My Approach to Helping
As a therapist for over 20-years, I have journeyed with many people through their life challenges to find healing, growth, and meaning. My experience, as well as my knowledge of the research on therapy, has convinced me that establishing a good therapy relationship is key to successful outcomes in therapy. As the relationship is established, I seek to create a space where people who come to see me are able to achieve a deeper awareness of themselves and what contributes to their life challenges. From here, we work collaboratively to help people attain the goals and life changes they are seeking.
My View on the Purpose of Psychotherapy
There are a variety of reasons why people seek therapy, and a variety of approaches to therapy. The different approaches to therapy are sometimes divided into two categories: 1) Solution-Focused Therapy and 2) Depth Therapy. Solution-Focused Therapy tends to focus on developing coping skills and other skills to deal with the immediate challenges people are facing. Depth therapies seek to help people understand themselves better and understand what is contributing to the challenges the person is facing in order to seek a deeper change. Both therapies have their place and can be effective, especially if they are in line with what the person is seeking from therapy. My approach to therapy is a depth therapy approach.
My Guiding Ethical Principles
It is common for therapists to debate which approaches to therapy are the most effective. This does little to benefit people seeking therapy. The research on therapy suggests that most approaches to therapy are equivalent in their effectiveness for a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, working through trauma, and other issues. However, there are aspects of therapy that have been shown to be important in helping therapy work regardless of the approach to therapy, such as the therapy relationship and the person's belief that the approach to therapy will work. Given this, it is vital to help people seeking therapy find the type of therapy that is the best fit for them. No therapist or therapy approach is going to work with everyone. When people come to see me for therapy, my first priority is determining whether I am the right fit for them. If not, then my goal is to help them find the right therapist for them.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
Experiencing problems in life is part of being human, and most people go through periods where they can benefit from talking to a professional with experience in guiding people through their suffering and life challenges to healing and growth. In my experience, adding the label of a disorder is not always helpful in working with people who are suffering. Such labels can, at times, impact people's lives in negative ways. My preference is to work to understand people's struggles in their own words. There are times, however, when a formal diagnosis may be beneficial. For example, most insurance companies require a diagnosis for insurance to be utilized to pay for therapy expenses. Although I prefer to avoid diagnosis in most situations, I do have a strong background in psychological diagnosis for situations where this is in the best interests of the person seeking therapy.