I help stressed-out individuals and couples heal their relationships and break free from old patterns that prevent them from thriving.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Marina del Rey, CA
Ahhh....Adulting. Are you struggling to figure out your direction as an adult after years of knowing exactly what you "should" be doing? The rules for Adulting seem to be hidden away somewhere that no one knows! You thought it would be exciting, and it can be, but you had no idea how lonely and confused you would feel. As crazy as it sounds, this can be a wonderful time to learn more about yourself– what makes you tick, what do you really want for your life, and where are you stuck? Life these days moves at the speed of light. Life transitions seem to come a lot more frequently than they used to, and they can hit us by surprise. We go through life transitions after getting into long-term committed relationships, after having kids, raising teenagers (don't get me started!), and again when the kids leave home (or mostly leave...). These are all terrific times for personal growth! We can sort through the crazy feelings ("I love it–I hate it!") and find a path to growth and joy.
Many clients come to me when their relationship is stuck, unsatisfactory, or just downright miserable. Often they ask,"Can I work on my relationship if my partner won't come in?" The answer is Yes! You can learn about your own unhealthy relationship patterns and change how you interact– your partner will have to adapt one way or another. The dynamic will not stay the same. Or maybe you are trying to decide whether to get out of a relationship, or how to get over one that just ended. If your partner wants to come in too, that's great! Couples therapy can be a great way not only to improve your relationship, but to grow as a person. I have specific training in relationship therapy, and I have techniques that I can teach you either as a couple or as an individual that will help you improve your relationships, as well as how you feel about yourself. Relationship therapy is all about growing as a person, so that you are available to have a relationship that rocks your life!
Most people who struggle with anxiety have tried a variety of techniques like meditation and deep breathing to help calm down when they feel their feelings start to escalate. These are great techniques, but when they don't work, you can feel like you are left with no tools to deal with the panic, and it can be quickly overwhelming. I work with my clients to learn how to manage the anxiety when the usual tools aren't enough. We address the common "meta-anxiety" that goes hand-in-hand with the feelings of panic and overwhelm- the anxiety about the anxiety. You know what I mean– that voice that says, "what if I make a fool of myself", or "what if my anxiety gets worse and worse until I can't think about anything else?" Some anxiety is situational– health. family, and work issues, or even the state of the planet. And it's pretty common to just feel overwhelmed with your complicated life. You can learn to manage your anxiety about these things too.
I am trained in CBT, with a certificate from the Institute for Advancement in Human Behavior. I integrate many CBT techniques into my work on a regular basis, whether I use it as a way to help you reframe things that happen to you so that you can feel better about them and let go of the negative feelings, or whether I give you some worksheets to take home and work on in between sessions. CBT is an evidence-based therapy that has many different techniques under it's umbrella. I can give you these tools and skills to change your thinking (cognitive), change what you do (behavior) and change your feelings (my favorite part!)
I have an attachment-based way of working. This means that I believe that most of the unhelpful patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving that we have, began when we were very young. We developed these ways of being in order to cope with whatever we perceived as difficult in our young lives, and it worked! But now we are adults and the old ways have kept us stuck in our relationships and our feelings. We work in therapy to unpack those old ideas and feelings, and find ways to change them so that they work for you in your life the way it is today.
I have training in EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and in The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy developed by Ellyn Bader, PhD and Pete Pearson, PhD. I am part of a consultation group of couples therapists who provide ideas and support, so that I can get feedback and information to be able to bring you the expertise of many other therapists when I am working with you!
I have training in Attachment-Focused EMDR, which addresses the things that happened to you when you were younger, that shaped who you are today. Sometimes these experiences are obvious, and sometimes they are more hidden. Did you get the message when you were a child that you needed to be perfect? That you were responsible for keeping everyone happy? That you were not important and should keep quiet and out of sight? AF-EMDR addresses these issues and frees you from their insidious message.