I know that getting started with counseling or psychotherapy can feel intimidating. It’s important that you find someone with whom you feel safe, comfortable, and understood.
My goal is to offer a collaborative and non-judgmental environment where we can work together to not only relieve your distress and address whatever is bothering you, but also help you begin to create a more meaningful, authentic, and deeply satisfying life.
I believe that counseling and psychotherapy should be a process of collaboration. This means that I see us both as experts — you in your own experience, and myself in more general processes of therapeutic change and growth — working together toward the shared goals of relieving your distress, increasing your self-awareness, strengthening your relationships, or helping you discover greater meaning and authenticity in your life.
Many psychological and emotional difficulties arise from patterns in our ways of relating to ourselves and other people. These patterns are habitual ways of responding that we’ve learned over the course of our lives in our best attempts to get our needs met and to protect ourself from getting hurt. Many of these patterns worked well for us or served some purpose at one point in our lives; however, now we may discover that they’re no longer working so well and may even be getting in our way. In our work together, we will explore your patterns, try to understand how they may have developed and what purposes they may have served for you in the past, and experiment with alternative ways of relating to yourself and other people to allow you to begin to feel more free to be your authentic self and to get your needs met more fully in your relationships.
I approach my work with you as a process, and I will encourage you to do the same — and to be patient and gentle with yourself as we seek to address your goals. While I may offer some practical tools and techniques from our very first session that you can use to gain some relief and manage your distress, more lasting change and growth often emerges over time and ensures that you will not only be able to handle life’s current challenges, but that you will also be better equipped to handle the inevitable future challenges as well. As difficult as it may be, try not to expect yourself to have it all figured out right away. I encourage you to trust the process and allow it to unfold. That being said, I also know that when you’re in pain you may need tools for relief, and I will do my best to share these with you as much as possible when they are relevant.
I am warm, compassionate, and interactive, and I adapt my approach to your individual needs and goals. I believe (and research has consistently demonstrated) that a strong and safe therapeutic relationship is essential to the work of therapy, and I work hard to maintain a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental atmosphere for our work.
This doesn’t mean that our work together will always feel comfortable or easy: sometimes I will gently challenge you to think about things that may feel uncomfortable or suggest making shifts that are slightly outside your comfort zone. However, these challenges or confrontations will always be offered with caring and in the spirit of nudging you toward growth and positive change. You will always remain in control and can choose to go to these challenging places with me or to let me know if you’re not ready.
Generally speaking, I will not be giving you direct advice or telling you what you should or should not do, even though I recognize that sometimes this might be what you want. I believe that only you can know what’s truly right for you. Instead, I will ask thoughtful questions and encourage you to explore how you feel about the various possibilities to help clarify your own needs and desires. I believe that this approach is ultimately more helpful to you, because it not only allows you to arrive at a decision that feels right for you, but it also helps you come to trust yourself and your own inner wisdom and encourages you take powerful responsibility for your decisions.
Finally, I want you to know that I’m a big believer in practicing what I preach. This means that I view my own self-care as an important part of my work and that I take it seriously. I believe that taking care of myself is not only important for my own wellbeing but that it ultimately helps you too, because it allows me to be fully present with you and bring my healthiest, more effective self into our work together. This means that I protect time in my schedule each week to reflect on the work I’m doing, to plan, to continue to learn through reading books that I find inspiring in my work, to consult with colleagues, and to attend to my own emotional needs through a variety of means such as meditation, exercise, and social connection.
My Theoretical Orientation
I draw upon a number of traditional psychotherapy theories and techniques in my work, including interpersonal, relational, humanistic, psychodynamic, emotion-focused, and cognitive-behavioral theories. I believe that each theory has its strengths and weaknesses, but that together they offer a richer and more multi-dimensional picture of the human experience and the process of change.
This is why I not only work from an integrative perspective but also chose to focus my doctoral research on the process of psychotherapy integration — that is, the process of drawing upon the strengths of different theories to understand and help the unique individual sitting in front of me in a more comprehensive — and, I believe, ultimately more effective — way.
In addition to the more historically Western treatment modalities noted above, I have found that many people also benefit from the integration of Eastern-influenced approaches that integrate mindfulness and self-compassion practices into psychotherapy — such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). (To learn more about mindfulness, you can read this blog post.)
Counseling In English
Get In Touch With Me
If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact me.
Even if you’re not sure whether I’m the right counselor for you, I’m happy to schedule a free initial phone consultation to discuss your current challenges and goals and begin to consider what our work together might look like.
It’s important that you work with someone with whom you feel comfortable. If I’m not the right counselor for you, I will do my best to help you find someone who is.