My Approach to Helping
Doing this work for over 35 years has been the privilege of my life... I have always loved the stories. I see my work as listening to autobiographies all day long. Sometimes I get to help with a chapter here and there. My training is in cognitive-behavioral, trauma therapies, and many couples therapies, including Gottman Method, EFT, and Imago. I am a Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute and a teacher/trainer for Voice Dialogue International. Having worked with most areas of distress over the years, currently, my heart is largely in working with relationships (couples, premarital, post-marital, affairs, loss of a relationship, etc.) and in teaching and mentoring interns. I taught part-time consistently at Chapman University for 20 years (while maintaining a busy private psychotherapy practice) and was often asked by graduate and undergraduate students what a psychologist does, to which I have always answered: "You fall in love and let go every 90 minutes."
More Info About My Practice
I was in solo practice for about a month once before I started accumulating other therapists to come join me and, thus, have built a group practice of part - and full-time therapists. Pathways to Wellness is located in Costa Mesa, at the end of Sunflower, just past SOCO shopping center, Our atmosphere is friendly, casual, and compassionate and our therapists are expertly trained in working with individuals, couples, and families. See our website for therapist bios and current offerings. And for those who love dogs, our 2 gentle canine "assistants" are always with us and happy to welcome new faces.
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
Most people going to therapy for the first time are worried about being judged. The role of the therapist is to be your ally... not your critic! You likely do enough of that, yourself. We are here to help you turn DOWN the volume knob on the voice of your inner critic.
Many couples fear that the therapist will take their partner's side and CONFIRM that s/he, is her/himself, the crazy one... that the therapist will say, "Martha, John is right. You are a complete whackadoodle. YOU really need help!" Again, that is not what a couples therapist does. Our job is to see the connection between you, however shaky it's become, and help you strengthen it. And while we may care a great deal for each of you, individually, our focus is on helping you care and communicate with EACH OTHER. Our work as your therapist is to pay attention to the space BETWEEN you.
Some wonder what the "curative factor" in therapy is. Honestly, the research has shown us that the MOST important thing that contributes to successful therapy outcome is whether or not there is a good "match" between you and your therapist. That has been found to be even more important than the specific model of therapy being used. Do you make sense to each other? Do you feel genuinely cared for? Do you feel comfortable with your therapist?
At Pathways, we do offer a consultation initially, during which we can see if we are a match. If we both decide we are, then you are charged for that first session. If either of us decides we are not, then there is no charge for that meeting.