My work is insight-oriented with an experiential and interpersonal focus. While I have been influenced by humanistic, psychodynamic, interpersonal, existential, and experiential approaches to psychotherapy, I have developed my own way of understanding and helping people. I also believe mindfulness and spirituality can play a part in psychotherapy. Significant change takes place on an emotional level and involves reworking the way we feel. If we could think our way out of problems, change would be easy. Insight is often important and I believe it is better to see clearly than try to force a sense of optimism.
I am generally non-directive although suggestions can be helpful at times. It is important to learn to listen to your own voice, and while some direction may be helpful, there will be times when the best thing your therapist or counselor can do is listen.
My work is directed toward ending self-criticism, creating satisfying relationships, and resolving conflict. Suffering and self-defeating patterns are often connected to despair, alienation, depression, anxiety, dependency, trauma, and a multitude of addictive behaviors. Survivors of childhood abuse and other individuals with a history of trauma may find that current events trigger emotional states associated with past traumas. People often need help integrating painful events into their current life.
I generally don’t think of people in diagnostic terms. People develop approaches to their lives that are more or less useful. I’m interested in my patients finding a personally meaningful way of approaching life. Therapy is done when you have a handle on primary problems and when it is no longer worth your time and money.
- I do not see medication as a panacea though I see no virtue in suffering. Using medication should be a personal choice.
- You need to feel safe, and trust is not based on words alone. It develops as you get to know your therapist or counselor. His attitude can lead to your feeling judged regardless of the words spoken. Self-acceptance is a prerequisite of fundamental change, and it is easier for you to accept yourself in an accepting environment. When a feeling of safety develops, you can use the process to rework significant emotional experiences and family issues. You can identify and change an approach to life which led to conflict and suffering.
- Clarity is not only important for you, it is important for your therapist if he is to maintain a safe environment and an ethical stance. It is critical that your therapist be aware of his own defenses and biases so that they don’t interfere with understanding you. A failure of self awareness can lead the therapist to be overly involved, or overly detached. He must be compassionate without being enmeshed, and he needs clear boundaries to allow you to clarify your own boundaries.