My Approach to Helping
My approach to therapy is open, non-judgmental, and strives to make you feel comfortable and safe. I try to help you work through feelings or beliefs that may be blocking you from living your happiest, most fulfilled life. In therapy we can increase your understanding of what is causing the distress, explore possible solutions, and create a plan for how to cope with the distress in the meantime. While I do have a style and theoretical orientation from which I work, I don't use a "one size fits all" approach to therapy. I work to tailor my work to each client I see, as we are all individuals with different needs and goals.
I work predominantly from a psychodynamic perspective, which places an emphasis on early experiences that can be extremely powerful in shaping the way we think, how we relate to others, and how we feel about ourselves. I integrate cognitive/behavioral techniques, behavioral and relaxation techniques as well. It is important to me that my clients feel heard, understood and cared for throughout the process!
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I have specific training in working with multicultural populations and diversity-related issues. I've worked with individuals from numerous ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and sexual orientations. These are just some of the possible areas of life that make us "diverse." I strive to ensure that the whole person is treated, with openness and understanding of how our various identities influence how we think, feel, and live.
I take specific interest in working with individuals who have relationship conflicts. I work with you to understand the roots of these conflicts and try to think of alternative ways of handling conflicts as they arise. I also have skill in working with individuals who have been experiencing divorce related difficulties. I view divorce as a grieving process and at times, it can be intensely painful, with loss that can feel overwhelming and unbearable. For those individuals with children involved, I work to optimize outcomes not only for adults experiencing the divorce, but for the children involved as well.
Finally, I have skills in working with individuals who find themselves in self-defeating behavioral patterns. Whether in relationships, career, or other realms of life, I work to help you understand the roots of these patterns and activate more effective responses that lead to increased fulfillment in life.
My View on the Nature of 'Disorders'
Diagnoses and labels get thrown around constantly - sometimes it can be helpful in giving us words to describe symptoms we are feeling. But sometimes these labels can be reductionistic and cause us not to see ourselves or others as whole people. While a person may qualify for a diagnosis of a given disorder, I take caution with making sure that the label does not become a means to restrict or punish ourselves. My approach, in general, is to talk less about the label and more about what the issues or symptoms are that are blocking you from being your happiest, most effective self. I place strong emphasis on seeing individuals as whole people, not just as a disorder or a label. Additionally, though many psychological disorders have roots in genetics, I believe it is just as important to understand how our experiences may have formed unhelpful belief systems, or which lead to difficulties with self-regulation or other functions.