I believe in empowering individuals to make the changes they want to see in their lives through a focus on strengths and resilience. I view therapy as a collaborative effort between therapist and client to understand and change what is not working in their life. I specialize in working with individuals who are suffering from depression, anxiety or general feelings of being stuck. I work collaboratively and use techniques that draw from different schools of thought in order to help clients achieve their identified goals. Such techniques draw from art/creative therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, systemic theory and positive psychology.
I use a relational approach in order to gain an understanding of what is not working within the partnership, this includes an exploration of context, culture, and family history . I make space for each partner to feel heard in the room. I specialize in working with couples that have issues with communication, intimacy, infidelity, life events (loss of a job, arrival of a new baby) and those considering whether to end their marriage or partnership. I believe that change can occur with insight and action, therefore I take time to explore and understand what is not working while also taking an active approach by assigning homework. Homework helps strengthen techniques practiced in session and progression toward goals.
I believe that family issues are best addressed with all parties present. It shifts focus from one person and looks at how dynamics and relationships within the family contribute to problems. I work with families collaboratively to create goals that fit everyone’s needs. Family therapy can be effective for blended families (step families) going through the transition of forming new relationships, sibling conflicts, parent child dynamics around role changes, adjustments to life events such as divorce and relocating.
Therapy is space to help children make sense of the many transitions in their lives both positive and negative such as starting school, divorce, loss of loved ones, puberty and relocation. Children tend to have difficulty expressing themselves and haven’t learned self-soothing techniques, self-management and appropriate ways to communicate. I enjoy the process of helping children find healthier ways to say what they need and regulate their emotions through the use of play and art therapy. The use of creative techniques in therapy is a great way for them to learn how to identify, label and communicate how they are feeling. I work with children ages 8 through 18. I believe this is a collaborative process between children, parents and therapist with one of the goals being strengthening the bond between parents and children.
I periodically run women’s groups that explore positive psychology ideas and exercises that women can incorporate into their lives to expand their sense of wellbeing, happiness and connection to themselves and others. If you are interested in participating please give me a call.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective research based form of treatment addressing a range of disorders and symptoms including depression, anxiety and stress. It seeks to understand the connection between our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. How we perceive a situation influences how we feel and in turn impacts our behavior. Sessions focus on identifying specific thoughts and beliefs, labeling your feelings and exploring the reasons for your actions. Homework is given at each session to help strengthen new behaviors and gain insight. I trained at the Beck Institute and have experience using CBT with individuals with depression and anxiety. For more information please visit the Beck Institute website
Positive psychology focuses on positive emotions and strengths and is based on the belief that people desire fulfilling lives in which they are their best self. It uses techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, daily gratitude and strength finding to cultivate confidence and resilience to face life stressors. These techniques are incorporated into each session whether individually, as a couple or family.
Ackerman Relational Approach
The Ackerman Relational Approach is a way of working with families and couples. It is used to identify problematic cycles of interaction that cause issues in communication. This breakdown in communication often causes distance, distrust, anger, anxiety and a lack of clarity in relationships. This approach seeks to understand and change this cycle of interaction through exploring how families impact our ways or relating, our beliefs about ourselves and others and our behaviors. For more information visit: www.ackerman.org.
Depression often feels like a heavy weight that is difficult to carry. It is common to feel a lack of motivation, stuck and uncertain when depressed. Experiencing multiple stressors at once can make these feelings seem more difficult to manage. Having the support of a therapist can help you identify problems that create this weight and how to go about systematically addressing them. Research has shown that action focused therapy such cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective depression treatment.
As a biracial, multicultural clinician of color I am attuned to race, racism and oppression. I understand issues that clients bring to therapy through a social justice lens. For example, I support interracial couples in navigating and understanding how cultural differences, intersectionality and power and privilege impact their dynamic. I also support biracial and multiracial clients in exploring their racial identity development.
Behavioral Issues/Acting Out
I have extensive experience offering therapy to children and teens who exhibit behavioral problems at home and at school. Such issues include difficulty paying attention, listening, and controlling anger. I enjoy the process of helping children and teens find healthier ways to express themselves and regulate their emotions through the use of talk, play and art therapy. Children tend to have difficulty expressing themselves and the use of creative techniques in therapy is a great way for them to learn how to identify, label and communicate how they are feeling.
Ask about Self-Esteem, and Trauma