I offer individual and couples counseling and think of therapy as a means to help you develop a new awareness of yourself and your relationships, and identify how your life experiences have helped to make you who you are. With this awareness, you can identify stuck places and habitual responses that keep you stuck. You can also practice new ways of seeing yourself and of being in the world in alignment with your deepest values and desires.
My work is informed by a range of theories — primarily, Buddhist Psychotherapy, Attachment and Interpersonal Neurobiology, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy — and my approach is tailored to each client’s individual needs. We work together to identify your unique resources and abilities, and draw on these to find solutions for any difficulties you may be experiencing. During the course of your therapy, we may deal with issues from the past or goals for the future, both of which can offer greater insight and open the door to further growth.
My work as a therapist follows these guiding principles:
- On a core level, there is nothing wrong with you.
- You are a beautiful, complex person who has suffered in some way that has caused different parts of you to become dominant while other parts have gone underground. Rediscovering lost parts and bringing parts into balance can make your life richer and more satisfying.
- We all have amazing inner resources and power with which to rebound and to heal.
- We grow and change and heal in relationship.
- Change often entails looking at unpleasant things and facing painful emotions. As your therapist, I am your compassionate and dependable ally in those difficult confrontations.
- Doing the hard work of therapy offers you the deep rewards of greater authenticity and happiness as well as more loving and fulfilling relationships.
Buddhist Psychotherapy is respectful of the various forms of spirituality or religion clients may practice. You needn’t be a Buddhist, “convert” to Buddhism, or even have any interest in Buddhism for Buddhist psychotherapy to help you. More than anything, it describes my mindset when I am working with you.
Buddhism views suffering as an opportunity for growth and change. This approach to psychotherapy understands client struggles as natural human concerns rather than pathologies. Buddhist Psychotherapy considers compassion, mindfulness, release, and acceptance as factors in healthy functioning and clinging, judgment, and avoidance as natural responses that may contribute to psychological dysfunction and suffering.
As a Buddhist psychotherapist, I view my role in accompanying the client toward healing as involving the following:
- To sit with clients in compassion and nonjudgment;
- To encourage mindful awareness;
- To assist clients in noticing where they are stuck, how clinging and judgment hold them there, and how release and compassion feel by comparison;
- To provide a space to explore interpersonal relationship and clients’ responses to it, and to develop new ways of being in relationship.
Attachment & Interpersonal Neurobiology
Research has shown that we have a biological need for love, warmth, and caring from another individual. When our caregivers or adult partners are not able to reliably provide those things, we develop certain strategies and beliefs that help us survive the inadequate relationship, but can inhibit our ability to function comfortably in later relationships. Fortunately, neurobiological research also proves that how we perceive ourselves and others can be reshaped in the context of a caring and supportive relationship. Given the safe space to express ourselves and test our assumptions, we are afforded the opportunity to understand our stories and our selves in liberating new ways.
This approach helps clients identify the attachment needs underlying their behavioral patterns and relationship conflicts or concerns, which enables a shift away from criticism and blame toward greater understanding and intimacy.
Despite the widely held belief in a mind-body split, our minds and bodies are pieces of an integrated system. Old patterns of emotional response are encoded and enacted in the body just as they are in the brain. Grounded in neurobiological research, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy uses the body’s natural movement and desire for movement to resolve trauma as well as relational and developmental issues. Repeated new movements help rewire the brain so the individual no longer moves automatically into default responses that became wired in during traumatic experiences, relational failures, or difficult developmental stages.
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy includes mindfulness techniques and attention to movement and bodily responses. It is a gentle yet powerful method that provides lasting results. I have completed Level II training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.