My Approach to Helping
We begin by talking about your life story. When you have the chance to safely open up and present your current concern along with your historical narrative, I learn how you view yourself in the world, how you relate to others via that position and how you typically approach problem-solving in your life. By knowing the backstory, I can help you identify and utilize your existing strengths while simultaneously guiding you toward new skillsets that will be important to creating the change that you are seeking.
My therapeutic style is warm, supportive and personal with a guaranteed moment of humor in every session. I strive to create an environment that fosters genuine, uninhibited dialogue in order to understand your desire for change and how your life story impacts your ability to fully engage in your life.
When it comes to this important work of the Self, I do not believe that one size fits all. Thus, I work from the banquet of theories that are available in the field, which are: family systems; insight-oriented; existential; cognitive behavioral therapy; mindfulness awareness and EMDR. Every person sits down on the therapy couch with a unique personality along with a unique challenge. I cater my therapeutic approach to the specific person and specific need.
After our first or second session, we'll discuss the treament plan that will help you achieve your goals and together we tweak the plan, as needed. I regularly encourage "homework" because insight and change cannot occur in just 55 minutes a week. I may suggest specific reading, meditation, active use of apps and relaxations skills, journaling and out of session "challenges."
My Ravenswood office is at the Ravenswood Metra stop or 2 -3 blocks from the Montrose or Damen Brown Line el stop -- with convenient free parking, also.
More Info About My Practice
As a dually licensed Registered Nurse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I focus on the importance of both emotional well-being and physical well-being. Sexual issues, acute medical issues, and chronic conditions can be comfortably discussed in our sessions, with the keen awareness that body and mind are fully integrated.
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
As a therapist with a general practice for adults, I work with clients from the age of 19 through the full lifespan. I work with clients of any gender expression, race, culture and sexual orientation.
My specialty areas are:
- General anxiety and social anxiety
- Anger management
- Challenges of differentiation and separation between emerging adults and parents
- Life transitions: marriage, new parenting, career, divorce, empty nest, eldercare, and retirement
- Loss and grief: relationship, job, medical diagnosis, family illness, death of loved ones which includes those who are
I am not a trauma specialist or an eating disorder specialist so I'm not a good fit for those concerns. However, I have trusted colleagues who do specialize in these issues and would pass along their contact information.
The Duration and Frequency of Therapy
Many different factors come into play when considering the duration and frequency of therapy. I suggest and appreciate an initial 4 to 6 week period of weekly 55 minute sessions in order to understand my client, form a reliable alliance and set goals together. From there, I'm open to hearing the frequency that works best for my client. I understand that insurance, finances and life obligations play a significant role in every person's therapy frequency. If bi-weekly or monthly sessions are best for my client and their mental status is stable, I'm comfortable finding a cadence that works best for them. My goal in the therapeutic relationship is to create a safe, stress-free environment; therefore, finding a frequency that works best for each individual is an important part of that process.