Although my treatment approach is highly skills-based and action-oriented, I still believe that relationship comes first. I have found that it is near-impossible to enact change without a solid therapeutic relationship. After all, you have to trust the person who is going to walk alongside you. So, I work hard from our initial contact – whether that is by email or phone – to establish a connection. Even if my caseload is full, I make an effort to return all messages because I believe that if you made the courageous move to reach out for help, it’s the least I can do to respond to your inquiry.
Our first 1-4 sessions will be an intake where I will get a sense of your current situation and symptoms, as well as your history. I spend time after these sessions contemplating your story and completing a full diagnostic write-up. I take these initial sessions very seriously, as I believe that the correct diagnosis and a strategic and well-envisioned treatment plan are crucial to your success. It is sometimes the case that a client’s therapeutic needs exceed what I am able to provide on an outpatient basis. If this is determined, I make referrals to appropriate providers and programs.
My therapeutic approaches are a mix of relationship-building techniques combined with action-oriented, evidence-based techniques. I believe that relief from suffering can come quickly, that therapy does not have to take years to take effect, and I work hard in and out of our sessions to support you in using frontline, evidence-based therapeutic approaches.
Therapy with me can sometimes feel like a class – you will be learning a lot, taking notes, and assigned homework between sessions. The clients who benefit most from treatment also do work outside the sessions. You can expect me to be talking and coaching a lot more than therapists you’ve seen in movies or, perhaps, met with previously. My therapeutic style is highly-interactive.
I operate under the premise that it is my job to get myself out of job; I educate my clients so they understand their symptoms, can interpret clinical jargon, and can advocate for themselves in a complex mental health system. I coach my clients to become their own best resource and to learn to use skills independently so they have the confidence to go out into the world with less symptoms, more tools. Most clients see me weekly for the first couple months and then scale back to biweekly, then monthly. After we see good symptom reduction, clients take a break from therapy to try using skills on their own. Often, clients return for “booster” sessions to refresh on skills without returning to weekly therapy. Clients who have completed treatment are always welcome back for periodic check-ins without any commitment to return for ongoing therapy.
Humor is often a feature of working with me – when appropriate, humor can sometimes be one of the best ways to combat anxiety and depression; it is also a necessary component of building and maintaining a relationship. When appropriate, I might also use creative techniques such as expressive arts therapies, sand tray, or visual art prompts to aid in the therapeutic process. Clients have described my style as warm, personable, directive, flexible, relaxed, transparent, and clear.
Above all, I strive to stay up-to-date on the latest, scientifically-proven techniques to help alleviate your symptoms. I am always learning right alongside you.