Most of us go see a doctor when our body, mind, or relationships are suffering. I believe that when we finally take the step toward healing and go to a therapist, we would like our questions answered, such as “What’s wrong with me (my spouse, my kid, my family)? “Why do these issues keep arising?” “How can I fix these problems?”
My approach to therapy is both direct and directive. I believe many individuals looking for help don’t just want to hear “and how does that make you feel?”. My goal as a therapist is to help my clients clearly identify the problems and solutions to their personal or interpersonal development and fulfillment. I work with my clients to identify the roots of their issues and develop a systematic approach to changing factors that inhibit personal and interpersonal growth. After all, you don’t go to therapy when everything in life is going great.
I see myself as a navigator of sorts, able to help the individual see the challenges ahead and chart a course for personal fulfillment. From my experience and education, the direction and effort it takes to make positive changes in our lives can be quite difficult. It requires an honest, warm, direct, and experienced therapist.
This process is truly collaborative and, while I pride myself on my willingness to give honest and direct feedback and encouraging my clients to “do the work,” I also recognize that for change to happen, the client must be willing to go through the emotional, cognitive and behavioral process that leads to positive outcomes. Thus, like a navigator, I can help clients gather all necessary information and plot a course toward their desired destination, but I cannot pilot the craft for them. Together we pursue the goals toward reaching their personal and relationship potential.
Another factor, which I believe is critical for the success of psychotherapy, is the client-therapist relationship. My no-nonsense approach works but may not work for everyone. I strongly encourage all those who are seeking treatment to be sure to feel comfortable with their therapist. There are a lot of therapists out there and it is paramount that you feel comfortable with the person you entrust with this very personal journey.
I ask my clients to be flexible in approaching the solutions to their problems. Likewise, I am flexible in the modalities I incorporate in my practice. No two individuals are the same and no two problems are identical.
Depending on the individual, circumstance, cognitive, and emotional capacities of my clients, I will utilize a number of theoretical approaches that I believe will be most effective. These include psychodynamic, existential, cognitive/behavioral, person-centered, and family system theories. Thus, depending on whom I am seeing, I will educate and integrate different approaches at different times and with different people.
I work with adults to understand and effectively manage presenting issues, including depression and anxiety, trauma, substance abuse and dependence, and crisis and relationship management.
I work with couples to develop a healthier, more loving relationship whose foundation rests on a deeper sense of mutual understanding, appreciation, and respect for one another.