My Approach to Helping
I believe change is possible. This is why I’m a therapist, and I believe that profound transformation can happen in a moment–even this very moment!–if there is openness and authentic contact that is also safe and appropriate. I love what John Bradshaw used to say: “We human beings can handle anything as long as we have a benevolent witness” (paraphrased). This ties in with something else I believe: that we are self-healing, so long as we have a safe and respectful space where we can express and unburden ourselves. I believe that all action is purposeful; it’s just that sometimes we don’t understand it. I believe the body can give us a lot of useful information about what’s really going on, and it can point us in the direction of integration and peace, if we can just learn to hear it.
I am more of an active and directive therapist, but sometimes it takes me a long time before I can be active and directive, because first I need to feel that I understand the situation well enough to be able to say something useful and accurate. It’s hard to describe myself as a therapist any more fully — it’s like trying to describe how I dance — which is why I really like that we at California Women’s Therapy offer a free consultations. This way you can see for yourself what I’m like and what it’s like to talk to me (you can also find out if I am the right fit given what you’re dealing with and what you’re looking for in a therapist).
I’ve been doing this a long time (since 2002), and I care deeply about remaining open to the moment (to really listening and really seeing, not just with my intellect but with my heart) and to developing myself as a therapist and human being, which hopefully makes me useful to clients wanting change. I don’t always work quickly but I do try very hard to help clients achieve their goals.
My Approach to Couple’s Counseling
I have completed all levels of trainings of the Gottman Method for couple’s counseling, including Level 3 with Drs. John and Julie Gottman in Seattle, WA. I love how the Gottman’s approach couple’s counseling because it’s very much about meaning and how each person is just trying to get their needs met. It is a supportive and gentle approach to couple’s counseling. This is not to say it’s not clear and directive–it’s those things, too, but it just has a lot of compassion. The idea is that we’re all doing the best we can — and sometimes we just didn’t learn the right way. There is a focus on meeting people where they’re at and helping them acquire the skills they need.
Though I use the Gottman Method as my base, I also bring to my couple’s work a focus on addiction, past trauma, and codependence. What I bring to the table is a desire to deeply understand each person individually — as well as the lifespan of the relationship itself — and from that base to begin to work on how to make the couple’s life happier and more fulfilling for both partners.