My Approach: Counseling, Depth Psychology, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Dream Work
There are many types of psychotherapy and counseling, all designed to help people find relief and actualize change. With 25 years of practice in counseling psychology, and advanced training in depth psychology, clinical psychology, and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, I've had time to master a variety of techniques. While my approach is flexible and I use what best meets a person's needs in a given moment, I have come to find the depth and psychoanalytic therapies the most effective for long term, meaningful change, and so they form the central orientation in my work:
The humanistic approach values the uniqueness of each individual.
Its corner stones are compassionate listening, positive regard,
and recognizing the resilience of the human spirit.
This orientation reminds us to pay attention to what is thought,
felt, sensed, and imagined in any given moment. Attention to one's
experience can have a potent impact on self-understanding.
While phenomenology as a field of psychology arises out of the
western philosophical tradition, the clinical practice of paying
attention-of noticing what you notice- is very similar to many forms
of eastern meditation and mindfulness practice.
Developmental, Family Systems, and Object Relations Theories:
Developmental theory helps us understand the general trends in
normal, healthy development and to have compassion for the challenges
created when certain milestones are complicated by early life events.
Object relations theory explores how early ways of relating in
the family become internalized within each person. These early patterns
continue to influence one's understanding of how the world and other
people work. Becoming increasingly aware of how these patterns operate
in current relationships helps to facilitate the process of change.
Family systems theory identifies the way that families and groups
assign roles and functions to particular members, helping us see
what roles we take on at different stages of life and in different
Recognizing how aspects of one's self have been formed by past
experience, shaped by the environment, and may have been necessary
for survival, people gain more freedom and often greater compassion
for one's self. This awareness of how the past influences the present
is often the first step in changing patterns that no longer support
the life one desires today.
Jungian and Archetypal Theory:
The Jungian and Archetypal schools explore the way that images
inform our understanding and experience of ourselves and the world.
This includes a rich tradition of work with dreams. The Jungian
and post-Jungian traditions also value the logic and play of images
in memory, reverie, phantasy, myth and story, in daily events, and
in the media.
The Jungian orientation respects the self-healing capacity of each
individual, noting how this impulse arises spontaneously from the
unconscious for people across time and culture. It understands the
creative process to be a natural part of being human and is sensitive
to creativity as a healing force in periods of illness and psychic
pain, as well as an avenue of self expression.
Art Therapy, Play Therapy and Sand Tray Therapy
Non-verbal modes of self expression can be essential avenues of
accessing one's story and psychological resources. Art therapy,
play therapy and sand tray work all offer non-verbal ways to explore
and express personal experience.