My Approach to Helping
You may be interested in therapy for a specific issue, or the reason might be harder to pinpoint. Maybe you feel sad, anxious, or numb, but aren’t sure why. Maybe you struggle in relationships. Maybe you feel stuck. Therapy can help you to get unstuck and rework what is no longer serving you.
People are shaped by relationships and experiences from early on in life. We continue to play out and reinforce familiar patterns over time, often without realizing it. We are also really good at finding ways to avoid our feelings and adapt to our experiences. Over time, we may find that our once-adaptive ways of coping or self-protecting have stopped working, created new problems, or become fixed and self-defeating (e.g., pushing others away when you'd like to feel more connected because you've been hurt before). New skills can be useful, but they don't always create lasting change.
I don’t use a formulaic approach that assumes I know you and what’s best for you on our first meeting. Instead, I strive to provide a safe space where you can speak openly and get curious about your internal world, and we can develop a shared understanding of your individual challenges. I won’t talk much about myself, but we may use our relationship as one way of exploring how you engage with the world.
Depression, anxiety and other emotional conditions are what Jonathan Shedler calls the "psychological equivalents of fever" - symptoms of underlying issues that vary depending on the history and makeup of each individual. Good therapy helps you get to the root of those feelings and involves a joint focus on past and present. The goal isn’t to wander around in the past forever, it’s to understand how the road you’ve traveled has brought you to this point, so you can move forward freely, with intention, rather than being controlled by old, entrenched patterns.