MY APPROACH TO HELPING
I have a warm and relational approach that is grounded in mindfulness and acceptance. I see therapy as a place to explore the personal meanings of your experience, to broaden your perspective, to open up the heart, and to take steps for real change in your life. With this in mind, I partner with my clients to create a relationship that is both supportive and challenging.
My practice is based in the humanistic and person-centered tradition of psychotherapy. This means that my focus is on your personal growth and development as an individual, not on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health symptoms. I see my role primarily as creating a safe, caring, and nonjudgmental atmosphere for you to get in touch with the various parts and layers of who you are, and to express yourself with honesty and genuineness. I will express myself with honesty and genuineness too. My goal is to help you get to know yourself better from the inside-out and build on your inner resources.
From that foundation, I practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This is an empirically supported behavioral intervention that integrates Western psychotherapy techniques with Eastern psychological strategies such as mindfulness meditation. The basic idea is to foster flexibility and personal growth through (1) mindful contact with your experience in the here-and-now, (2) letting go of the struggle to change or control your emotions, and (3) clarifying and acting on what really matters in your life.
This therapy is both contemplative and active. Overall, my approach tends to be fairly unstructured, putting you in the driver seat for your own self-exploration. Sessions consist primarily of talking, but they might include exercises that involve meditation, light movement and stretching, visualization, and roleplaying. I also include a lot of exposure, which means that we’ll be looking for situations in your life that evoke difficult feelings and behavioral responses that move you away from the life you want to be living. We’ll experiment with new ways of relating and responding to these situations, both in the therapy room and outside in your life.
I try to offer a holistic experience that supports your personal and spiritual development as an individual. Along the way, I’ll teach mindfulness and behavior analysis skills that will help you “be your own therapist” between sessions and after we’ve ended our work together. Some of my other influences include: Buddhist Psychology, Gestalt Therapy, Existential Phenomenology, Taoist and Nondual Philosophy, Non-Violent Communication, Minority Stress Theory, Mindful Self-Compassion, and Ecopsychology.