My Philosophy And Approach To Counseling
One of the first things I try to do for clients is to create an environment that is physically and emotionally comforting. I want you to feel relaxed and at home with your surroundings so that you feel safe enough to talk openly about your job, personal life, relationships, or any other challenges you may be facing. As our relationship evolves and your trust grows, we’ll work on exploring more profound injuries or vulnerabilities that may be affecting your well-being.
I understand that sharing painful aspects of your life is tough and may stir up powerful emotions or memories, which is why I want you to be in charge of the pace at which we move. If you ever feel like we are moving too fast, we can adjust our approach and look for different ways to work together. To that end, I’ll never pressure you into talking about something you do not wish to discuss.
I like to think of my approach as reliable, structured, and lighthearted—even humorous in appropriate situations. I’m not a critical or judgmental clinician. Rather, I strive to meet each of my clients with warmth and unconditional positive regard. Some of my clients come in looking for a gentle, nourishing presence—an ally who can validate their pain, be a source of encouragement, and share in their victories. Others come to me looking for a more structured, tough love approach: seeking accountability, wanting homework assignments, new skill sets, and specific collaborative solutions. Some individuals aren’t even sure why they are in my office; they simply feel like something is off in their lives and are looking for clarity and a companion on their journey of self-exploration.
Therefore, when you and I initially meet, I’ll want to listen to your story and get to know you a little. I’ll introduce you to my approach to counseling and provide you with some psychoeducation about the therapeutic process. If you have been to therapy before, I may ask what worked for you in the past and what has you reaching out at this time. Then, we’ll explore the particulars of your situation, how it is affecting you on a day-to-day basis and what your individual needs, expectations, and goals for therapy are.
The single-most powerful resource for healing lies directly within ourselves, so one of the first steps I take is to help clients identify and build upon their strengths and inner resiliency. I also believe in our ability to alter the human brain’s neural network and actually change the way we think, behave, and feel. With my help, as an ally who can offer you empowering praise and positive reinforcement, you truly can improve the way in which you regard yourself, interact with others, and engage in the world around you.
Some Of The Treatment Strategies I Offer
One of the interventions I may use involves Somatic Therapy, which can help alleviate or release emotional pain that you may be unknowingly storing in your body. If trauma or chronic anxiety is impairing your ability to function daily, we can try EMDR Therapy to help you move past any debilitating flashbacks or intrusive thoughts.
Additionally, if you need guidance for coping with depression or low self-esteem, we can try any number of modalities to enhance your self-regard and your ability to self-advocate. Similarly, if you are struggling with general anxiety or persistent stress, I can teach you how to regulate your emotions and self-soothe during times of distress. If vulnerability is challenging, together we will practice in-session ways of accessing that place inside you.
For couples counseling, I frequently use core aspects of Emotionally Focused Therapy combined with elements of Imago Therapy and the Gottman Method. All of these approaches are great for exploring issues of attachment, changing learned behaviors from past relationships, and developing de-escalation and conflict resolution skills. I also offer Family Therapy for couples, families, and siblings—I have even worked with co-workers who were looking to improve their professional partnerships.
Relationships are crucial for humans. We are naturally built for making connections and forming bonds—so much so that when these relationships change or are destabilized, our health suffers in complex ways. Therefore, I will oftentimes look at issues from a relational perspective and offer guidance for improving communication skills, learning to be more present, and generating greater empathy.
Depending on your situation, we may work on setting healthy relationship boundaries or learning how to say “no” without feeling guilty. Conversely, we may focus on identifying your partner’s vulnerabilities, yielding power to one another, and increasing your empathy so that you can avoid poking each other in your emotional raw spots. If one of you is dealing with anxiety or depression, we’ll strive to tackle that first and get to the core of what is really happening in the relationship. In doing so, we may be able to identify and challenge aspects of yourself that are in overdrive or lacking full development.
In our work together, I will attempt to help you unify the mind and the body in order to bring balance to internal systems that are either in overdrive (anxiety, trauma) or in need of reinforcement (depression, self-esteem issues, relationship problems). I want to help you learn how to regulate your nervous system. If you feel you are often stuck in your head, we will drop into your body. If you tend to stay in the body, it may be useful to come into your cerebral space of logic and meaning-making.
I try to be as transparent as possible so that you understand what we are doing in sessions, why it is helpful, and how you can reproduce those results on your own in the future. My hope, in the short-term, is to provide you with some immediate relief, show you that change is possible, and help you understand that every session is a surefooted step in that direction. In the future, you may feel more confident, valued, and empowered to start living the way you want to instead of how you feel you have to. I truly believe that regardless of the circumstances, therapy can offer you a corrective experience that can improve nearly every aspect of your personal, professional, and relational life.
Better Living Is Possible
If you have any questions regarding my practice or my approach to psychotherapy, I invite you to call 323 539 7717 for your free 15-minute consultation.