Areas of expertise
Trauma & post-traumatic stress disorder
Experiencing major traumatic events can be deeply wounding, create overwhelming stress, and change one's worldview. For many, traumatic events are re-experienced through intrusive thoughts, images, or nightmares; lead to emotional changes like chronic guilt, shame, anger, depression, or numbness; make it difficult to relax or get restful sleep; and limit full participation and enjoyment in life. I provide two front-line approaches for PTSD: cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure therapy (PE). Both of these approaches have substantial research demonstrating that they can reduce these painful symptoms in a relatively short period of time. Many people have lived with the effects of trauma for years. No matter how long it's been, it isn't too late for trauma-focused therapy to help heal and reclaim the areas of life that have been impacted.
Depression is often recognized by feeling down or irritable, having difficulty completing daily tasks, a low sense of self-worth or pessimism, or feeling little enjoyment in life. Like other mental health problems, depression shows up differently from person to person and exists on a continuum. While for some it is disabling, for others it creates a sub-optimal quality of life that one may have learned to cope with and mask from others or even themselves. In many cases, depression is a signal of another ongoing issue.
Several psychotherapies for depression have significant evidence behind them, and my approach varies depending on assessment. Most commonly, it involves providing support and structure to move towards a life that better reflects your true values; identifying and addressing deeply-held beliefs about yourself, others, and the world; and gaining insight to unprocessed grief, trauma, or unmet needs.
Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias, are characterized by persistent fear of certain objects, events or situations. Avoidance is an understandable and natural reaction to fear. However, avoidance can limit one's life, and it only worsens fear and anxiety in the long run.
I primarily offer exposure therapy for anxiety disorders, which is by far the most effective intervention. In exposure therapy we disrupt the fear-avoidance cycle by replacing avoidance with approach. This challenging work is done in a manner and pace that is compassionate and collaborative. We will focus on building belief in your ability to withstand fear, and on restoring free and full living where it has held you back.
I offer Psychobiological Approach for Couples Therapy (PACT). PACT is an approach based in attachment theory, neuroscience, and regulation of emotional arousal. You can read more about it here.
Significant relationships with others, whether romantic, family, or friendly, are fundamental to our identity as human beings. They can bring us to the highest highs and the lowest lows. For this reason, unsatisfying or distressing experiences in relationships is one of the most common reasons for seeking therapy. Finding that negative experiences are repeating, a certain conflict seems unsolvable, and rethinking boundaries are among some common concerns.
I primarily use a psychodynamic approach informed by attachment theory for relational work. We will take a close look at the problem, get clear about what hurts and what is maintaining it, consider the influence of former relationship experiences, and experiment to find a new way.