Areas of Specialty  
 
ANXIETY 
Anxiety can have many forms and varied causes. For example, anxiety can be genetic or the result of traumatic historical events in which anxiety-generating beliefs and world views get passed down through generations. In one era, social avoidance could mean survival. In the next era, the same social avoidance becomes pathological isolation. Alternatively, anxiety can be self-generated by unrealistic expectations of one's self or others.

 There are a number of successful approaches that help with anxiety. Two of the most common are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and insight oriented approaches. CBT are very concrete and practical interventions based on the belief that our thought patterns create our emotions. In this therapy method, changing our negative thought patterns can reduce our negative emotions. I have found that identifying habitual patterns of anxiety-producing thoughts can result in a reduction of anxiety in a relatively short period of time. 
 
Insight oriented work focuses on increasing your understanding of the core issues to your anxiety and developing a recovery plan related to these issues. I find that a combination of CBT and insight therapies work best for most people. Together, we can gain understanding of the sources of your anxiety and develop a practical plan that gets you back on your path of emotional health.  
 

STRESS MANAGEMENT 
You feel stress when the challenges of daily life exceed your ability to cope. Everyone's coping strategies are unique. Sometimes you may suffer from stress yet not be sure what is impacting you so strongly. Stress can stem from a variety of causes such as unrealistic expectations of yourself or others. Also, significant life changes such as loss, divorce, job troubles, relationship problems can reduce emotional and mental functioning. In an attempt to manage stress many people develop unhealthy habits such as over/under eating, sleep problems, substance abuse. Although some of these behaviors may offer short term relief, they may ultimately lead to an increase of stress. 
 
In our work together, our first task will be to identify clearly the origin of stress in your life. We will then identify the unique way you experience your stress in which your thoughts, bodily responses, mood and behavior can all be negatively impacted. We will then develop a stress management plan that works for you. Together we will determine a clear and practical path toward a healthier lifestyle that works for you.. 
 
 
DEPRESSION 
Sadness becomes problematic when low mood and loss of enjoyment continue for weeks, months or longer. The cause of depression can be biological, psychological or social. There may be a genetic component or the depression maybe related to patterns of negative thinking. Interpersonal conflicts and other environmental stressors (job loss, or financial challenges) can also trigger depression. 
 
Our first step together will be to understand your depressive experience. We will examine the history of your mood issues and its impact on your life. We will develop a plan that fits for you. Our most important goal throughout our work together will be your well-being and increased life satisfaction. We will consider various interventions to reduce depression and self-defeating behaviors.  
 
 
RELATIONSHIP ISSUES 
Relationship with others provides the foundation of our sense of self, our health and well being. The health risks of being alone and isolated are comparable to cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. However, relationships are a challenge to develop, nurture and navigate. Troubled relationships are extremely stressful. As we grow up, we learn how to relate with others by trial and error. Trial and error relationships would work if relationships were easy to navigate. But we are human! Our expectations of self and others, as well as, communication styles and emotions usually do not line up sensibly. 
 
My therapeutic style begins with a focus on the strengths within the individuals and the relationship. You each identify what you want from the relationship and we develop goals to help you achieve them. In the process, we clarify individually held values and the values held by the couple together. We identify areas of conflict and create a practical plan for resolution. 
 

DIVORCE COUNSELING 
Although divorce may be the best choice for all involved, it is a huge stressor for all family members. These days more couples are able to end marriages in a respectful manner and in the best interest of all family members. Divorce counseling can be very helpful in navigating this difficult terrain. A skilled therapist can bring a supportive structure for the smoothest transition for all family members. A primary focus in divorce counseling is reduction of parental conflict and maintaining stability for the children. For instance, how can the parent help the child readjust to home life following visitation with the absent parent? A counselor well versed in couple's therapy and child/teen developmental issues increases the possibility of the smoothest transition. 
 
 
TRAUMA RECOVERY 
The results of trauma can be life altering and require professional treatment to regain a sense of safety and control. Trauma can be re-experienced in vivid detail including smells, sensations and sounds. Other times the trauma may re-play like watching a movie in the mind. Many trauma survivors find behavioral patterns in relationships mirror aspects of the trauma for many years. It is helpful to remember that all these reactions to trauma are the normal responses to an abnormal experience. Together we will gain understanding of your unique response to the trauma and clearly identify triggers causing adverse reactions. For many people, making the connection between psychological reactions and the trauma provides a great sense of control and mastery. Skillful psychotherapy can lay the foundation to put concrete and effective coping strategies in place that work for you. You can feel safer, in control of your life and enjoy healthier relationships. 
 

CHILD AND TEEN ISSUES  
Child and teen therapy requires a specialty approach. Children and teens are not simply small adults, but experience the world round them in a different fashion. Their brains are still in development. A child and teen therapist must be able to understand and communicate with children and teens in a manner that makes sense to them. Although parents know their children best, it is the therapist's role to bring strategic interventions to improve the child's functioning. The therapist must have the ability to partner with the parent(s) in developing home interventions and school staff if there are academic issues.  School staff will frequently go the extra mile for the student when a therapist is available to work with them.