My approach to psychotherapy is relational, trauma-informed, phase-oriented and pragmatic; and it integrates body-mind interventions and neuroscience.  An essential component of psychotherapy is relational.  Regardless of the variety of approaches (e.g., psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral, somatic experiencing), the therapeutic relationship between us is extremely important; it can be powerful and transformative and extremely important in reaching therapy goals and affecting lasting change. The therapeutic environment that we co-create will be secure.  I am active and engaging; I listen, give feedback and welcome all your input, emotions and feedback. This process allows us to build trust, to hone in on understanding how you experience the struggles and concerns you experience in your life, in personal relationships (past and present), in work relationships and in our relationship. This activates the process of change. The experienced sense of trust and safety regulates disturbing feelings whereby more of you can exist in our interaction and reprocess/resolve old disturbing memories and shame.

My approach is also phase-oriented especially when personal themes presented in therapy are emotionally and physiologically intense which manifest as dysregulated emotions, high anxiety, anger, feeling very uncomfortable in one’s body, or shut down and dissociated.  Affect regulation and stabalization are necessary to establish before a person feels safe enough and capable to delve into personal issues and process information.  Stated from a neurobiological perspective, the frontal lobes and higher cortical functioning shut down and cannot process information effectively when the emotional/limbic system is over-activated or overwhelmed.  Mindfulness, deep-breathing exercises and techniques that calm and regulate the body (referred to as “bottom-up” approach) such as yoga, meditative movement, body stretches and forms of exercise are used.  Calming or regulating the body will have a regulating effect on the emotional system.

My job is to help you feel safe, maintain a window of emotional tolerance so you can talk and reflect on what you say and feel during the sessions.  I think of myself more as a guide in this process whereby you learn to bring more of yourself into the room and our interaction by giving voice to feelings and thoughts, learning to have all of your feelings so that all of you can exist (with less shame) with yourself and interpersonally.  Often this expression of and tolerance for all of one’s feelings occurs for the first time with the therapist and ultimately opens up more possibilities that leads to new relationships, with oneself and others.

I also believe in a nonpathologizing, developmentally informed approach that integrates treament orientations listed below.  I draw from a variety of approaches when it is useful for our work and supports talking together. These approaches to treatment are researched and evidence-based.

Treatment Orientation (What I draw from):

  • Relational (Primarily)
  • Attachment Theory
  • Trauma-Informed and Phase-oriented  interventions that integrate body-mind interventions and neuroscience.  This may involve Mindfulness and body-oriented calming strategies for affect regulation and stabalization
  • Sensorimotor and Somatic Experiencing Interventions (to work with embodied emotional dynamics and dissociated parts of self)
  • Information Processing Model
  • Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) & Exposure-Based Therapy & Learning Theory
  • Psychoanalytic-Psychodynamic (Contemporary approaches)

Modality:

  • Individual Psychotherapy

After 25+ years as a psychotherapist working with a variety of modalities (e.g., individual, families, couples, children, and groups) and with diverse theoretical frameworks (e.g., Systems/Family Therapy, Gestalt, CBT, Trauma-Informed and Contemporary Psychodynamic-Psychotherapy approaches), I have integrated this experience and honed in on increasing my efficiency and effectiveness in working with people in individual psychotherapy. My work is integrative so that the problems and concerns you bring to therapy can be understood and worked with in a variety of ways to meet your goals.