My Approach to Helping
I work with people who struggle with self-esteem, often survivors of childhood trauma. Perhaps you struggle with depression & anxiety, feeling unseen & struggling in relationships. Or you may stay awake at night thinking of the past, the negative “voices” still ringing in you ears & heart, telling you that you have little or no value. More than anything, you desire to be known and valued for who you are on a deep level, to feel and be safe to be yourself. Together, we will create a safe environment where you can heal and be transformed from the inside out.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
How can psychotherapy help? Why get assistance with life issues? Imagine for yourself a baby in a crib. The baby has been crying, ready to take a nap but needs to be soothed down. There is a mobile above the crib, right within the baby's eyesight. At first the baby can only look at the mobile, not able to reach it.
"What is that strange thing above me? It goes around and around and around!"
The baby is mesmerized, finally lulling to sleep to the sounds and motion of the crib mobile.
Fast forward a couple of months.
The baby can see further. He can tell the difference between the objects that are moving around. Even better--- the baby's arms are long enough to reach the objects. To his delight, he discovers his hands & fingers can reach out, touch, grab those objects. What was unknown, a puzzle to him just 3 months before, is now within grasp!
The mother now hears the baby giggling, laughing. She laughs along with him as he grabs one of the objects, pulls down on it, and ALL of the objects move! They are all disrupted. Imagine this scene playing over and over. Perhaps you have experienced this with your children. Mental health is much like this child, looking at different areas in your life that may feel unknown, out of grasp. People may feel they have many areas to work on or are struggling in their lives to juggle. When one focuses on all of the moving parts, it can be overwhelming. Gratefully, when one area is focused on in treatment, the other areas are affected as well (just like the mobile analogy). It may take some time to grasp an area of focus, but as we give attention to the one, the others benefit as well.
People are wholistic. We are many parts, all intertwined together to make a whole. Each aspect of our lives affects the other. We are all human-- at some point in our lives, we are all going to need others to come alongside of us to help us navigate what is going on in our lives, to give us strength and insights. While we may often consider this to be negative, it can work in our benefit. Just as the child in the crib grows, learns, adapts, stretches to grab the mobile object, it is in our stretching and beginning to grab onto different areas in treatment that we begin to grow. I invite you to stretch!
My Role as a Therapist
Bridges are all around us. They can be artistic, old, rugged, beautiful, regularly maintained, crossed over a lot or forgotten. In some parts of the world, every day people cross over bridges to go somewhere. They are hard pressed to not go over a bridge from the point they leave their residence to their destination point. San Francisco is a great example of this--- bridges are a necessary part of daily life.
Life has constant bridges: relationships, new & old jobs, spirituality, getting our needs met by having others services (like our hairstylist, medical doctors). Relationships are built with people every day. Everywhere we go, we initiate and define those bridges. But what about bridging the gap for ourselves, within ourselves? Bridges imply, involve, movement from one side to another. Bridges mean we move forward, gain traction....we start at one side, the move ourselves forward to the other side, a destination and goal. We want, need, to cross to the other end of our bridge.
As a mental health therapist, my goal is to help you build bridges within yourself, with others, with God. I am a Bridge-Builder. My goal is to help you start building the bridges in your life that you need to help move you forward. Then, come alongside of you and walk that bridge with you.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
To be human is to both struggle and overcome, to be full of strength and yet growing in more strength. People are not a disorder, nor does their life have to be defined in its entirety by that disorder. We are not defined by labels or areas we struggle with. Said another way, there is a difference when someone asks, "who are you?" One person may say, "I am Bipolar". I would say "You struggle with Bipolar symptoms- but Bipolar is not who you are." As human beings, we are beautifully complex, constantly changing and adapting, learning who we are and growing into ourselves. The word "disorder" merely identifies symptoms one may be experiencing, at that point in time. As a therapist, I invite my clients to consider their mental health symptoms in light of their strengths, which goes beyond the idea of "disorder" to being an overcomer, adapter.