The psychotherapy I offer is an integration of psychodynamic therapy and CBT (which may or may not include DBT). I work in a relational framework. My work is also influenced by Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy, based on the power of meaning in our lives. Additionally, I am experienced and trained in EMDR trauma recovery for Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD), Chronic Stress, and other issues. Trauma theory perspective is very effective in treating other emotional and psychological conditions such as Depression and Anxiety as well. I offer individual and couples therapy, executive coaching for individuals and teams, and clinical consultation to health professionals. I conduct wellness and effectiveness talks on a variety of topics including Stress Reduction, Refining Communication, Anger Management, The Mentoring Relationship, Work/Life Balance.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional emotions, cognitive distortions, maladaptive behaviors through a number of goal-oriented, explicit systematic procedures. The name refers to behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and to therapy based upon a combination of basic behavioral and cognitive principles and research. This technique acknowledges that there may be behaviors and cognitions that cannot be controlled through rational thought. CBT is problem focused and action or task oriented. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) involves more specific techniques and is part of the CBT category. It helps people to become more conscious of their choices when they are challenged by intense mood states, feelings of emptiness, and an inconsistent sense of self. DBT is very effective in treating people with mood states that bring on self destructive behaviors and who have difficulty with keeping functional relationship boundaries.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy is a form of depth psychology, the primary focus of which is to uncover the unconscious content of the psyche in order to alleviate psychic conflict. It is similar to psychoanalysis, however it more fully utilizes the interpersonal relationship between client and therapist. This form of therapy uses psychoanalysis adapted to a less intensive style of working, usually at a frequency of once or twice per week, rather than the three to four times a week of traditional analysis.
The complexities and hidden aspects of the trauma experience and the client’s attempt to prevent future harm make trauma recovery a true specialty. The treatment process itself can trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and or a client’s resistance to therapy in a way that requires trauma clinicians to have specific trauma training and background. Although many types of therapists may treat trauma, trauma frameworks and protocols are necessary to provide the needed structure and safety for the client recovering from traumatic experiences. Advanced training is especially crucial for clinicians working with Complex PTSD. In my work I utilize EMDR framework combined with Dialectical Behavior Therapy practice theories. I provide a heavy dose of education to my trauma clients so that they have a firm understanding of how PTSD manifests and how we can disarm PTSD’s dysfunctional feelings and behaviors.
Coined by and based on the work of Francine Shapiro, PhD, Eye Movement, Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an approach to trauma, PTSD, acute and chronic stress, and other conditions, that seeks to assist the brain in the task of adaptive functioning. Rational emotional problem solving is disabled due to trauma and chronic stress. Through the EMDR protocol, and the support of the EMDR three pronged approach to trauma recovery, dysfunctional reactions to perceived threats can be significantly diminished or extinguished. Negative core beliefs about self are identified and worked with until the client develops the ability to reprocess the experience in a way that allows for a new or renewed positive sense of self even in light of the traumatic events.
The education provided to a patient about how certain dynamics and experiences have certain outcomes in feelings and behaviors. As well the process of learning about lifestyle and processes that can alleviate dysfunction. Examples: learning how stress or depression works in the brain and how to reduce them, learning how addictions occur and how to recover from them, or learning how trauma can lead to PTSD and how to allow and assist the brain to recover. Psycho-education can be a powerful aspect of a client’s growth as it is a knowledge base that the client can acquire, own, and then continually utilize once it is learned, absorbed and ingrained.
I practice in a fashion that regards the relationship between the client and the therapist to be the vehicle that guides and supports the healing. The overt discussion of how we relate to the content is in and of itself part of the healing experience. So much of what clients did NOT get in their early development was a validation of their experiences and a positive witnessing of their differentiated self. Relational theory utilizes the therapy relationship to be a healing experience both verbally and non-verbally. Through the client being heard, empathically regarded, and through empathic discussion and the sharing of ideas, the therapy relationship becomes a positive model and positive real life relationship, all within professionally held boundaries. The relational stance also utilizes theories about stages of pre-verbal development and attachment theories. Thus not just overt verbalization but also through just BEING in the therapy relationship, regardless of specific verbalizations, the psychotherapeutic relationship is supportive of healing. It sets the stage for a safe place for clients to work out negative past experiences. It consciously calls on the client and therapist to actively participate in the client’s healing. There is no passive blank screen going on in relational work. It is engaging and interactive. In this way it is different from a patient coming in to be analyzed. Relational framework keeps a constant eye on maintaining a supportive, safe, and explicitly empathic stance toward the client, even when exploring the transference.
Logotherapy was developed by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. Logotherapy is based on the concept of “will to meaning” versus a will to pleasure or a will to power. Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one’s life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force. A short introduction to this system is given in Frankl’s most famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he outlines how his theories helped him to survive the Holocaust, and how that experience further developed his approach. My work is greatly influenced by Frankl in that the individual’s unique experience and unique connection to their own personal meaning of their experiences must be the basis from which clients make change. I am also highly aware through my years of practice that theories about the correlation between lack of meaning in life and increased depression, anxiety and addictions certainly pans out. These ideas are integrated into my therapy and executive coaching practices.
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Chronic Stress
- Gifted/ Sensitive
- Eating Disorders
- Coming Out
- Religious Crisis
- Mentally ill family
- Family Dysfunction
- Bipolar Spectrum
- Life Transition
- Body Image
- Spiritual Crisis
- Religious Abuse
- Existential Inquiry
- Self Esteem