For more than 30 years, my practice has concentrated on providing a warm, safe atmosphere for employing the most advanced, empirically based methods for:
- Couples Therapy – helping couples repair their obstacles to intimacy and create stronger, safer, more responsive connections;
- Trauma Therapy – helping individuals and couples resolve trauma that blocks their current goals, jobs, social life or relationships;
- Individual Therapy – working with individual adults on problems that significantly affect their lives and block attaining important personal or professional goals
- Coaching – Helping individuals who are functioning well set goals and remove blocks to even greater success and enjoyment in their life and career.
Couples Therapy can help you and your partner sort out your problems and build a stronger relationship. Whether you are in the middle of a crisis, going through a difficult transition, or discovering unlikable behaviors about each other, couples therapy can be a tremendous source of support and growth. Having a highly trained, objective third party helps you work through anger, resentment, hurt and disappointment. Seeing couples emerge from a difficult situation feeling more connected, intimate and committed than they ever thought possible is very gratifying.
Couples therapy is designed to increase your accessibility and responsiveness to each other. It expands your knowledge about yourself, your partner and the patterns of feeling/thinking/interacting that create conflict, fear, insecurity and distance in your relationship. Couples frequently get stuck in self-reinforcing patterns that severely restrict their openness to each otherâ€”fighting or withdrawal often prevail. Connection and warmth seem fleeting. In couples therapy, you can learn to:
- Create a more secure connection, which makes it safer for your true self to be seen and heard, as well as restore trust that has been eroded.
- Develop a better repair mechanism to resolve old issues from the past and more effectively work out present or future issues.
- Expand your ability to positively nurture your relationship in a variety of ways (verbal/nonverbal/physically) and be a better friend and lover to your partner.
- Increase your ability to express your voice in the relationship, even when it feels risky.
Simply put, couples therapy can help make crystal clear:
- The kind of life and relationship you want to build together
- The kind of partner you aspire to be in order to build the kind of relationship you want to create
- Your individual blocks to becoming the kind of partner you want to be
- The skills, knowledge and emotional safety necessary to be successful in achieving and maintaining the above.
Why Couples Therapy?
Intimate relationships are challenging, especially with respect to sustaining intimacy over the long haul. Marital distress is the single most common reason people seek any type of therapy. It undermines family functioning and is strongly associated with depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse. A strong couple relationship is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children and yourself. A warm intimate bond is a great source of happiness, personal security and satisfaction. Couples therapy is much more effective than individual therapy when the key presenting problem is focused on relationship distress.
How to Get the Most Out of Couples Therapy? (downloadable document)
What Kinds of Problems Do You Treat With Individual Therapy?
Some clients seek help for specific symptoms such as depression, anxiety, phobias and panic, eating disorders or substance abuse. Some struggle with adjustment problems following losses such as death, divorce, unemployment or illness. Others look for help sorting out troubling issues of ambivalence or dissatisfaction in facing lifes many choices. Still others seek help maintaining one important relationships.
What Type of Individual Therapy Do You Practice?
I combine the best aspects of attachment based, interpersonal, emotion focused and cognitive behavioral therapies. The therapy is focused more on the present than on a lengthy exploration of the past. It is important first to understand you in the context of your current developmental stage and early attachment history. Then, I try to show you how critical historical incidents contribute to your feeling stuck in your current life. Developing a clear vision of the kind of life and relationships you want to create is also a crucial step in focusing the goals of therapy.
Emphasis is placed on your internal experiences of feeling and thinking especially in the context of your interactions with others. Identifying core patterns or themes that contribute to self-defeating ways of thinking, feeling or behaving is the next stage in developing and practicing healthier alternatives to replace them.
Simply put, individual therapy can help you make clear:
- The vision of the kind of life and relationships you want to create
- The kind of person you want to be to build that life.
- Your individual blocks to becoming the kind of person you want to be
- The skills, knowledge, emotional safety and increased comfort with taking risks necessary to creating the life you want.
How Often Do I Need to Come to Therapy?
Most people come once a week for sessions that last 45 minutes. In some situations, it is more effective to meet more often at the outset. Some clients prefer double sessions weekly. The length of time in treatment varies according to the severity of the problem and the particular goals an individual wants to attain. This will be discussed at the initial visit. After the second visit we usually can decide together how long and how often you will want to come.
Trauma Therapy is usually though not always brief and focused on relieving the symptoms of a trauma. Sometimes people realize they need trauma work when their individual or couples therapy is blocked or stuck and not progressing. Many trauma survivors continue to have symptoms long after trauma. These symptoms may include:
- Reliving the traumatic experience
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Avoiding things related to the trauma
- Anxiety and related body effects such as heavy breathing, sweating, shaking, etc.
- Intense, surprising, or angry reactions to ordinary situations
For some people, trauma-related fear and distress can be so severe that it interferes with social functioning, intimate relationships and/or holding a job. A person suffering from trauma often describes going back and forth between feeling really overwhelming emotions and feeling complete numbness. The symptoms may start occurring within a month of the trauma. For others, some of the symptoms may not occur for six months or more after the trauma.Â Some symptoms emerge years later when the person has a new trauma or experiences unusual safety in a relationship.Â Some trauma symptoms are dramatic. Others are smaller but still interfere with happiness, productivity and comfortable relationships.