I believe you deserve a personal, human approach to therapy.
My approach varies with each client, because every individual is different. I believe that good therapy involves a good measure of flexibility and creativity to fit your needs.
My goal as your therapist is to make our sessions feel productive and meaningful to you.
My hope is that you will gain deeper awareness of yourself and that this is feels like helpful, working knowledge you can apply in your everyday life.
Beginning therapy, you might be thinking any of the following things:
I am the only one who seems to be having this issue. Everybody else can get it together, except me.
I’m so frustrated. I just don’t see any way out of this mess. I have no idea what to do.
Feeling like this isn’t normal. Something must be wrong with me.
Sure, there are people who say they love me. But if they really knew who I was, they wouldn’t stick around.
No matter what I do, nothing is ever good enough. I keep trying and trying and at the end of the day, feeling just as bad as before.
Any of these sound familiar?
Many of these are things we say to ourselves on a daily basis without a second thought. All of them are painful. Feeling like you’re alone and nobody else gets it is painful. Feeling like you are incompetent and can’t seem to “get it” is painful. Feeling like no matter what you do, nothing changes, is painful.
My approach is first, to help normalize human experience and help bring some context to your issue, because one of the reasons we get stuck is when we feel totally alone and totally broken where we are and we see no other way. Second, we try to address some of the ways you get stuck.
Together, we look at tendencies like people-pleasing, perfectionism, busyness, avoiding, blaming, pretending, masking, criticism, isolation, black/white thinking, self-sabotage, to name a few. We try to understand how your family of origin and your lifestyle might be reinforcing them. We also look at how they might be showing up in the session with me, so you get a “real time” relational experience versus talking strictly about what happens to you outside of sessions.
This work will uncover why negative patterns persist, what hidden needs fuel your tendencies, and how to meet these needs in healthy ways.
Modalities I use and what they mean
Internal Family Systems (or “parts work”) & Inner Child
IFS therapy is built around the notion that our feelings, thoughts, and tendencies all make up “parts” of our identity and they all play different roles in our lives. Problems begin when one part of our identity dominates our life at the expense of others. The point of this therapy is to awaken you to all the different dimensions of who you are, get deeper awareness why you do what you do, and how to shift unhealthy dynamics. Read here if you’re curious to know more about it: How to get to know all (the parts) of you I also incorporate re-parenting/inner child work into some of my work with my clients.
FS therapy is based on the idea that the family is not a group of isolated members, but is one big “emotional unit” shaped by outside and inside forces. When you grow up, you are shaped by the family’s spoken or unspoken rules, expectations, and various anxieties. From the FS lens, we look at family dynamics, who you had to become in your family, what role you embodied in its functioning and how that impacts you today (positive or negative ways). Also a part of this is to examine how past relationship dynamics you learned in your family might be re-creating themselves today.
Somatic & Relational
Both of these therapies I use to help my clients gain awareness of their inner states, build emotional tolerance, as well as to express and verbalize their experiences which helps improve communication skills. These techniques involve “checking in” with yourself, how you experience the moment with me, and what sensations/feelings come up for you as we discuss certain topics. Awareness is gained about your real feelings (here and now) and the emotional barriers that come up that stop you from relating in an authentic, open way.