I select strategies according to what I think best addresses the needs of the person I am working with. My therapeutic approach draws from several theories. I start from what the present day issues are and I often find a thread from the past that leads people to respond to things currently in ways that are not adaptive. Resolving the issue from the past often allows people to respond better to the present. Although I find it helpful to know about people’s histories, I try to keep the focus on understanding how the past affects current functioning.
If there are issues in the past that have been sufficiently dealt with and the client feels at peace with, I do not feel the need to dredge it up. I also believe that people are affected by certain deeply held beliefs they carry with them (eg. I need to be perfect, I am unworthy, I am not lovable, I am unimportant, etc…). Often these are rooted in past upsetting emotional experiences. I have helped people to let go of these destructive beliefs, so they are free to respond to the present, unencumbered by their past negative emotional experiences. Insight oriented therapy and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy are helpful tools to achieve these goals.
I often find metaphors useful in treatment as they are a helpful way of communicating to people that I understand how they feel and/or allowing people to remember what they need to work on. So to summarize my philosophy using a metaphor, if you think of your life as a garden and the healthy plants, flowers, trees and shrubs are the good things in your life, we will be looking at the weeds that are choking those healthy plants. We do not need to pull every weed in your garden if those weeds aren’t hindering the growth of the healthy plants.
However, while some therapies cut off the weed at the soil, it is my philosophy that this likely will mean the weed will grow back. Although I do have helpful coping strategies I can provide you, the longer term solution (and the deeper work) is to find the root of the weed (which usually is in the past, though not always the distant past) and pull the weed up by it’s roots, so that it is much less likely to grow back and get in the way again.
I also think people’s roles in their family have an influence on them. Therefore my approach is influenced by psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive, and humanistic/experiential theories. EMDR also incorporates all of these perspectives.
Often people come to me saying they have insight into their issues, but cannot seem to make the necessary changes. I enjoy helping people past these stuck points in their lives. I think keeping a sense of humor is important and my sessions frequently include laughter. I do not foster dependency in my clients, instead I focus on helping them gain insight into their issues and providing them the tools they need to better cope with the challenges in their lives.
I intentionally keep my practice small, so that I can give people individualized attention and a more personalized experience. I strive to make my office a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. I enjoy working with all ages in my individual therapy work, and doing couples therapy and family therapy.
Areas of Focus
- Stress, Anxiety and Worry
- Relationship Issues
- Marriage Counseling
- Trauma Therapy