My Approach to Helping
In therapy, I'll work with you to understand and address the immediate issue, stress or conflict. Whether there are practical problems, emotional pain, or life-altering decisions that need to be made, I will listen carefully to understand what circumstances, thoughts, and feelings are getting in the way of your peace of mind.
You may find it helpful to actively examine the "inside story" or your personal narrative. As we get to know each other, I'll ask about your family of origin, not to focus on the past but to understand what subtle or obvious history may still be influencing your adult life. I'll work to help you uncover and examine old patterns and create new paths for moving forward. My goal is to support you on an active journey toward well-being, joy, and connection to those you love.
Additionally, I will ask about past and current circumstances to learn where stress has been or continues to present itself. I believe that as living organisms, each of us wishes to grow, evolve and move toward health. I may suggest the use of tools that include writing, meditation, and guided imagery. These and other practices can help you access internal wisdom, resilience and your natural capacity for higher functioning.
If you come to therapy with a family member, spouse or partner, I will help you sort through the presenting issues and also help you observe the characteristic ways you relate with each other on a day to day basis. Depending on your levels of commitment (which may be unclear to one or both of you) it may help to practice listening skills, healthy boundaries, accountability while you develop new agreements.
More Info About My Practice
I have had a counseling office in the same San Anselmo neighborhood for over 30 years. At the moment, I also offer online therapy, using a secure video-conference platform. This is particularly helpful for people who wish to have counseling in the privacy of their own home or office. Research has shown that professional online counseling is as effective as face to face psychotherapy sessions, for a wide variety of concerns. Clients report feeling more relaxed, at ease and comfortable when they can set up sessions from home, office or other convenient settings.
Also known as telemental health, online sessions save time, energy and money.
Please contact me via my website if you have questions, and for more details about how online sessions work.
I offer a free brief consultation session (10-15 minutes) so that we can decide if this mode is right for you.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
Sometimes people who've never been to counseling wonder what the process looks and feels like. At first, it may feel awkward to talk with a complete stranger about the personal details of your life. I encourage new clients to enter the psychotherapy process and commit to four sessions so that you get comfortable with the process. See how you feel after that, and whether time, energy and money spent in therapy is worthwhile. You may want to have 50-minute sessions on a weekly basis, or it may be more productive for you to have longer sessions every two weeks. This gives us time to more deeply address your concerns, as well as to take more of what you are learning into your daily life between our meetings. We can talk about what works best for your needs, your preferred timeline, and the goals you wish to achieve. In my experience, most individuals stay in therapy for between three and six months at a time, and with couples, the therapy process might last up to one year. My hope is to be a resource who helps you live your own best life. In doing so you will be living well and enjoying yourself, with a deeper understanding of your life's purpose and your relationships with loved ones.