My Approach to Helping
Whether you want to feel less alone, more joyful or productive, or would like help facing your addictions, I encourage you to contact me. I can help you to understand and work through what is going on below the surface that is keeping you from having the life you sometimes dream about, but fear is out of reach.
I am sensitive, down to earth and do not rely on formulaic approaches. Many individuals starting to work with me remark at how easy I am to talk to. They come to realize that it is safe to share whatever is on their mind without being judged. My aim is to help you feel deeply received and profoundly understood. In this way the issues that have such a strong grip on you now can gradually loosen their hold and eventually melt away.
We would start with a consultation to make sure I believe I could be of help. Individuals and couples welcome.
More Info About My Practice
I have been seeing clients for 32 years and have taught at New College of California and U.C. Berkeley Extension. In addition to my work with adults and teens, individually and in couples, I provide consultation for practicing clinicians.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I have a strong sense of how race, culture, ethnicity and class can influence, and shape how we experience ourselves and others. I find that one's own culture is most strongly felt in multicultural relationships where suddenly what we thought was "normal" may be very different from our partner's perspective.
I enjoy helping individuals and couples heal from affairs. An affair does not necessarily mean the end of your marriage. It does mean that there will be intense emotions involved that may feel completely overwhelming. Even though affairs are not uncommon, they are still frequently traumatic experiences for everyone involved and deserve the utmost in terms of delicate and thoughtful attention. Many couples heal from affairs and in the process form a much deeper and closer relationship than ever before. I also see people individually who have been involved or have discovered that their partner has been involved in an affair.
On the Fence About Going to Therapy?
Many people feel anxious about making that first call. It's natural to wonder if you will find someone who is available and who can really help you. You may have concerns about opening up to a stranger, or committing your time and money to something so intangible as therapy. I encourage you to give me a call so we can discuss your concerns.
I treat the first session(s) as a period of consultation, so that we can decide whether it feels right to go on and meet regularly. If finances are an issue, we can discuss that as well.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
It's even harder to think about investing in another therapy after a negative experience. You may wonder why your last therapy didn't work out. One way to think about this is that your therapist may have been too involved or not involved enough with you.
If your therapist was not involved enough, you may have felt alone, or that your words didn't matter. The therapist may have seemed uninterested in you, or offered simplistic responses that did not address the complexity of your experience. Perhaps your therapist seemed to forget you sometimes, maybe not returning calls, being late for sessions, or even, in the extreme, falling asleep, or not showing up.
If your therapist was over-involved you may have had the feeling that you needed to do what they said, or agree with them, or risk their disapproval. Your therapist may have disclosed personal information that did not pertain to your needs which may have left you feeling confused about the boundaries. You may have felt pulled to take care of them in some way. In the extreme, over involved therapists can become seductive.
Over and under-involvement can occur in many ways. In my work, I practice the therapeutic art of balancing connection with respectful boundaries. I stay curious about my own experience of each client, as well as each client's experience of the therapy.
What I Say to People Concerned about the Therapy Process
I find that many new clients expect therapy to be about "being called out on their stuff," or being confronted in other ways that will leave them feeling worse about themselves than they already do. In general, I don't see that kind of confrontation as particularly helpful. Nor do I think that the other extreme, just offering support, is the most helpful thing either. There is an in-between space where a dialogue can be created that is sustained by interest in how you as the client experience yourself and the world around you. Coming to trust in this dialogue creates the conditions for insight, revelation and change to spontaneously occur.