My Approach to Helping
For over 30 years, I've helped adults, couples, children, and parents move past hurdles that got in the way of having better lives and stronger, more loving relationships. People I've seen are generally successful, with lives that look good and in many ways, are good. But so often underneath are feelings of unworthiness, perfectionism, chronic stress, anxiety, ineffectiveness, and loneliness. We'll get to know you and your needs; look at early negative messages that drive many of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and take advantage of your brains natural ability to "rewire" itself as you try out small steps towards change.
I am also a Certified Professional Life Coach. In this work, we "dig in" to help you determine your goals, and create strategies with check-ins, assignments, and accountability to meet them. We work as a team, examiningunderstanding and moving past the barriers that get in your way.
My office is a safe haven, and in the context of a trustworthy, compassionate relationship you can feel free to share and explore. Maybe there are things you're uncomfortable bringing up, maybe never told anyone, and that's okay. I value humor, collaboration, am engaged, attentive, and focused on your needs. Respecting your limits lets the work unfold at your pace.
More Info About My Practice
I offer an initial 20 - 30 minute telephone consultation no charge to you. During our conversation, we will discuss your particular situation, and you can ask me questions about psychotherapy, coaching, or how I work. This is a great time for us to get an initial impression as to whether or not we're a good "fit" to work together. It is widely accepted that the "fit" between therapist and client is the most important aspect of therapy, actually determining the effectiveness of the therapy more than expertise and schooling.
I am not on any insurance panels, instead preferring to work directly with you about finances. Many of my clients who have insurance choose to not use it due to the lack of privacy, inability to later obtain various kinds of insurance, and the control taken in the number of sessions you can have. If you need to use your insurance, or there is a true financial need, I will do my best to have us figure out a fee that is workable. During the course of therapy, I will provide you with a monthly statement that contains all the information required by your insurance company for reimbursement.
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
After so many years of doing therapy I have come to think of the process as a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. In a trusting and comfortable relationship with your therapist, you have the opportunity to "discover" all sorts of things that later on seem so obvious, you but maybe weren't ready to know about. You never learn about yourself faster than you're ready to, and understanding your struggles unfolds slowly, as you are ready. We are there to know and understand you, your needs, and the creative ways that you have protected yourself from being hurt in the adult world (and it usually has something to do with very early wounds). If you're with the right therapist, it is a place where you can feel comfortable enough to talk about anything--even really hard stuff--without fear of judgment. My approach is psychodynamic by training, and your early life is important; it always informs us about the present. In my work I look through the lens of psychobiology, and attachment theory; and use cognitive-behavioral strategies, mindfulness techniques.
You and your therapist begin to see parts of the puzzle that you didn't know belonged to the big picture (or didn't even know were there). Pieces become easier to recognize, and a bigger picture begins to emerge.
The right therapist will follow your lead and go at your pace. As a result, you can become more knowledgeable, self-aware, confident, and have better relationships and interpersonal skills. You will have more options for choosing a response or action. Some of the positive outcomes of therapy are increased self-esteem, greater clarity, emotion management, the ability to take reasonable risks to create positive change, feeling more connected to yourself, and less anxious or depressed.
Why Going to Therapy Does Not Mean You are Weak or Flawed
Choosing to be in therapy is a sign of strength, not weakness; of being human, not flawed; and an affirmation that you are worthy.
When you choose to take care of difficulties that are interfering with self-esteem, mood, relationships, attaining career or personal success, or any other disruption, you are saying, "I am worth feeling better; I am resilient enough to survive some emotional pain in order to grow and reach my potential; I am willing to (slowly) develop a trusting relationship with someone who wants to hear what I'm about and is able to help me. I am willing to take that risk."
What happens in therapy is that the process itself- largely through the relationship between you and your therapist- re-wires the brain in important ways, creating new neural pathways that--over time--enable you to make positive changes, feel better about yourself, less fearful of being hurt, more willing to take risks, and safer being close to others. Maybe at some point you'll feel more at ease with uncertainty, and able to let life unfold naturally.