I see my role as a psychotherapist as a partnership to help others access their resilience, and guide them toward more deeply satisfying lives and relationships. Pairing creativity and playfulness with being goal-directed, I believe that a balance of leadership and humility is required to help others. With this in mind, I understand that being open to new perspectives and strategies can be both exhilarating and intimidating. It can feel terrifying to share your deepest pain with another person. Whether meeting with me alone, or as a part of a couple or family, I build a trusting therapeutic relationship with my patients that balances respect, collaboration and challenge, allowing for some of the toughest topics to be brought out of the shadows.
Both as a therapist, and supervising and training other clinicians in several evidence-based clinical models, I have helped patients work through a wide range of issues, including terminal illness, addiction, loss, family conflict, depression, anxiety, adoption-related challenges, relational trauma and involvement with the justice system. I practiced Functional Family Therapy, a model that relies on strengthening family relationships in order to influence problem behavior, including trauma, aggression and violence, substance abuse, mental health diagnoses/symptoms and educational deficits. Through these experiences, I feel confident helping individuals, couples and families manage crisis, no matter what form it takes.
I don’t practice a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy and this is especially true of family therapy. I’ve spent years working with families of all types to help them identify the stumbling blocks and patterns that get in the way of communication and unity. Issues like substance use, divorce and separation, sibling conflict, and significant transitions like new family members or moves can cause families to get stuck in routines and rituals that are unhelpful, and which can keep families from running smoothly and happily. My job is to help identify and disrupt these old patterns, and guide families to create new ones with intentionality and purpose.
No matter the circumstances, I believe that there is untapped wisdom in the individual struggling the most, and strength in even the most fractured relationship. In my work with couples, I know that even the most fulfilling relationships can be complicated. Couples–whether newly joined or well-established–can find themselves in situations that deeply challenge their ability to move forward as a unit. I take an active role in guiding couples through difficult conversations, coaching and teaching to help both partners communicate and advocate for themselves in an effective, compassionate way.
While I have the benefit of experience and training, I understand the necessity of looking at my own assumptions, as I help patients look at theirs. Over the years, my patients have taught me important lessons that stuck with me. Terminally ill patients have shown me how to maintain grace during suffering. Headstrong teens have reminded me of the importance of being grounded and honest. My most successful and seemingly “together” patients have taught me about the beauty of being vulnerable with another person. Working with deeply distressed families gave me perhaps the most influential lesson of my career: seeing love, grit and incredible resilience where others see brokenness. Remaining open to learning in my partnerships with patients, I believe everyone has the ability to heal and we are often far more able than we think.