People are complex, made up of several components: the heart, soul, mind, and strength. I take a whole-person approach when working with clients. Individuals are encouraged to explore their emotions, personality, thoughts, and behaviors. Through this exploration I will help you grow and gain insight that produces a more complete and grounded you.
I use several forms of therapy: Schema, Cognitive-Behavioral, Psychodynamic, Process-Experiential. Techniques from these theories are used based on the needs of the client(s). My integrative approach to therapy promotes healing, wholeness, and lasting change.
I practice primarily from a psychodynamic perspective, which means that we will focus on your present concerns while seeking to understand the importance of the past. My areas of expertise include working with:
- Emerging Adults (18-30)
- Marriage + Family
- Life Transitions
- Sexuality + Gender Identity
- Faith-based issues + Spirituality
I will work closely with your PCP or psychiatrist as needed, to provide continuity of care as you undergo psychiatric evaluations and medication management in combination with counseling. If I believe that medication might be helpful, I can and will provide you with a referral to an appropriate physician.
I bring to the conversation a well-researched, clinically proven method of therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples who have gotten stuck in unhealthy, painful ways of interacting.
Premarital counseling can help couples improve their relationships before marriage. During counseling sessions, you and your partner will be encouraged to discuss topics related to marriage, such as:
- Beliefs and values
- Roles in marriage
- Affection and sex
- Desire to have children
- Family relationships
- Dealing with anger
- Time spent together
Keep in mind that you bring your own values, opinions and history into a relationship, and they might not always match your partner's. For example, family systems and religious beliefs vary greatly. Many couples have experienced very different upbringings with different role models for relationship and marriage. Many people go into marriage believing it will fulfill their social, financial, sexual and emotional needs — and that's not always the case. By discussing differences and expectations before marriage, you and your partner can better understand and support each other during marriage.
If one spouse is not sure they want to stay married AND doubts that couples therapy can help, then discernment counseling is exactly where the couple belongs. The leaning-out partner (the partner who is leaning toward divorce) is supported where they are emotionally, and the leaning-in spouse (the partner who wants to fight for the relationship) is equally supported in their own emotional state. Discernment counseling avoids starting half-hearted couples therapy with these mixed-agenda couples. It accepts ambivalence rather than trying to work around it or overcome it.
The initial commitment for the couple is simply the first 2 hour session (the therapist will meet with each individual for 30 minutes and with the couple together for 1 hour). During this session, each person decides separately if they would like one more session, up to a maximum of five. The goals are clarity and confidence in a direction for the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what has happened to the marriage and each person's contributions to the problems. The outcomes are framed in terms of three paths: stay married as it, move towards divorce, or decide to do full-on couples therapy for six months to see if the marriage can be put into a good place, with a clear agenda for personal change and with divorce off the table during this time.
Therapy for Artists
It is a wonderful thing to be an artist. Artists are full of creativity, passion and unconventional thinking. They have a unique perspective on the world around them and live to the beat of their own drum. This can be life affirming but also may be a burden. We live in a world in which artists are both celebrated and marginalized. To be an artist can often be a painful process of internal struggle that manifests through artistic expression.
I truly understand the challenges that face artists because I am an artist myself. I'm a painter and designer and was a creative director for several non-profits organizations before I became a therapist. I understand the beauty of the artistic realm and connect with the creative vision of my clients. I work with painters, sculptors, actors, musicians, filmmakers, and producers in my private practice addressing the specific fears and frustrations that creative people face on a daily basis.
Some of the challenges that we may work on together are pushing through your creative block, overcoming feelings of inadequacy, embracing the idea of being different, conquering low self-esteem, finding your artistic voice, restoring a sense of balance in your passionate life, improving your personal relationships, and maximizing your ability to become successful in your field.
Support for Clinicians
Every therapist should also be in therapy. Those of us who work in the helping professions are at great risk for compassion fatigue, burnout, second-hand trauma and spiritual despair. Meeting weekly, monthly, or just checking-in when things get rough can provide a safety net and buffer against impairment and other difficulties so that you can keep thriving in the work you love.
Support and Therapy Groups
At times, I offer supportive therapy groups. Some groups that I have offered previously are grief/bereavement, divorce support, and expressive arts, and other skills-based groups.
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