Approach & Philosophy

My approach as a psychotherapist is genuine, collaborative, nonjudgmental, and compassionate. My work with people aims to facilitate the removal of ‘roadblocks’ inhibiting emotional, physical and spiritual growth.

New resources and skills can be developed to dissolve unnecessary hardships. Combining the wisdom of modern science with healing modalities that honor the unique and dynamic qualities of each individual is my orientation.

“The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” Confucious

I currently work with individuals, couples, and families and draw from a variety of psychological theories and evidence-based practice techniques. I find immense value in drawing from the psycho-dynamic and humanistic traditions.

This means that I focus on helping people develop a deeper awareness of early life experiences that may be hindering movement from psychic pain to healing and self-doubt to self-acceptance. It also means that I perceive human beings as having the innate capacity to grow and heal, even in the darkest of times. I experience people as having potential verses pathology.

Leading fulfilling lives…

Given my natural tendency to view human beings as wanting to lead fulfilling lives and experience greater love for self, others and experiences, I find it extremely helpful to draw upon the principles and practices of positive psychology.

This means that I support clients in identifying and drawing upon their personal strengths and virtues and in deepening their connection to and awareness of positive current and past feelings & experiences. This process helps clients learn to draw upon their resources, talents and gifts, which is highly beneficial when one is accustomed to resorting to self-defeating and disempowering thoughts and emotions in the midst of painful circumstances.

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” Carl Jung

Fostering awareness of one’s strengths (i.e. insight, authenticity, life purpose) and engaging positive emotions, including well-being, pleasure, contentment and joy, can indeed begin to alleviate suffering. This does not mean that by simply focusing on positive feelings and thoughts, painful ones will readily diminish and be forgotten forever.

However, there is evidence supporting the dissipation of negative emotions when positive emotional experiences are induced. There are also findings that positive emotions may help individuals experience positive meaning, including gratitude and love, in the midst of difficult and even traumatic events.

Although there is a need for additional research in the field of positive psychology, my work with clients has shown that in building upon inner strengths, harnessing positive emotions, and instilling hope, painful emotions and defeating perspectives can be transformed. This does not mean that striving to think or feel positively will magically diminish pain, despair or stress.

Instead, learning to appreciate one’s gifts, genuinely ‘sense into’ authentic gratitude, connection and purpose, and behave in ways that honor one’s highest virtues, depression, anxiety and stress can be alleviated.

Client Work

My work with clients is enriched by my use of 2 mind-body approaches called Somatic Experiencing® and Somato Respiratory Integration™. Current neuroscience research findings have shown us that trauma and painful experiences do not only present themselves in maladaptive thinking or emotional patterns, but also in the physical body. Therefore, I use these gentle somatic (body) approaches to help reduce overwhelming physical sensations thus leaving the nervous system more relaxed and stable.

“Our goal while on this earth is to transcend our illusion and discover the innate power of our spirit.” Caroline Myss

There is evidence supporting the connection between strong negative emotions, such as anger, rage, intense sadness & anxiety to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels.

An Integrated Approach

Thus, integrating an approach that relaxes the physiology, stabilizes chemical functioning, and supports safe regulation of the nervous system, is highly beneficial. I also incorporate mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy, Motivational Interviewing, meditation & writing techniques and other more structured approaches when appropriate. My approach helps clients begin to experience relief pretty quickly.

The length of therapy varies depending upon the needs, motivations and life circumstances presented. I am flexible with my approach and accommodate brief, focused goals as well intentions that require deeper and long-term support. My desire is to help clients develop a more whole, integrated and vibrant sense of self.

The areas I work with often are included here:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety/PTSD/Panic Attacks (Trauma and Abuse Histories, Chronic Pain & Fatigue)
  • Life Transitions & Illness
  • Stress (Mind/Body/Spirit)
  • Family, Marital and Relationship Challenges
  • Self-esteem & Self-image Challenges
  • Identity Confusion
  • Grief and Loss
  • Work Hardships
  • Addictions
  • Cultural/Relocation Challenges