My practice is built on a foundation of strong clinical training, close attention to the therapeutic process, and a creative and practical approach to complex issues. Here you will find information about my background and approach to therapy, as well as the services I offer. Confidential counseling to individuals, couples and families is provided in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere. With sensitivity and compassion, I help clients realize understanding and acceptance with a wide range of life challenges and emotional issues. Since we tend to look inward only when confronted by personal difficulties, it is then that we are given an opportunity to see ourselves most clearly and make meaningful changes in our lives.
I would also like to use the space here to clarify my position in the work we endeavor to do together. I am responsible only for myself and for no one else. I am not taking responsibility for you--you are responsible for yourself. I serve as a catalyst. I believe we speak often in projections, and I'm well enough versed to differentiate when its observation, or whether I have to take a role in someone's life. My function as a therapist is to assist you to the awareness of the here and now, and to frustrate you in any attempt to break out of that. People have to grow by frustration--by skillful frustration. Otherwise you have no incentive to develop your own means and ways of coping with the world. This is my existence as a therapist, in the therapy role. So if you want to improve, awaken, or get an experience that will change your life, that's up to you. I do my thing and you do your thing. Anyone that does not want to take responsibility for this, I am not the therapist for you. Everyone who comes to me, comes out of their own free will. We are all in the process of growing up, and the essence of a grown-up person is to be able to take responsibility for themselves--their thoughts, feelings, etc. Most people who go to a therapist , don't go to be cured, but to be more adequate in their neurosis. When someone is really suffering and is bothered by the emptiness of their existence, with their cooperation we can discover and uncover a lot relatively quickly. So anything can happen. As long as you don't structure it, as long as you work with your intuition, your eyes and ears, then something is bound to happen.
I am not perfect, I'm not omnipotent, I can't produce any magic, so I have my limitations. Apart from this, I am available, and available within these working hours. I am open for work and I especially prefer to work with dreams. In the dream we have a clear existential message of what's missing in our lives, what we avoid doing and living. I use the empty chair often which implements quite a lot of your personality and other intrapersonal encounters. As a therapist my preference is to work with someone who is willing to work with me, someone who is willing to stay in the now and do some work with dreams. Essentially anyone who has a little bit of goodwill will benefit from the simplicity of this approach because we pay attention to the obvious, to the utmost surface.
I have training and experience in using the following types of depth oriented therapy: Gestalt therapy, Psychoanalytic and Emotion Focused Therapy; using an existential philosophy and framework to understand the whole person. The integration of all the above therapies is what makes me who I am as a therapist. I don't subscribe rigidly to any one perspective, but with my intuition and experience intact, to work with whatever emerges in myself and with you in the session.
Additionally I receive ongoing training and consultation in Gestalt therapy and psychoanalytically oriented focus work.
Gestalt therapy is a holistic, experiential and relational way of working with individuals and couples. It is an existential approach, which means that we are not just occupied with dealing with symptoms or character structure, but with the total existence of a person. It’s experiential, which means trying out and experiencing new ways of being. This is about experiencing fully, in the present moment, all that you are. Understanding the internal self is the key to understanding actions, reactions, and behaviors. Gestalt therapy helps people take the first steps into this awareness so that they can acknowledge and accept these patterns. I receive ongoing intensive training in Gestalt therapy.
Psychoanalytic therapy is insight driven and therefore looks to foster change by helping you understand your past and how events from your early life could be affecting you now. Sessions vary according to where you are in the course of therapy, but much of the time is spent talking freely in a safe, non-judgmental environment. This involves looking for patterns or certain events that may hold significance. In this type of therapy it is believed that unconscious feelings and childhood events play a key role in mental distress. This is considered one of the more long-term therapy types. It is a gradual process that takes time, however the results can be life changing.
I frequently use Emotion-Focused individual therapy (EFT) with clients as well. I have completed training in Level One and Two. EFT has been used for the treatment of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and other challenges that are resistant to traditional applications. The delivery of EFT is always achieved through an empathic relationship between the client and therapist and has proven to be as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy or client centered therapy. People who undergo EFT often respond by receiving relief from their symptoms, or an alteration in the symptoms which lead to recovery and healing. This form of therapy is extremely useful for maintaining persistence in the therapy regimen.
My educational background includes a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington and a Bachelor degree in Human Services from Western Washington University.