My Approach to Helping
Relationships are difficult, particularly the ones that are most important to us. Couples and Families often get stuck in unhealthy patterns with one another. We long to feel secure, connected and loved but end up hurt and isolated from each other. Therapy can help.
I specialize in working with couples to improve connection and foster secure and healthy attachments. My approach is based on a mix of Emotion Focused Therapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, addressing negative cycles of interaction and helping to restore trust, heal broken relationships, increase intimacy and improve communication, while increasing partners' awareness of unconscious aspects of self and other. In my individual work I tend to take a more psychodynamic approach, focused on increasing self-awareness and understanding of one's deepest self.
Together we will explore how your past experiences and relationships inform how you live and function in the present, and will move into a space where you can gain a better understanding your emotions, needs and desires in order to live life more authentically and relate to others in healthier ways.
More Info About My Practice
As a couple and family therapist, I am trained to see individuals in the context of the greater relational systems they are a part of. Therefore, therapy, even individual therapy takes into consideration the interconnections of people with their families of origin, communities, and any other system to which they belong. My areas of expertise include Trauma, Attachment Issues, Relationship Counseling, Intimacy Issues, Grief and Loss, Anxiety and Life Transitions.
Important Factors for Choosing a Therapist
Research shows that the therapeutic relationship is one of the primary curative elements in therapy. This is why I believe that the client-therapist relationship should be top priority when choosing who you will work with. I offer a free 20 minute consultation in person or on the phone to help potential clients get a sense of who I am and what working with me feels like.
As you consider who you would like to work with, ask yourself if this is a person that you feel safe with. Therapy can be an emotionally disruptive process bringing to the forefront wounds from the past as well as parts of ourselves that are difficult to sit with and when these things come up it is important that you feel safe and supported. Your therapist should be a person you feel can handle your story and who you can trust. He or she should honor you by treating you with respect, empathy and understanding.
Furthermore, it is important that you choose a therapist who is experienced in working with your particular issue or concern. During initial consultations, I too will be considering if we are a good fit. If I feel that your particular needs are outside of my scope of experience I am happy to refer you to a colleague, more competent in working with your issues.
The bottom line: Focus less on choosing a therapist you like and more on choosing a therapist you feel you can trust, with whom you can do the difficult work of therapy.
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
I often see couples or families who come to therapy hoping for a quick fix or solution to a complex problem in their lives. Generally, I am not a proponent of Brief therapy or Solution focused therapy, mainly because I am interested not just in finding solutions but in understanding how a problem came to exist and why--a depth psychology approach to therapy. I find this model leads to deeper healing because it asks you to become aware of unconscious processes and thoughts which impact how you understand yourself and others. It aims to get at the root of the problem rather than just treating the symptom.
Therapy oriented towards deeper healing often takes time. Therapeutic change happens in the context of the therapeutic relationship and secure relationships are not formed overnight. As you consider making an investment in therapy for you or for your relationship, I encourage you to make a commitment of at least 6 sessions before seeking alternative solutions. After this time, you can re-assess if the process is helping or not.
A last note. As you explore your story things often get worse before they get better. Good therapy asks for your vulnerability and your engagement with difficult aspects of your life. This is another reason making a minimum commitment of 6 sessions may be helpful. Many people abandon the process of therapy because symptoms seem to be getting worse, however this usually occurs just before things get better. I encourage you to stick with it.