My Approach to Helping
My philosophy in working with people is first and foremost, respect. I believe that everyone does the best that they can, with what they know at the time.
So, if you come to me for help, I will respect where you are in your journey and where you want to go. My belief goes something like this: "I did what I knew to do, and when I knew how to do it better...I did it better".
I will work with you to identify and achieve your personal goals, and at the same time validate the struggle you have experienced. A wise woman said to me once "don't deny someone the dignity of suffering". And, I understood. Sometimes it is the most painful experiences that move us toward realizations and changes we might never have had.
It is my responsibility to give you quality therapy, unconditional positive regard, and assist you in achieving your personal goals.
If I am working with you in counseling, I use a combination of Family Systems Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Positive Psychology. I will explore your family of origin relationships and experiences. The value of using the family systems model in therapy is that it raises awareness around how the dynamics in your own family of origin may have influenced your beliefs, perceptions, and values that you hold today. This awareness can go a long way in changing unproductive behavior patterns and interpersonal conflicts you might be experiencing.
If I am working with your teen in counseling, I primarily use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, but I've developed some unique ways of teaching these to kids. Oftentimes I will ask the teen to decorate a box, and bring this to the therapy sessions. This will be their "toolbox", which will contain a number of different strategies for managing their thoughts and feelings.
If you are struggling with an addiction, I do support the 12 Step philosophy of recovery, but at the same time I understand that this does not work for everyone. I have many years of experience in substance abuse and addictions, along with training from Terrence Gorski in the area of Relapse Prevention.
I have advanced training in couples therapy from Ellen Bader Phd and Peter Pearson Phd, and use a developmental approach when working with couples in counseling.
On a personal level,I believe in balance and "right living". In my own recovery (24 years), I've learned the importance of "focus on the solution, not the problem", "a day at a time" and staying optimistic, even in the face of adversity.
I bring hope, humor and respect into every counseling session!