My Approach to Helping
In this time of Pandemic, social conflict, isolation, and trauma, it is more important than ever to have emotional connection and support.
I work with individuals in life transitions, those who have experienced trauma or abuse, grief and loss, who are having difficulty with significant relationships and attachments, or who know something is not quite right about their lives. When stressed, people sometimes find that they don’t have strong foundations. In a safe counseling relationship, you can learn to rebuild yours.
I am relational and flexible; my approach and pacing in counseling depend on the person coming for help. I work in-depth, unless you request short term work. I offer open-ended therapy, which lasts until you decide you are ready to leave. With many clients, I use IFS therapy (Internal Family Systems), an evidence-based therapy which focuses on different energies, emotions, beliefs in your internal system. But I also offer hypnosis and mindfulness, meditation, spiritual direction; I can help you develop a healthier lifestyle, and I can use general "talk therapy."
Like any other relationship, the therapy relationship grows and changes. And in being attentive to changes in the therapeutic relationship, you can learn to be more open to changes in your relationships outside of therapy.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Since I began working in the early 1980's as a hospital chaplain and later had a general practice of individuals, couples, families, and groups, I have worked with most issues and have a strong general base of experience and knowledge.
I provide a safe relationship for you to face difficult truths, to grieve for losses, to let go of relationships and life patterns that no longer work, and to regain balance in your life.
I can help you build resources internally and relationally to face transitions, or to finally deal with aspects of yourself that you have pushed away for years.
I can offer you a place to repair misunderstandings and miscommunication that most relationships do not offer. We can learn and grow from conflict when there is honesty and forgiveness and reparation.
I can help you let go of rigidity and unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.
I can help you find your authentic self and drop the facade you may be carrying.
If you are confused, worried, sad or angry, we can work together to understand what those feelings are telling you about yourself and your life.
If you have experienced significant trauma, I use traditional talk therapy, Brainspotting (similar to EMDR), mindfulness or meditation, hypnosis and guided imagery to help you release the trauma and rebuild your life.
I also enjoy working with women and persons who have been marginalized in this culture. life is not fair. We can explore how power dynamics work in culture, families, religious and other institutions, etc.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Most people can benefit from psychotherapy if they are open to letting go of things that are not working. Or if they are only open to being open. But it takes courage and a willingness to experience some pain in order to grow. Because therapy is so personal, the relationship is primary. And in choosing the right therapist, it is important to trust your instincts.
Most therapists take a history: Why are you coming for help now? How long have you been dealing with this problem or situation? What is your family, personal, relational, health, and religious history? People often have insight and feel relieved after just a session or two. You now have someone on your side.
Psychotherapy is a professional relationship in which the therapist is there for the person coming for help. Your needs are primary. The therapeutic relationship is unlike any other. The therapist offers a non-judgmental, caring, consistent relationship where a person's authentic self can emerge. It is the therapist's job to offer boundaries and guidance to keep the relationship healthy and safe. The counselee sets the pace at which the therapeutic work proceeds. Because healthy therapists find other ways to meet our needs, we can be there for you in ways that no other person in your life can be.
Persons can blossom when they are accepted in an honest, caring relationship, and when they become aware of self-replicating patterns that have been handed down the generations in their families.
Therapy is also educational. In therapy you learn about emotions, thoughts, behaviors, relationships, facing change, mindfulness and meaning, values and spirituality, the life cycle, grief, and loss, building positive habits, delayed gratification, self-compassion and self care, and much more. Therapy can offer people markers and goals so that they flourish instead of just exist.
I offer a team approach, with referrals to couples, group, career counseling andor medication. Additionally, counselees may augment individual counseling with couples, group, career counseling or other types of therapy.