Approach and Philosophy

My background is in psychodynamic psychotherapy. This approach emphasizes understanding how behaviors or patterns that may be problematic developed as functional adaptations to past circumstances. It also proposes that the therapeutic relationship is a primary vehicle through which change occurs. From this perspective, the therapeutic relationship is a laboratory in which the client can come to a deeper understanding of him or herself, and also rehearse and generalize new ways of relating to self and others. Play therapy is a type of dynamic psychotherapy because it allows children to use play to symbolically and unconsciously work through difficult situations or experiences.

For some people, a more direct emphasis on skill acquisition is also helpful. I use mindfulness meditation and several types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Collaborative Problem Solving and Seeking Safety to help people learn to work with their emotions more effectively. As individuals learn to regulate emotions more skillfully, it becomes easier to truly choose behaviors and follow through on commitments.

Sometimes, it can be helpful to talk explicitly about strategies and techniques to work on the following goals:

  • adapting to new developmental stages
  • grieving current or past losses
  • improving focus and concentration
  • intimacy and differentiation in couples
  • maintaining “good enough” mood stability
  • self-soothing
  • tolerating and/or decreasing anxiety
  • working toward acceptance of painful situations

Motivational Interviewing is another Cognitive Behavioral approach in which I am trained and use frequently. It can be useful in helping individuals develop goals and motivation to follow through on changes of any kind, including health-related habits and shifting ones relationship to food and substances.

I have been a member of National Association of Social Workers since 2003.