Services Provided

Individual Psychotherapy and Counseling

Therapy is a collaborative process, one in which you and I jointly are curious about and engaged in exploring your self. This will be the essence of our work together. After we are clear on your goals, we start the therapeutic process by creating safety, both a felt sense of a safe environment and a safe, supportive, non- judgmental relationship. I will listen deeply and carefully to you as we explore your history. I will be your guide, helping you to explore the expression of your emotional feelings, your thoughts and the images of your mind, and to learn to trust your inner felt experience. It is my job to stay well- attuned to your moods and physical sensations. We will learn how your past impacts the present and to see recurring themes and patterns in your life. We will explore our relationship with each other. We will first explore your strengths and resources, before we move into the more challenging aspects of your life. You will gain new cognitive, emotional, and body -based information about yourself and about your relations with others. I will always remain curious about who you are and what you need. You, in turn, will learn new skills, let go of old pain, and develop new ways of processing information and behaving so that growth continues outside of our sessions. In the language of neuroscience, our psychotherapy will enhance the growth and integration of the neural networks in your brain.

You will find I weave together a variety of therapeutic approaches. I am a humanistic, psychodynamically-oriented therapist, but I primarily practice an interpersonal neurobiological or psychobiological approach, incorporating neuroscience, attachment theory, and the science of biological arousal and regulation. This means I may weave into our therapy fabric ego-state therapy, self-psychology, somatic psychotherapy, feminist therapy, and brain-based therapies like EMDR and Brain-Spotting. We may engage in Mindfulness practices. While each of these approaches has a somewhat different theoretical basis, all focus on helping you achieve a sense of authenticity and uniqueness. During the course of our work together, I hope you will develop fully or partially:

  • a sense of your vital self and your personal empowerment
  • a full range of interpersonal and life skills
  • a feeling of connection in relationships
  • an awareness of your choices and options in life
  • an expanded consciousness of and compassion for yourself and others
  • a change in your presenting symptoms
Trauma Recovery Psychotherapy

Trauma is defined as exposure to a life-threatening experience. While we normally think of events such as war, natural disasters, sexual assault, severe accidents as traumatic events, these types of "shock" trauma are only part of the picture . Children who were exposed to abusive or harsh treatment or were neglected by parents or caregivers often display the same symptoms as adults exposed to shock trauma. Research has also taught us that the cumulative effects of chronic misattunement between parent and child, immoderate shaming, and repeated episodes of prolonged dysregulation in the nervous system in the frist two years of life also results in many of these traumatic stress symptoms:
  • high levels of arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, including feeling highly anxious or terrified
  • being hypervigilant and hyper-focused on possible danger
  • episodes (often prolonged) of shutting down, numbing, not feeling
  • feelings of helplessness and overwhelm, often coupled with anger, depression, and shame
  • intrusive thoughts or flashbacks
  • memory problems
  • avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event
  • inability to connect fully with other human beings and subsequent relationship difficulties
With both developmental or relational trauma and shock trauma, we lose our sense of self and continue to live our lives as if the trauma were still ongoing. When people are traumatized, their brains, minds, and bodies are stuck in disorganized sensations, emotions, and action patterns that form the core imprint of trauma.

Effective treatment for trauma needs to integrate the sensations, emotions, beliefs, and body-based actions that have become stuck or fixed in the brain, mind, and body. Effective therapy helps people regain their sense of self, or what psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk calls "self-leadership" or "establishing ownership of your body and your mind....feeling free to know what you know and feel what you feel without becoming overwhelmed, ashamed, enraged, or collapsed." We know from years of experience that traditional, insight-oriented "talk-therapy" is not enough to heal trauma. In addition, retelling the story of the trauma often re-traumatizes us. This is why I practice newer psychotherapies intended to teach the nervous system to regulate itself, allow the body to discharge stored energy and process emotional feelings, and rewire the brain to let go of the past, building new neural networks. These therapies allow people to process information with minimal talk about their experience. These therapies are:
  • Somatic Transformation: a "bottoms-up" neurobiogical therapy which focuses on restoring regulation of intense affect and restoring the sense of aliveness in the self ( see Somatic Transformation )
  • EMDR: an eight-phase, "top-down" approach which allows people access to loosely associated memories and images from the past, to desensitize the triggers from the past, and then process or experience these memories in a new way (see EMDR )
  • Lifespan Integration: a combination of ego-state therapy and narrative therapy, LI is a gentle approach to healing trauma, particularly for those abused or neglected as children (see Lifespan Integration )
Each of these therapies are somewhat different, but all will allow you to:
  • find a way to feel calm and focused
  • maintain that calm in response to images, thoughts, sounds, or physical sensations that remind you of the past
  • find a way to feel fully alive in the present and connected with the people around you

Couples and Relationship Counseling

My goal is to help couples identify and change the internal and behavioral patterns that are obstacles to joy and intimacy in their relationship. Again, I utilize an interpersonal neurobiological approach, incorporating neuroscience, attachment theory, and the science of emotional and biological arousal and regulation. At the same time, I am continuing to weave in Family of Origin and Family Systems therapies. During a session, we will often focus on the moment-to-moment shifts in your face, voice, and body, particularly as you are in relationship to each other. I will ask you to become very self aware and also aware of the shifts in your partner as we discuss the strengths and challenges of your relationship. As in individual work, we will first focus on enhancing the strengths in your relationship before processing the challenges. We will explore your history as a couple as well as the attachment styles in each of your families of origin. Over time, we expect that you will create a more secure and positive relationship . Couples sessions are longer than individual sessions and, as such, may not be charged to your health insurance plan.

Career Counseling

I provide career coaching and counseling to individuals. Career counseling is different from psychotherapy and is not allowed to be charged to your health insurance. If you are interested in career counseling, I ask that you visit me on my coaching website,

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