My Approach to Helping
Are you dissatisfied?
Are you tired and anxious, and feeling like everyone is taking and you are the giver? Do you feel there are things holding you back, and beginning to wonder also if there is something you could be doing differently? Are people telling you to find a therapist? Have you, perhaps, been toughing it out like this for too long?
My clients are predominantly male, between 30 and 60, in stable employment and stable intimate partner relationship, yet enduring relationship dissatisfaction, often with accompanying concerns about people-pleasing and overdoing something (drinking, working, Facebooking) to the point of addiction. In relationship dissatisfaction, the couple's sex life has waned. A dissatisfied partner may seek sexual outlets outside the relationship, using dating apps and porn.
Therapy works, and it is for everyone. It is both a journey of personal discovery and a systematic acquisition of new skills. You will change. You will re-position yourself to experience more satisfaction and less dissatisfaction in all your relationships, whether with an intimate partner, child, parent, sister, friend or colleague.
More Info About My Practice
Relationship dissatisfaction can be viewed as a set of concrete experiences of what your spouse did or did not do. Relationship dissatisfaction is also a pattern, system or syndrome in which the two of you keep reacting to each other in the same way.
Single people and survivors of failed relationships also experience relationship dissatisfaction. Finding dissatisfaction in potential partners to the extent one remains single or "chronically dating" is common.
Whether you are partnered or single, if you have relationship dissatisfaction you are lonely.
In your therapy we combat dissatisfying patterns of behaving in each of two specific ways: directly and indirectly. A direct strategy for change involves a specific target for action: an example, for a client who is single and dating, might be to avoid "people-pleasing" by reflexively agreeing with (or failing to raise a point against) everything the date says.
An indirect strategy involves examining underlying motivations. Where people-pleasing (or a similar personal characteristic) is the issue, the pattern of behavior is most often longstanding and traceable to events in earlier life.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
I vary the mix of direct and indirect strategies for change to suit your unique therapy needs. As you change, you will find your anxiety decreasing, and your resilience increasing. Things and people somehow seem different--kinder. You might, for example, begin to feel that you no longer feel criticized and put-down by your boss, but rather appreciate her constructive critique. You are no longer troubled by the idea she doesn't like you.
You will find that the more honest you are--the more honest you have the courage to be, both with your self and with others, even if being honest means saying no, disappointing someone, or admitting to a failure--the more the people around you will appreciate you and give back to you.
As you gain new skills in communicating yourself to others, and in receiving communication from others, you will find that, the way you now see things, you simply don't need the distractions you used to need to avoid feeling uncomfortable and unhappy: whether it has been to drink or eat more than you should, or use the internet or social media more than you should, your habit has lost its hold on you.
Therapy works, and it is for everyone. In today's world, everyone faces multiple challenges and a good first response is to try tough it out; but if toughing it out begins to look like wearing yourself down, then find yourself a therapist. Remember: It doesn't have to be this hard.
PRACTICE UPDATE: Bay Area shelter-in-place order and video sessions
My in-office practice is temporarily closed. At this time I am offering video sessions using the Securevideo platform.
Video sessions, tho' not a complete, like-for-like substitution for an in-person session, are an excellent option in the current context, and offer the advantage of increased flexibility scheduling appointments: we can schedule a video session any time between 10:00am and 7:00pm, seven days a week.
Please remember that video sessions need to take place when you are in a private place where no one can hear our conversation. It may take a little time to arrange the best location and setup.
In the present circumstances, if you need to miss or cancel an appointment, I will not ask for a missed-session fee.
I look forward to continuing to work with existing and new clients through this unusual time.