When working with relationship issues, I assume that each one of us learned how we relate to others in context of family, friends, community, school, and media. For some people, this work involves exploring our own needs in relationships. For others, the work is focused on communication. And for some people, this work will focus on grieving and healing events that happened in our past.
I was drawn to psychology as a field in order to support diverse LGBTQ clients. I have extensive experience in exploring a range of issues that often emerge for LGBTQ people: coming out, self-acceptance and love, exploring identity, gender dysphoria, transition, and diverse relationship models, to name a few. I love supporting LGBTQ people of any age and set of life experiences as they navigate the world.
While anxiety is such a common experience these days, it's also a major source of stress. When working with anxiety, I typically have two goals: providing skills and exercises to relieve some of the immediate distress and learning to "listen" to anxiety - to discover what it may be telling us about our lives and selves.
Whenever I think about therapy, I want to know about how early experiences show up in your life today. Sometimes this means that we will look at how representations of important figures in your early life show up in your current relationships. Part of our goal will be to provide experiences - both in therapy and in your life outside of therapy - that help you build new models of relating to people that are more in line with your current life goals.
As a relational therapist, what happens between you and me can sometimes replicate other relationships that you have in your life outside of therapy. As we get to know each other, we may look at how we are relating, and if we can find patterns in our relationship that are similar to other important relationships in your life. By looking at those patterns, we can sometimes find parts of you that are looking for some attention or healing.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps us to understand some of the relationships between our thoughts and our actions. As we use this lens in therapy, we'll be exploring some of the underlying assumptions or beliefs that contribute to your thoughts and actions. As we explore, we may find that deeply held beliefs may be out-of-date, unrealistic, and limiting how you're going about your day-to-day life. When we find those beliefs, we can work to explore other ways of thinking and new actions to take.
Anxiety is one of those difficult and powerful issues that comes up - often when it's least convenient. In working with anxiety, I typically have two goals: first, I want you to develop skills for reducing the unpleasant physical sensations and thoughts that often accompany anxiety. I also typically explore whether anxiety is telling you something important about your life or about a current situation.
Both "big event" trauma, like a car accident, death of a loved one, abuse or assault, and more ongoing experiences of invalidation can lead to our thoughts and feelings being stuck. We may even experience the past as if it's happening in the present. EMDR is a way of letting the body, brain, and nervous system re-process memory so that it doesn't take hold of us in the same debilitating ways. I am trained in EMDR, which I often integrate with an approach called "parts work."