Starting therapy can feel exciting, hopeful, and challenging. It involves making a commitment to yourself and the things you care about. It is a process of healing and growth that is highly personal to you and your unique needs. The frequency of sessions and length of time in therapy varies from person to person. Many people attend therapy one time per week for a 50-minute session. Others come more often to foster a deeper experience or work on complicated, long standing issues. While some people feel satisfied with six to 12 months of therapy, many attend for longer to get the most benefit out of the healing relationship that is developed between patient and therapist.
In therapy with me, you have a space to express what's on your mind in a much freer way than you are used to in other settings. I listen closely and work with you collaboratively. Our talking will help you notice and process thoughts and feelings that are under the surface of your awareness. You'll become better able to work through emotional difficulties, think creatively, and problem solve. We'll talk about the pressing issues you bring in, and we may consider how past experiences or the environment(s) around you have influenced you in positive as well as complicated or difficult ways. While some of what surfaces in your therapy may feel hard emotionally, you may be surprised to discover that a good deal of what is recognized in therapy are positive and inspiring aspects of yourself and your potential.
Our relationship plays a key role in how your therapy takes shape and benefits you. The connection that we develop is genuine, and yet it doesn't require the same kind of give-and-take that other relationships do. You and I join together to focus on your needs and goals. Nonetheless, the therapy relationship can be similar to other relationships, and to varying degrees, familiar emotional patterns or dynamics you have experienced with others in your life can arise between us. Therapy is a place where you and I can notice and better understand these patterns to further your therapy goals and strengthen our working relationship.
I see a variety of people in my practice with different cultural backgrounds, personal identities, and from different age groups (18 - elder years). As a white, cisgender, able-bodied woman in mid-life, it is my intention to appreciate and value your background and identity, whether very different or similar to some of my own experiences. I welcome questions and discussion about how I will be able to understand your personal and life circumstances, past and present.
My Theoretical Influences
Contemporary psychoanalysis provides the foundation for my clinical work. I am also influenced by relational psychodynamic perspectives; mind/body principles and contemplative practices; cross-cultural and social justice perspectives; and recent findings in neuro-psychology. For issues regarding substance use or addiction, I am influenced by 12-step principles, harm reduction principles, and the Stages of Change model. Most importantly, you have a say in how we work together. Discussing it in your initial appointment is an important part of beginning therapy.