My Approach to Helping
I help women who are coming to therapy because they want to address a specific problem or because something just doesn't seem to be working and they are interested in looking at themselves through a different lens. Often, the people I work with are not able to explain why they are thinking about therapy right now, but something has been bothering them and getting in the way of their ability to live the life they want. Many of the people I work with are women who are successful in their careers but not in their relationships.
My approach is warm, collaborative, and interactive, while also being honest and direct. I don't sit back and silently nod, but am active and engaged, helping you to feel safe enough to look at yourself in ways that may have previously seemed impossible. I include humor in my work, as appropriate, and I try to leave psychobabble at the door. I like to say that I bring my "Midwestern sensibilities" to my work.
My practice includes people of all sexual orientations (LGBTQQ) and gender identities. I love working with people who think that therapy can't be helpful to them. I offer support for women in midlife and caregivers (often, one and the same) and gay and lesbian parents, as well as experienced, confidential therapy for psychotherapists and therapists in training who are looking for a psychodynamic and|or psychoanalytically-informed approach.
More Info About My Practice
I am interested in looking closely at what is going on for you now and in finding ways to help ease whatever you are struggling with, but I also know that your past has a direct influence on who you are today and how you got here. In my work, I weave together past and present in order to help you to understand yourself, explore your conscious and unconscious motivations, and help you move forward with a greater sense of clarity and the ability to make proactive, rather than reactive, choices in your life.
I am influenced by a number of theoretical ideas, however, my approach is based on looking at you as a person and not as a diagnosis. As a result, I don't rely on any one specific approach or "formula" but, instead, incorporate many tools, along with many years of experience, to help you reach your goals. My work is grounded in the fact that we are all part of a larger socio-political and economic structure that has a significant impact on each of us.
I am happy to answer your questions about therapy in a complementary phone consultation. Therapy can offer a safe, supportive, and confidential space to explore and find new answers to old--and not so old--questions.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Many of the women I work with have a lifetime of experience dealing with not feeling understood. Maybe this describes you: you may come from a family in which you felt different or you may view the world from your own unique perspective. You may be lesbian, or gay, or bisexual, or you may feel different because you do not fit into either of the two options we are given for gender identity and you see gender as shades of gray and not as opposite poles. Regardless of what makes you feel different, therapy can be a place where you can have the transforming experience of feeling understood and find greater comfort with being yourself in the world.
If you are someone who has previously seen a therapist and did not find the experience helpful, or if you are someone who just doesn't think therapy can be helpful to you, I want to especially encourage you to not give up your search. I recognize that it can be challenging to find the right therapist, and discouraging when you meet with someone who does not feel like a good fit, but the effort will be worth it.
Before becoming a therapist, I had a number of careers and I appreciate the challenges of being in a difficult workplace or taking the risk of embarking on a new career path. Here in San Francisco, many of us have relocated from other places and therapy can be a place to recharge from the difficulties of navigating new terrain.
In general, however, my "specialization" is understanding the people I work with and helping them to feel seen and heard so that they can see the possibilities of their lives.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
If you are ambivalent about therapy, you are not alone! I try to make therapy as "user-friendly" as possible and I welcome questions and concerns about therapy, how therapy works, and about my approach. I don't think that therapy should be mysterious, nor do I believe that it should be hierarchical. There are many, many different kinds of therapists and just as many unique approaches to therapy. Take the time to read what various therapists have written about themselves and their work and see what resonates with you.