We will go beyond relieving symptoms to unpack the sources of your life's pain and purpose. I bring to therapy a good deal of life experience and wisdom culled from decades of a dedicated program of study into the human condition, from working in two challenging professions, from parenting, from leading groups and working with people in sensitive, creative areas (such as editing their writing).
I have the utmost respect for all kinds of human diversity, and so I arrive with curiosity and an utter lack of judgment. I am skilled at reading between the lines of what people say, excavating hidden or unconscious meanings, assumptions, wants, and needs. I work in a collaborative way, making clear what I surmise is happening for you and inviting your most grounded, confident, safe and secure self to come forward. I am not an expert, I am a guide; and I celebrate thoughtful disagreement.
We all resort to reliable patterns in how we relate to people and react to events. Our early experiences, in significant ways, shape the way we come to expect how things will happen. These structures both reinforce and also limit our abilities to respond to stressful events and to notice when alternatives arise.
And yet it truly is possible for us to live more freely, to make healthier choices for ourselves, to enjoy more harmonious relationships with others, and to rebound more easily from losses and setbacks we may experience.
Counseling, or psychotherapy, facilitates revising our outdated patterns, and, even more, repairing our old wounds that show up in symptoms like anxiety and depression, uncontrolled anger and chronic shame.
Our work together draws from Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, which frames a developmental process of establishing patterns in early experiences that shape ongoing assumptions, needs, fears, fantasies, and conflicts which lie just beneath the surface of our awareness. Keeping out of sight the patterns we originally formed—for example, in the distance we took from a neglectful caregiver, or in the hyper-vigilance we adopted following an assault—helped at some time to soothe our shaky feelings and forestall our loss of hope and motivation. What was once adaptive sometimes no longer is—and yet we cannot directly access it to change.
This is because the patterns, even if they are limiting our options, can still be used by us to defend ourselves, often ineffectively, against whatever person or memory or sensation could possibly reawaken any painful or upsetting feeling. Defenses may protect somewhat against damage we experience; yet they do not strengthen what is positively happening in our experience. Often defenses are regularly broken through by symptoms such as anxiety, depression, uncontrollable anger, toxic shame, unresolved grief, mood swings, and insecure attachments. By noticing when these happen for us in the therapy session, you may be poised to soften the defenses, and invite what was kept out of your awareness to enter into conversation more safely.
Then you can adjust behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that were once adaptive and are no longer. You will rediscover flexibility and adaptability, resilience and grace—appreciating how to track and shift emotional states, what to say to a loved one, why to connect more deeply with or cut someone off (e.g., an abusive relationship), etc. By dismantling oppression, we can hear ancestral voices and intergenerational trauma that resonates in us collectively.
Feminist and Multicultural Therapies add vital dimensions in the work we do. One is that much personal suffering can result from structural social pressures, norms, distortions, limits, and expectations placed on each of us. The consequence, another dimension, is that Feminist Therapy works when it empowers the client. Third, the power differentials in the client’s life and with the counselor are relevant considerations. Multicultural Therapy adds the important perspective that counselors humble themselves to the specific, possibly unassimilable, differences the client brings with them into counseling.
My approach is informed by a trauma lens, building safety and promoting growth if you were neglected, abused, assaulted, or survived an accident. I am a Level I Trained EMDR therapist.
I draw on additional therapeutic modalities including:
Clients goals have included:
Anger Management Trauma
Value Conflict ·
Socio-cultural dislocation/ disorientation
Grief and Loss
Spirituality & Religion
Families & Groups
I do not bill insurance companies.
Check out this blog post for questions to consider asking on your search for a therapist.