. It's important that what we're doing makes sense to you, feels aligned with your goals and values, and that our working relationship is strong. I take a collaborative approach to treatment, working together to help you make the changes you want. I'm a proactive therapist who provides skills and tools to help address your concerns, as well as a place to be accountable about your efforts toward change. But I also advocate for acceptance and self-compassion, rather than fighting against yourself.
Many people have one of two responses to difficult emotions such as sadness, depression, anxiety, stress, anger, loneliness, or grief: either they try to shut down, distract from, or numb their feelings; or they're overwhelmed, surrounded by and almost drowning in their feelings. Some people fluctuate between these two extremes. I can help you find balance, so you can experience your emotions without detaching or being engulfed by them. This ability can also give you more clarity about how to respond to any given emotion. When we struggle, fight with, or otherwise dislike our feelings, we overlook the fact that emotions are an essential part of being human. When you create a space to experience your emotions mindfully, it fundamentally changes the way you relate to your feelings (and thus, yourself).
Another area we might focus on is your interactions with others. Whether it be your partner, children, parents, friends, family, colleagues, or a larger community, having challenges in (or the absence of) meaningful relationships can drain you of energy and joy. I can help you find and strengthen your authenticity, so the real you comes through in your interactions. The end result is relationships that are more productive, fulfilling, connected, and genuine.
I am trained in a wide range of therapies; some of my key theoretical influences include: acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT), existential, and schema-focused therapy. Each of these approaches has something different to offer, depending on your needs and style. We can combine various elements of different approaches in order to develop a treatment plan that is personalized to you.
A special note about couples' therapy:
In my work with couples, I help partners to break out of unhealthy cycles and get back on the same team again. I do this by providing you with communication tools, and by creating a space to discuss difficult topics in a way that is both productive and emotionally safe. For all of us, it's easier to express our "hard" emotions (like frustration, resentment, or jealousy) to our partners, but I can help each of you identify and express the more vulnerable emotions just beneath the hard ones - to share the hurt, sadness, loneliness, fear, or rejection you may each be experiencing. Once you two learn how to communicate on this level, it can de-escalate arguments, allow you to find true resolution instead of stalemates, and help you feel closer to each other.