Thinking About Therapy
I view psychotherapy as a creative process—one that helps people achieve the life they want. Using my knowledge and experience, I’ll bring new perspectives to the table, but equally important is the collaboration that we’ll build together. Our interactions create new answers that neither of us would have found alone.
When you come to a session, we’ll start with whatever’s on your mind. If you have nothing on your mind, that’s okay too; we’ll simply find our way into the session together. If you are struggling mightily with getting through the day or you have time-sensitive issues to decide, we’ll stay with your immediate concerns. When nothing is pressing, we can look at the deeper complexities within you.
"The only journey is the journey within"
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Each of our pasts influences us unconsciously, shaping our familiar patterns and expectations. These old routines affect our relationships, including the therapy relationship. It’s helpful for us to speak occasionally about how we interact. This gives us the opportunity to experiment with new ways of relating—ways that can be brought into your outside relationships as well.
It’s common for people to compartmentalize, so that different aspects of life feel quite separate from one another. Yet chances are that each area impacts all the others. I may ask you questions that sort out the compartments of your life in new ways. It’s not always easy to find answers to these questions, and that’s to be expected. It’s worth the struggle and I know it takes time.
Finding the right words is easier when you can be curious and speak freely. Over time, your insights will spark different ways for us to understand your situation. This new knowledge helps us bring fresh solutions to your challenges—solutions that offer you increased flexibility and freedom to create the life you want.
Many times people come for therapy feeling unsure about what’s wrong or what they need. On other occasions people know exactly what’s wrong. Issues like depression, anxiety, gender identity, and trauma offer clear labels. Yet, even with a specific name for what’s wrong, there’s still much more to understand. The trauma or anxiety or any other label doesn’t explain how your suffering arose or how it continues to impact your life. We need the details, and the details are always unique. My work is therefore never ‘by the book.’ Instead I take ideas from many, many books and choose the concepts best suited to your specific situation.
I work individually with adults, adolescents, and (on occasion) preteens. My approach includes all aspects of awareness—including your feelings, thoughts, sensations, and actions. I also want to understand your hopes, fears, and dreams. You won’t be restricted to the cognitive and behavioral strategies that so often occupy short-term, manualized approaches to therapy.
"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself"
— Maya Angelou
"We live in the shelter of each other"
— Celtic saying
Creating and maintaining the relationships we want is no easy task. If you’re struggling in this area you have lots of company. I work with couples to resolve the difficulties that keep them stuck, and to free them to create a relationship that’s satisfying for them both. This means finding empathy for each other’s vulnerabilities and offering our partners a safe harbor.
We are all imperfect, and chances are that we all play a part in our relationships’ difficulties, though it can be terribly hard to perceive our own contributions. It therefore helps when each person considers how they can improve things for their partner, and not just expect that their partner will change.
We Are All Unique. Let’s Keep It That Way
Diversity enriches our thinking. Inclusiveness makes us stronger. I recognize that differences impact us, and I welcome your uniqueness.
“Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people?” —Desmond Tutu