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Green Hills with Blue Sky

My Approach


As a behavioral medicine psychologist, I have experience and extensive expertise in regards to a wide-range of concerns, presenting problems, and ways of working to directly address symptom relief, including CBT, MCBT, Solutions Focused, Hakomi, and relaxation training. I have found, however, that symptom relief, although important, does not lead to lasting change. My primary orientation and compass point in psychotherapy, therefore, is psychoanalytic. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy enables productive thinking to occur even when our lives are turned upside down: in the midst of debilitating loss, deep depression, fragmentation, hidden patterns, and trauma (in other the words, the most challenging experiences in being a person).
 
Psychoanalytic psychotherapy is the most individually tailored treatment possible to provide enduring psychological insight and greater freedom from triggers, emotional overwhelm, and repeating patterns (the obstacles that get in the way of living fully). 

This form of counseling accepts outright that not only are there thoughts and processes beyond our conscious awareness and self-concept, it may be crucial at times to come to terms with these hidden dynamics in order to minimize their effect in specific or widespread domains of our lives. Frankly, it can become downright exhausting and literally depressing to keep trying to turn a blind eye to their effects, since they "hide" in plain view in the form of symptoms, patterns, guilt, dissatisfaction, self-sabotage, and conflict. These dynamics are able to be explored and brought to awareness so that you can find different ways to deal even with the exact same situation, person, conflict, feeling, or persistent hurtful self-talk.

Psychotherapy with me is most effective in the area of treating whole person concerns such as trauma, medical problems/illness, pain, depression, anxiety/overactive fight or flight response, fertility/parenting issues, eating disorders, medications ambivalence, and substance abuse that have impacted your mental health, relationships, or functioning. I also draw upon mindfulness and body therapies, appropriate to counseling on these concerns. 

I am particularly useful in helping you understand challenging presenting difficulties that are chronic and seemingly intractable, or perhaps not so obviously tied to events and situations. Some examples are pervasive feelings of melancholy, confusion, resentment or lack of satisfaction and vitality.

I also have a special interest in working with couples managing dynamics of difference (cultural, religious, ethnic) or medical illness/caregiving as it impacts their relationship and/or wider family.
 
Brief Psychotherapy or Depth Work?

Brief psychotherapy is useful when it pertains to focused difficulties, and when little or no complex symptom expression, repetition or excacerbation is present. It is both possible and useful to engage psychoanalytically in brief counseling for couples and individuals.

To work on repeating patterns, challenges of character or personality, entrenched couples dynamics, or somatic conversion symptoms, I may recommend intensive psychotherapy at least twice per week. This may feel like a huge time and money crunch, however, more frequent visits can get to the root of the difficulties rather than provide short term solutions that may only act as bandaids. 

Especially if you are sabotaging yourself, struggling to think productively around signifiant stressors, or engaging in destructive, painful, or impulsive behaviors, a more intensive treatment may be one of the most worthwhile investments you can make in your life. Depth work can positively effect all aspects of life, not just the "presenting problem."

We can speak more about treatment options during the initial consultation phase of your treatment.

Sliding scale is available for those who are unable to pay full fee and are seen for two or more sessions per week. I also provide reduced fee services on a limited basis.