My Approach to Helping
Life involves continual adaptation. People have wisdom that guides them to do what is right; adaptation is effortless at times. However, there are times when wisdom is offline and getting help is the right choice.
I help people to reboot the process that leads to fresh perspectives and wise adaptation. That process involves reflection, curiosity, and openness to exploring responses to life's circumstances. Such a process precedes adaptive shifts. Self-awareness awakens possibilities.
People have a sense for what works and what is meaningful to them. My approach emphasizes collaboration with clients. Collaboration involves experiencing and viewing the world from your perspective: What is your experience? What is your experience as experienced from your strengths and vulnerabilities? As I grasp the world from your unique view, I can then join you in giving voice to your struggle and, ultimately, to bring your process back online.
An important component of this approach is an understanding that the motivation to make adaptive shifts must occur along with compassionate self-acceptance: to accept oneself yet recognizing a need to change. My approach helps people act according to their values and to do so while treating themselves compassionately.
More Info About My Practice
Individuals: $80 per meeting (50 minutes*)
Couples and Families: $80 per meeting (70 minutes*)
I provide an additional 30 minutes at the first meeting to allow time to address your preliminary questions, agree on a treatment plan, and for you to determine whether we are a good fit.
The extended time for couples & family meetings fits my conversational approach and is intended to invite self expression and interaction while enabling a richer intimacy. How may I accommodate your special needs.
I also offer a process/support group for counseling professionals. It is ideal for counselors working with difficult cases and circumstances. It has a dual focus: foster professional effectiveness and cultivate resilience. 1st & 3rd Fridays; 12:30 - 2:30; $75 for 2 bi-monthly meetings. Pre-group information meeting: $60
I am available weekends.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
Some difficult situations become focal points around which other issues cluster. Someone's misuse of alcohol or drugs is a point around which a host of issues surface both for the person misusing the substance as well as for a partner/family member. For example, one may have difficulty accepting help with the challenges associated with changing a harmful relationship with a substance whereas the partner's issue may be one of trying to be so helpful that his/her own needs are neglected. In either case the misuse of a substance by someone is likely to affect others. I am skillful in identifying and sorting out issues embedded within more obvious issues.
Issues also tend to surface when there is anticipation of change coupled with ambivalence about effecting the change. I work with a variety of issues that surface when circumstances demand new roles or action such as: relocation, retirement, divorce, separation, remarriage, new relationship, new job, new position, or separate households combining into a new family. I work with a variety of issues that come into play as lives evolve and circumstances change.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
Psychotherapy and counseling are helpful. During difficult times they help by increasing self-awareness, which opens up possibilities and options. For example, a partner becomes aware of her/his role in miscommunication; family members gain understanding of themselves as they view their behavior and roles within the context of family dynamics.
When an individual, couple or family is in the midst of a difficult time and intent on making positive adjustments, counseling creates neutral space for self-acceptance and compassion; these are needed to sustain commitments to change. An irony of psychotherapy during stressful times is that it provides opportunities to discover desirable personal aspects that might otherwise remain hidden.
Counseling can be beneficial even when you feel you have a handle on things and times are not especially difficult. In fact, taking advantage of psychotherapy before difficulties become problems can be empowering and energizing.
Psychotherapy is a safe place where individual values and needs are respected; affirmation of needs is empowering. In fact, to act in defiance of rules (that are often unstated), for example, against asking for help or asserting oneself is energizing and empowering. Psychotherapy is a process of reflection that invites clarity, different perspectives and possibilities.