I incorporate several therapeutic modalities in my practice, some of which I summarize on the Therapeutic Modalities page. I also place great emphasis on providing a supportive environment in which you can safely explore the concerns you bring to therapy. As part of this, I do my best to maintain a good therapeutic relationship in which you feel deeply understood, accepted and valued.
As a holistic therapist, I am mindful of the multifaceted nature of human experience and functioning, including its emotional, cognitive, behavioral, intrapsychic, interpersonal, somatic, spiritual, and cultural dimensions. I look for opportunities to work with the concerns clients bring to therapy along these different dimensions.
My treatment approach includes, when appropriate, a somatic focus. “Somatic” means “of or relating to the body.” I believe our embodied self is an integral part of who we are, and our bodily experience may provide access to deeper psychological material as well as important resources for change.
There may also be times when a focus on the spiritual dimension of human experience is helpful. Some clients enter therapy with an established spiritual identity; for example, they may identify as part of a particular spiritual or religious tradition or community. For others, questions about life purpose or spirituality may be intertwined with the concerns they wish to explore in therapy. If either is true for you, I strive to maintain an open, accepting, interested and respectful stance that honors and supports this important part of who you are.
I am also a sex-positive therapist. By this I mean that I affirm, as essentially healthy, the broad spectrum of consensual sexual expression, including both mainstream and alternative sexual lifestyles, and I respect individual choice in these matters.
My Guiding Principles
My psychotherapy practice is informed by three guiding principles:
- You as client are the ultimate authority on your experience, and you possess an innate impetus towards healing, growth and fulfillment of your unique potential. Consistent with this principle, I see my role as therapist as being a supportive companion on your journey towards wellbeing and fulfillment. I facilitate your process by gently guiding you closer to your growing edge, by helping you connect with your strengths and inherent wisdom, and by supporting you in removing blocks to your natural unfolding. I readily offer ideas and suggestions, but always do so in a spirit of collaboration.
- The optimal environment for psychological healing is one in which your experience and expression are met with empathic understanding and unconditional positive regard. As your therapist, I relate to you with empathic understanding – that is, I listen carefully and make it a top priority to understand you, your feelings and your concerns deeply; to convey that understanding to you; and to continuously correct and update my understanding until I’m assured you feel fully seen and understood by me. I also welcome you to bring all of who you are into our sessions, and I aspire to accept and value you deeply and without judgment just as you are.
- Live experience, felt in the here-and-now of the therapy session, is a critical access route to your issues, concerns, feelings and resources. At times, strict “talk therapy” – as in merely “talking about” issues or problems – can be limiting. I help you access your immediate felt experience, which is often a rich source of information and an opportunity for deep therapeutic processing. I may do this simply by inviting you to stay with and sink more deeply into feelings, sensations and other experiences that arise in the present, while observing them with mindfulness. Or we may bring issues alive in the session by collaboratively evoking experiences through role-play, “empty-chair” work (speaking to an imagined person sitting in another chair) or other means. (If you want to know more about my experiential approach, take a look at the descriptions of Hakomi, Re-Creation of Self and Somatic Psychotherapy in Therapeutic Modalities.)
Specific Therapeutic Modalities I Use
I draw on several therapeutic modalities in order to best meet your needs, including the following:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Hakomi Experiential Therapy
- Re-Creation of Self
- Somatic Psychotherapy
- Emotion-Focused Therapy for Individuals
- Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples
- Mindfulness-Based Modalities
If you would like to know more about the therapeutic modalities I use, see my brief summaries on the Therapeutic Modalities page.