Since each person I see is unique, my treatment approach is unique and draws from many different sources of training and experience. Overall I work in an interactive way and am an “active listener” as I guide the person in their effort to explain their difficulties to me. As we become better acquainted, I am able to help the person see connections and common threads throughout many of the issues we discuss. At the same time, I help the person distinguish between these concerns when they are not really so similar and seem to come from other experiences and events in the person’s life.
Emotions can be difficult to sort out and understand, and have many components and ‘roots.’ I try to understand the “psychodynamics” of the difficulties, i.e. the interplay of emotions and thoughts, both current and past. (See FAQ for a full description of what this means.) I have expertise in focused short-term treatment and am always guided by the person’s wishes and goals. My understanding of the psychodynamics of the problems means that I am able to “listen faster” regardless of the duration of treatment.
Psychoeducation, much of which is now called cognitive-behavioral, is a routine part of my work, interwoven into the treatment process as required. All good treatment bears in mind the person’s goals and strengths, while addressing the issues, behavior patterns, conflicts, and symptoms of concern.
Common comments from clients I have heard:
“You made connections that no other therapist made for me. You helped me understand things in a new way, that I had never realized before.”
“I know I’ve had serious problems for a long time. You never gave up on me.”
“I resisted treatment for a long time, I thought it meant that I had some weakness and I wanted to handle things by myself. But now I actually feel a lot stronger and I appreciate what therapy can actually do. I never understood it before.”
Significant areas of experience and interest
- Late adolescence, young adulthood, midlife concerns
- High school and college mental health: psychotherapy/counseling, consultation with students, staff, faculty; treatment of social work and psychology students
- Concerns around work inhibitions (“work block”, “dissertation block”, and more generally the meanings of procrastination and impasses); career decisions
- Patterns of “toxic relationships” in family and/or in choices of friends and partners
- Treatment of adolescents and divorcing adults; single parents; special interest in turmoil of custody litigation
- Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- The psychology of adoption, with particular reference to adopted people (adolescents and adults) and birthparents
- Treatment of the performing artist
- The role of envy and jealousy and their relationship to “low self-esteem”
- Concerns in the area of “body image” and gender identity
- Concerns of parents with poorly-adjusted adult children who typically cannot hold a job, have highly conflictual relationships, have scrapes with the law, and are irresponsible financially.The parents typically have a pattern of enabling by trying to bail out the ‘child’ without any improvement in the situation