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How Therapy Works

There is nothing more satisfying than receiving a phone call from a client months after our work has concluded and hearing them say "Guess what? I'm happy! We made it better."

Psychotherapy conversations focus exclusively on assisting you to reach your goals. Some of the most frequent reasons for seeking therapy include anxiety, stress, or mood difficulties.  Clients come to talk about work or relationship issues.  Life transitions, such as marriage, starting a family, changing careers or caring for family members with chronic illness may prompt a consultation with a psychologist.  Issues such as trauma, self esteem, anger or addiction often improve rapidly in the process of talking with a competent, effective therapist.

Your Job

Some clients come to sessions with a​ specific idea of what they'd like to focus on.  Some bring lists.  Others have a pressing matter that needs attention.  I find the most valuable sessions occur when you simply talk about whatever is on your mind.  

The most important concerns surface when you are ready.  

I ask that you keep an open mind, and consider alternative perspectives that we may discover.  I encourage you to become curious about yourself, your thoughts, and interactions with others.  It is often helpful to explore family of origin and early life experiences to learn more about what contributes to who you are now.  I understand that it can be difficult to bring up certain topics and there may be things that you are hesitant to discuss.  When you are ready, you will be able to talk about whatever is most important with confidence.  I encourage you to develop an attitude of compassionate understanding for yourself. Self discovery is both exciting and hard work.  You may want to strengthen your self-care practices while we are on this journey, nurturing yourself with healthy food, exercise, sleep, social relationships and laughter.  It may be useful to implement relaxation practices that increase a sense of calm and well being.  If I suggest a learning activity, such as a video or book or a new experience, it is not an 'assignment'.  Rather it is an opportunity for you to learn something new. The material will be related to our work and can often accelerate our progress in therapy. 

My Job

I listen.  I want to hear your story. ​I strive to be fully present with you as you describe thoughts, reactions, feelings and experiences. I will help you identify your unique strengths and style of interacting with people and ideas.  I assess your change style and how you learn best.  I consider integrating classic methods of therapy and the latest discoveries in psychology and will offer suggestions for experiences you might try.  I listen to your feedback about what works for you and what doesn't.  

When you join my practice, I become available to you as needed.  The fee for service covers the cost of sessions and support anytime between sessions.  If something comes up that you think might move our work forward, or if you need support or even if you just find a funny meme you'd like to share you are encouraged to text/email/call. Clients frequently will send me a link to a podcast/video/article that they have enjoyed and is relevant to psychology.  If I run across something I think may be useful or relevant to you, I will send you a link. Our collaboration is a terrific source of learning!

I utilize a multi-dimensional approach in treatment.  At times, there may be a role for adjunct therapies such as yoga or physical workouts, mindfulness, nutrition, massage, or acupuncture.  I may suggest books, podcasts or youtube videos.  Sometimes medication is appropriate and I have a network of medical doctors and nurse practitioners that I refer to for pharmacology consultation.  Relaxation training or hypnosis is sometimes useful.  We can use cognitive approaches to therapy and within sessions I will often suggest a different perspective, different thought that might produce relief from distress or reframing a problem so that challenges are viewed a opportunities.  Traditional psychodynamic approaches to therapy seek to discover what thoughts and behaviors might originate i previous experiences or relationships and influence current behaviors. When we make the unconscious conscious, it no longer has power. We become free to live in a more productive way.  On occasion 12 step methods can be helpful with addictive behaviors.  Sometimes pet therapy is useful.  Several video games aimed at alleviating target symptoms are an emerging treatment method.  Our individualized work is tailored to your needs and style.  Most people feel better knowing they have an advocate that is dedicated to helping them resolve problems and live more authentically.

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