My practice focuses on anxiety, shame, depression, trauma, and personality structures, and their impact on your life and relationships. A lot of therapy is about taking fear out of living your life. It disentangles present life from outdated way of relating with other people and yourself. It can provide more choices and greater capacity to explore, feel, engage, and create.
Relational therapy is a psychodynamic approach using the real-time relationship between you and me to understand and dismantle dysfunctional patterns, especially those related to how we perceive and understand self and other.
Somatic therapies use the body as a source of non-verbal communication, in which the nervous system has stored many of our unconscious patterns, to release these patterns and to self-regulate.
My work is relational and somatic.
Therapy is not about fixing anything. It's about living less fearfully, and relaxing old patterns of thinking and of relating that undermine resilience, creativity, and openness to deeper and more trusting relationships. You can find more information on therapy and my practice on this page and elsewhere on this site.
This can be a challenging process. But it's worth it, because you discover what it's like to be at home and secure in yourself and with other people. Please check the FAQ page or Contact link for information on sessions, fees, and availability.
Areas of focus
I work with adults and teens
of all genders, sexual orientations,
racial or ethnic identities,
online or in person,
Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and the experiences of shame and inhibition
Relationship counseling at all stages and in whichever form your relationship is taking
Therapy for PTSD, complex PTSD, and developmental trauma
Attachment disturbance and personality organization (NPD, BPD, ASPD)-see below*
Mindfulness and the relationship between Buddhist practices and therapy
Therapy for adoptees and adoption-related issues
Counseling for life transitions, including grief and loss
Therapy for anger issues and depression
Mindfulness practices for anxiety and developmental trauma
Mediation services for relationship conflict
A bit on my philosophy
First about where I come from philosophically: My understanding of therapy relates directly to understanding our internal and interpersonal lives as dynamic and a mixture of managing our internal, subjective experience, emotions, sensations, thoughts, and beliefs, and the communication of these internal experiences to others. This is a complex process that we learn how to do from others and with others. Our personalities and ways of understanding ourselves are fundamentally relational. And addressing change will also be relational.
This philosophy comes from various sources. I have an extensive background in mindfulness and academic training in evidence-based psychodynamic therapies, mentalization based therapy, somatic therapy for PTSD and developmental trauma, emotion focused therapies, attachment-oriented approaches, anger management, and the relationship between Buddhist practice and psychotherapy. I have a particular interest in attachment disturbances, trauma, social anxiety, shame issues, and personality disorders. *I have been trained in Mentalization Based Treatment of personality disorders from the Anna Freud Centre in London. You can read more about my background as an academic, psychotherapist, Buddhist practitioner, attorney, musician, among other things here.
Moving on to my philosophical assumptions underlying therapy, I believe there is no part of any person that is unacceptable or needs to be hidden. The task of therapy is to help clients accept and integrate disowned parts that otherwise can do harm to themselves and others. These disowned parts show up in a variety of ways, from shame and anxiety, to the fear of intimacy and anger, among others. Once these parts are integrated, it becomes natural to live more honestly and authentically.
Psychotherapy supports a clearer and stronger sense of who you are and what keeps you from being more confident and comfortable with yourself and in intimate relationships. It means gaining real insight into your values and what is limiting your ability to live openly and honestly according to those values.
Many people have a past that includes trauma, grief, addiction, and anxiety. This includes collective and intergenerational experiences of social crisis, systemic violence and marginalization that all of us are part of. Most of us also struggle to understand what it means and feels like to be authentic and engaged in the life that includes all this. I work with clients to uncover meaningfulness, security, and sense of self that is inherent in them but that is tangled up with, and concealed under archaic structures of their psychology that are real but no longer serving them.
In short, therapy primarily supports you in fully accepting who you are as a relational being. That may sounds simplistic in theory. In practice, however, when you stop being in conflict with yourself or being afraid of your inner life, growth and creativity develop quite naturally on their own.
The therapies and theories that support the work have been shown clinically to heal trauma and generally make us more at ease, feel more real, resilient, and happier in life regardless of external conditions.