I am interested in life-span development and see individuals from age 12 upward (I do not have the resources to see young children in my office, but they may be included as part of family therapy depending on the circumstances).
Anxiety and depression are the most common reasons individuals seek treatment. Sometimes these problems are situational and resolve fairly quickly; other times they are long-standing and may be associated with other issues, such as trauma, stress, health problems, and/or relationship problems.
Sometimes the nature of the ‘problem’ is not easily defined; a person may have a sense of un-ease or discomfort with themselves or their situation, or be facing major life choices, and need a sounding board.
My first goal when working with individuals is to establish a reciprocal relationship wherein the client feels heard, respected, and free to voice thoughts, feelings, concerns, desires, questions, etc. I try to tailor my interventions to the client’s needs; for instance some people have no idea where to start or what to say, and with these people I provide more structure and guidance. Some people are quite clear about what they want, in which case I am willing to follow their lead.
Attuned listening is the foundation of all good therapeutic interventions, and the cornerstone of my practice. Some of the other methods that inform my practice follow. The incorporation of any of these methods into a person’s therapy plan is always negotiable.
CBT is the most highly recommended treatment for depression and anxiety. As the title suggests, there is a focus on changing cognitions (replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk) as well as on modifying behavior (e.g. relaxation training). CBT has been shown to be at least as effective as anti-depressants, and to have a more lasting effect. It works best when clients are willing to do small homework assignments between sessions.
Mindfulness and Meditation
My focus here is based on the idea that an integrated mind is a healthy mind. MRI studies show that people can actually build new neural circuits during meditation, and my experience (personally and professionally) tells me that the ability to slow down and be ‘mindful’ helps people cope with just about everything in a more functional way.
Everyone has multiple stories to tell about themselves, and how we tell our stories affects how we live our lives. I love to explore with people ways to tell their stories that help them make sense of their lives, and to move into living new stories with purpose, esteem, and joy.