What can you expect when you come into my office?
Therapy feels very much like a conversation. You bring in what’s on your mind, and then we talk. I will guide you with questions that are meant to help explore and understand you and what’s going on for you in a deeper way. Each of us has an accumulation of past experiences, with our families of origin, our current family, our friends, our colleagues, even strangers. We also have our unique, innate temperament. This special combination (of our experiences and our personalities and the messages we have taken in from the world around us) has combined to form who we are today, and how we experience the world. By gaining a profound appreciation for what you’re experiencing and how your past has impacted on you today, you will hopefully come to feel empowered to come up with newer options for yourself and for your future.
My therapeutic approach is eclectic. In addition to insight and self-awareness, I like to incorporate different elements of mindfulness, ACT, CBT and DBT. Mindfulness essentially is an approach towards our feelings and thoughts and experiences that involves noticing and accepting without judgment what is coming up for us. What we know is that the more we fight or try to change our feelings, the more persistent and stubborn those feelings become. Ironically, by allowing ourselves to feel fully, we are more able to be ok with what we’re feeling. We are also more able to experience the full range of emotions, such as joy, elation and vibrancy. So this approach is about learning to have a new, open, accepting, nonjudgmental relationship to the range of our feelings.
At the same time, we also work on the seemingly paradoxical goal of looking at and changing those thoughts and behaviors that might be creating some challenges for you. By doing this, you will hopefully be able to incorporate more positive ways of thinking and being. This is based on techniques from ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I also use creative, expressive activities, as these tap into a different part of our brain and can be powerful therapeutic techniques.
An important theme that runs through my therapy is finding meaning in your life. This existential bend allows you to tap into that inner desire for meaning and for creating and living a life that feels in touch with your values and goals.
I tailor the therapy to each client. Therapy is not a one-size-fit-all sort of experience. Each person is unique, and therefore each therapy must be custom suited for what each client needs and what will be most helpful.
From the beginning, there should be a feeling of comfort that you have in the therapy room and with me, in spite of the fact that therapeutic exploration often includes uncomfortable and painful feelings. Ultimately you want to have a good fit with your therapist. You want to feel that I understand you, and that I am here for you.
At the same time, therapy is not magic. It is not a quick fix. When you come in, we will together explore what’s bringing you in to therapy, and we will clarify your goals for therapy. While everything won’t be resolved in a matter of a few weeks, there should be a sense that we connect in a way that feels meaningful and safe for you.
"The meaning of life is not what happens to us, it is what we do with that."