My Approach to Helping
My approach to therapy is based on the solid belief that everyone can improve. My goal is to help clients normalize symptoms to better understand the underlying purpose of the problematic behavior or emotion as it relates to a basic need. For example, anxiety is related to the basic need for safety. The point is that clients are much better served by avoiding the tendency to over-pathologize their issues which only adds to the emotional burdens already being carried. Once we uncover the basic need that the client is attempting to meet, we can focus on healthier ways of achieving that end. My second emphasis is on skill development. Just as with playing the piano, we can only improve as we learn and practice skills. The same is true for mental health (which I prefer to call "mental fitness"), as we all have weak areas for which we have limited (or no) skills to effectively cope. Skill development is the key to improving functioning over time through practice and feedback. Our work together will not be on rehearsing problems or merely talking about problems, but on actively working toward solutions through skill development (yes, that means homework) and a continued optimistic eye on positive, future goals. Our time will be solution-focused with an expectation that you want to (and will) do the work necessary for change.