If you have come this far on the website you are probably considering psychotherapy for yourself or someone you care about.
Sometimes, people just need "someone to talk to," without a clear identification of a "problem" or "goal." If that is where you are at, that is fine. We can start there and see where it goes. Other clients know pretty much what they would like to work on and I am happy to get right to work on those positive, desired changes. For clients who are "shopping" for a therapist (which I encourage), just want to discuss a problem and get some recommendations, or just "meet and greet" to see if they would like to begin a therapeutic relationship, I offer a free initial half-hour consultation.
Somehow, our society casts no shame on seeking help for a technical, business, or legal problem. However, many people fear being stigmatized if they are not sure how to solve emotional and interpersonal problems. I hope we grow into a better society and this stigmatization becomes merely an odd relic of the past. In the meantime, please remember that frustrating and persistent emotional or interpersonal problems are normal, and when you have not been successful in solving them on your own the best thing to do is to consult with a reliable professional.
In addition to building a sound working alliance with patients, I employ several scientifically sound approaches to solving emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal problems. The choice of approach(es) is a matter of collaboration between you and me. After the initial assessment, I will let you know how I view the problem(s) and review the various approaches we might use. Then you and I will tailor a treatment plan to your individual personality and circumstances.
I treat a variety of problem areas including:
Below are the approaches I use regularly in my practice:
Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy. We work together to identify expectations, assumptions, beliefs, and attributions that are neither realistic nor promoting well-being. Unlike straightforward cognitive therapy, the emphasis is less on challenging those misconceptions and more on simply realizing that they are only one version of reality and on being aware (mindful) of when and how they are operating.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a scientifically well-established treatment for posttraumatic syndromes. It involves a structured sequence of procedures that allows the individual to think and feel about the traumatic event(s) in a more meaningful, healthier, and less distressing manner.
Schema Therapy. In this context, schemata are like maps of one's inner and outer worlds that were developed in childhood. Although the childhood map was probably accurate at one time, it probably does not apply well to adult circumstances. More or less unconsciously, we often continue to navigate our lives by maps from a territory that is not very similar to the one we are in. Schema therapy is focused on becoming aware of those schemata and updating them accordingly.
Dialectical Behavioral techniques. These techniques are borrowed from Dialectical Behavior Therapy and involve developing one or more of the following skills sets: mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Mindfulness also plays a key role in this approach, which enables the individual to stay aware of his or her intentions and values even when distracting and troublesome thoughts and feelings arise.
Dream Analysis. We know through scientific research that when we systematically investigate the possible meanings of our dreams and the relevance to current problems, we gain mastery over those problems and experiences less distress. I use a method of dream interpretation that has been empirically related to positive therapeutic outcomes.