My Approach to Helping
My approach to helping is relational and collaborative. In working with couples, individuals, or intergenerational family relationships, I seek to empower the people I work with to live according to their higher values, to identify their own goals for change, and to operationalize their goals and values into concrete skills. I have a systemic approach, addressing current relationship challenges with an understanding of historical (e.g., family-of-origin) factors that may be fueling current difficulties. In couples therapy, I help partners identify their cycles of reactivity, exploring current stressors, individual challenges, and interactional factors that fuel the couple's impasse. I partner with clients' strengths as we address their vulnerabilities and survival strategies and how these may be playing out in their close relationships. I integrate psychoeducation where appropriate, along with neuroeducation, helping individuals understand their own brain processes that may be underlying their reactivity. In my work, I integrate head and heart - helping people identify and manage their own emotions, and use their higher brain to reach for their best self.
More Info About My Practice
My fee for a 50-minute session is $200. I do not accept insurance; however, as a licensed psychologist in Illinois, I can give clients a receipt to submit to their insurance company.
What I Love about Being a Psychotherapist
I love being a psychotherapist because I see the power of change in people. Change isn't easy in adulthood--our habits take on a life of their own. But with intention and practice, change is possible throughout life. When people come to me feeling powerless and disconnected in their relationships, it is a privilege to help them become more empowered and connected with their loved ones. Whether I am working with a couple or an intergenerational family relationship (e.g., an adult and his or her parents), I seek to nurture the forces for relational positivity and healing, even as we address--with care--issues of pain and disappointment. I believe in the power of dialogue, and I work to facilitate respectful dialogue between partners in a love relationship or between family members in intergenerational relationships. I have been honored to witness and facilitate these relational transformations that have a profound impact on people's lives.
Theoretical Influences that Guide My Work
I have learned from many wise teachers, both in person and through their writings. Martin Buber has been particularly important to me; his philosophy of dialogue informs my work, as I seek to promote dialogue rather than reactivity in couple and family relationships. Intergenerational family therapists have shaped my thinking; in my work I explore family legacies and loyalties, and ways to promote healing between the generations. I have been influenced by relational theorists, who see the person through a relational lens, not as a "rugged individualist;" indeed, current research points to our social nature as humans. I work to promote relational strengths and healing, even as I help the people I work with to develop a stronger sense of self. I have a systemic view, identifying the multiple personal, family-of-origin, and cultural factors that shape us and that can lead to personal and interpersonal suffering. I work practically and in the present, and also access past issues that may be fueling current dilemmas. I have been influenced by the current literature on neurobiology; "news from neuroscience" sheds light on how we become reactive and how we can calm down and reach for our best self. All of these theoretical influences shape my work; the work itself is based in attunement, in meeting people where they are, and helping them grow to be the individuals they want to be, and to co-create the relationships they want to have.