My Approach to Helping
Currently accepting new adult and childteen clients in the Towson office. Are you the parent of a teenager or child who is struggling with emotional or behavior problems? It can be frustrating to fight over every little thing or to watch your child harming themselves in so many ways. Sometimes the opposition comes from depression and anxiety, sometimes it comes from the struggle to adjust to changing family dynamics. You love your child and just want to share the few short years you have together before they are released into the world. Perhaps you feel like you have tried it all and therapy is your last hope? I've worked with families like yours for more than 18 years and I've learned some techniques that Do work. Are you ready for something a little bit different? You really can begin to enjoy your kids again.
I am the author of the book Managing Meltdowns, Answers For The Parent Who Has Tried It All. Behavioral problems can sometimes show up in one area of life and not in others. I often meet kids and teens who are model students in the classroom but have extreme outbursts at home. I hear parents say that they are stressed out from a whole day of holding it together all day at school, so when they come up they let the guard down and the family becomes the metaphorical punching bag. On further questioning though, these same kids will tell you that they are happy in schoo,l and do not feel the intense anger and frustration that they do when they walk through the door at home. This is the mystery that I spent many of my early years as a therapist working on. Every situation has its own nuances of course but if this sounds a bit like your family, we should talk!
More Info About My Practice
Although I specialize with kids and teens, about half of my practice has been with adults with a variety of concerns. Because of my family systems approach I have most enjoyed working with adults who have problems coping with their immediate or extended family. If you have ever felt emotionally blackmailed by a family member, I can help. Emotional blackmail is a fancy way of saying that someone uses guilt or threats to get their way. Does the classic "oh, don't worry about me, just go out and have a great time, I will just sit here by myself", sound familiar? If so, lets talk about how to better manage these relationships in a more mutually respectful, less frustrating, way. Call or email now for an appointment.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
Kids who struggle with anxiety and fear have amazing imaginations. They are able to dream up monsters under the bed and bad guys sneaking in the window. I work with kids to harness their incredible imaginations and get control over whatever Boogie Man haunts their dreams. We use a wide variety of story telling techniques to create coping skills that they can use at home. These stories help with nightmares as well as waking fears.
Kids are highly suggestible. One scary story on the playground can lead to weeks of anxiety and fear. In therapy, kids learn to recognize the strengths they already have and apply them in unexpected ways. I absolutely love it when kids come bounding into the office with exciting news about the scary thing that they were able to manage because of the stories and tools that we worked on together.
Importance of the Client-Therapist Alliance
The relationship between a client and therapist is actually the most important part of the entire process. No matter what "flavor" of therapy the experts study, it all comes down to the relationship between the therapist and client. Some people are most comfortable with a formal, doctor patient sort of relationship. Some people are looking for something more down to earth and informal. I am not the formal sort. This tends to work best with kids, teen and young adults but there are also a lot of adults out there who want to kick their shoes off and get comfy.
If you haven't found a therapist who fits with your personality I encourage you to keep looking until something clicks. Once you find that right person, make a commitment to the process. There will be misunderstanding and difficulties, because therapy is a relationship. Working through the road bumps in a safe, confidential environment, will help you work through those same issues in your day to day life. Therapy works, but no one said it was all sunshine and butterflies. Like any true metamorphosis, change can be painful, as well as beautiful, if you give it a chance.