I have been practicing psychotherapy professionally for 30 years. My journey to choosing counseling as a career evolved from my personal experience in treatment, which, of course is a long story with many twists and turns, yet the gist of it is that the psychotherapeutic process woke me up to my authentic self.
Because I was born curious and a “seeker”, being in therapy brought me to understand that the real seeking is an inner search that led me to discover who I really am. The internal work that evolved from my counseling experience was so profound and fulfilling that I wanted to be part of that process for others as they strive to find their authenticity and truth. I had been a kindergarten teacher and made the decision to get a graduate degree so that I could participate in the therapeutic process, facilitating others in the journey of self-discovery.
Change and growth are continuous throughout one’s life, and entering therapy is making the conscious choice to urge the process along. Inner conflicts arise when we do not feel or express our authentic selves. Without awareness of our inner truth, we are acting out of the expectations and perhaps misguided beliefs of our external world. This can cause depression and anxiety. It is an act of courage to enter a therapeutic process of healing our inner lives and creating more harmony and love in our relationships. Finding self worth and self-love allows us to live to our full potential.
As a therapist, my job is to be consistently present, consciously guiding you in the appropriate direction to find yourself. The work may confront inner obstacles and treacherous terrain. I will always be steady and constant as your guide and witness. For me, it is the highest honor to be able to participate in your journey and I take the position quite seriously. You can have confidence and trust that your work will be facilitated with deep care and compassion for you and all of that have chosen to find inner truth.
The Greek word Psyche translates as “breath, life or soul” in English, “Therapy” is derived from Therapeia, the attendant who served both gods and humanity in the temples of ancient Greece. Psychotherapy can then be said to be the sacred work of attending the soul, carefully nurturing the most essential aspect of who and what one is. This is the idea at the heart of my work as a psychotherapist, an “attendant of the soul”.
Depending on your individual needs, the tools used are varied. Most important is my focused presence, listening and hearing with both my head and heart, using the gift of intuition, and trusting your healing process. My technical approach is compassionate and direct and is guided by the specific needs and concerns presented. I have learned a multitude of techniques and modalities throughout my career and have found that no single method is universally effective. Because “talk therapy” has its limitations, my work is a holistic approach that integrates traditional and nontraditional therapies. My training has been in Analytical Therapy, Psychosynthesis, Gestalt, Psychodrama, Dream Work, Art Therapy, Shamanism, and Codependency. Yoga, breath work and meditation are also tools that are implemented when it is appropriate.
My theoretical orientation is based in a Humanistic/Existential framework. Rather than categorize people into diagnostic stereotypes, I seek to meet, recognize and understand individuals from their perception of themselves and their life journey as they have experienced it. Embedded in each person is the key to opening his/her potential. It is my role to ask the correct questions that aid in the unpeeling of the layers of the self and find the pathway authenticity. In other words, I consciously guide people back to themselves as they work to become free of entanglements internally and within relationship. This occurs through identifying what are the obstacles preventing connection with oneself. I believe that the greatest loneliness is that most people do not know who they are and are not certain how to return to their natural essence.
During this in-depth inquiry, the process of psychotherapy is to seek, identify, process, heal and ultimately release whatever may be in the way of feeling whole within. To closely examine on many levels the pieces of life’s puzzle so that it can be assembled with all parts fitting together smoothly. Through this process and commitment to well being, the voice of truth from deep within the psyche is listened to, honored and acted upon. Authenticity arrives as we find our own voice and share with others the truth of who we are. This involves embracing the unique individuality that is your essential nature. In living an authentic life, one’s inner reality and outer manifestations match. This is the recipe for a meaningful life.
Over the years, I have counseled people from age 10 to 80; males, females, straight, gay, and trans-gendered. Each has had their unique reasons for seeking therapeutic counseling. It is with no preference or judgment that I welcome people into my office. For the most part, my practice consists of working with individuals and couples. With individuals, sessions are 60 minutes in length, and depending on the needs and goals of the person, we may work together short term or long term. For couples, I require a minimum commitment of 6 one-hour sessions because experience has taught me that in order to do service to the intensity of relationship issues, a block of work is necessary for any serious progress to be made.
- Anxiety and Depression
- Childhood Trauma
- Loss and Death
- Couples Counseling
- Self-Esteem / Self-Worth / Self-Confidence
- Midlife Transitions
- Blocks In Creativity
- Work-Related Issues
Tracing these symptoms back to time of origination, I use therapeutic tools associated with awareness and breath to alleviate acute states and strategize with the client about how to change the ingrained patterns in the emotional body.
Through taking an in-depth history and by asking appropriate questions I encourage the client to recall and reveal the source of the painful experience in order to facilitate emotional release. Once the client is able to remember and/or begin to address feelings and memories associated with the trauma, we will begin to process this difficult material using a variety of effective methods thus healing the old wounds.
I help the client contact in the body and address emotions associated with the different stages of grief and bereavement.
There is a strong pull inside each of us to “heal the inner child”. Many people were neglected, felt unseen, overly criticized, verbally and/or emotionally abused, sexually violated etc. during childhood. Psychotherapy is a process which involves client and therapist creating a safe and reparative relationship toward healing the pain of childhood trauma. A range of methods involving self-affirmation, anger release, self-forgiveness and letting go of shame and guilt may be used in the sensitive process of ReParenting.
I offer pre-marital counseling, divorce mediation counseling and relationship enrichment counseling. I have worked with many couples in crises as they navigate the responsibility of raising young children while striving to continue to grow as individuals and maintaining healthy communication and positive dynamics with each other.
Through developing a positive, trusting, consistent relationship with a therapist and becoming comfortable with the therapeutic process (i.e. sharing truth about oneself and being heard empathetically by a present and compassionate therapist), the inner foundation of self-love and acceptance naturally occurs. A good relationship between therapist and client is built through time and constancy, regardless of which techniques are being implemented.
The second half of one’s life brings new challenges and opportunities. Because humans are creatures of habit, the coping mechanisms we have developed to work with our issues may not serve us well any longer. As life changes we must make adjustments emotionally and practically in our day-to-day lives. Psychotherapy and counseling can be very helpful in making the necessary shifts in beliefs and relationships as we continue to journey towards dynamic maturity.
Our creativity is an outer expression of our inner landscape. From time to time, everyone experiences feelings of mental and/or emotional stagnancy when we are out of sync with ourselves. Developing and maintaining creative “flow” can be achieved by exploring and reassessing individual beliefs, connecting or reconnecting with the body and breath, and simply allowing ourselves to be the unique individuals that we are. I use various techniques of art therapy and other practical methods to guide clients towards understanding and breaking through creative blocks.
Issues that arise in relation to a boss or co-worker can sometimes not be appropriately resolved at the workplace. Individual counseling is a safe situation where insight, clarity and personal inner growth may greatly assist in alleviating work-related stress. I teach clients tools that they can use in and outside of the workplace for effective communication, self-care and emotional responsibility.