I prefer a somewhat structured approach. Our first session is an “intake.” Some clients have a strong feeling about “the problem” when entering therapy, while others do not. If you know what you need, I’ll listen and ask questions. If you don’t know what you need, I’ll ask questions and listen. Either way, the intake is the time we talk over what is going on and how it is impacting your life. The “take-away” from the first session is an agreement on what the problem is, and what caused it.

The second session is goal setting and developing a treatment plan. What do you want to work on, exactly? What sorts of changes need to take place in your life for things to be better than they are? How long will it take to make those changes? How will we know that the changes are in place, and will last?

These early sessions form the basis for our work together. Our journey begins.

“The only people we can think of as normal are those we don’t yet know very well.”

– Alain de Botton

Clinical Approach

My approach is humanistic and founded in attachment theory. Whether doing work with couples or with individuals, I prefer evidence based, proven techniques. I collaborate with clients to set goals for themselves in therapy so that we can measure our progress and make adjustments to our work when needed.

I often integrate aspects of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as it has been shown to be an effective short term therapy. For clients that have not gotten the results they want with CBT, I often transition to mindfulness. Mindfulness offers a method for improved self-awareness, and  provides a path to better self-regulation. With greater self-awareness, it becomes possible to do the work necessary to address deeply rooted problems.

Although there are many clinical aspects to how I work, the most important things I provide are a listening mind, relentless curiosity, deep caring and respect, and a willingness to be my authentic self.

“Hands down, awareness is the critical currency for changing any behavior, in any direction.”

– Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

One More Thing

I am not a potted plant.

Image credit: Annie Spratt

Everything I’ve written on this page is true, and should count towards whether you think I’m the right therapist for you. But, there is one more thing, and it is intangible: the “fit” of the therapist with the client. Studies show that the single greatest determinant of a successful therapy outcome is the clinical relationship.

Most clients have told me they appreciate my direct style of communicating, but some are less comfortable with it. Yes, therapy should be a “safe place” for you to say whatever you need to say, but as the lawyer once said to Congress, “I am not a potted plant.” Here are some soliloquies I’m likely to interrupt:

  • Avoiding important topics
  • Talking like the reason for coming to therapy isn’t really a problem
  • Saying one thing and doing another
  • Not taking responsibility
  • Endless “what if” scenarios (It’s your anxiety talking. I’d like to hear from you.)
  • Never staying with a topic long enough to understand it and make changes

Therapy is an investment of your time and money; I believe the value comes from changes you make that improve your life. If something needs to be said, I’ll say it… probably sooner, rather than later.

Is therapy confidential?

As a general rule, all therapy sessions are confidential and anything you discuss with your therapist will remain between the two of you, unless you request otherwise. This is as per protection rules by law, which all therapists legally need to follow, and no information from the session can be disclosed without prior written consent from the client.

There are exceptions to this law however, and the therapist can disclose information from the session to legal authorities or appointed persons if any of the following are true:

  • The therapist suspects abuse to a child, dependent adult, or an elder, or are made aware of domestic abuse. These situations all require the therapist to notify law authorities immediately.
  • If the therapist suspects an individual has caused, or is threatening to cause severe bodily harm to another person, therapists are required to report it to the police.
  • If an individual intends to harm himself or herself, expressing to the therapist for example, plans for suicide. While the therapist will attempt to work through this in the therapy session, if it appears to be unresolved or the client does not cooperate, additional action may need to be taken to ensure the safety of the client.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education & Credentials:

  • License #: 105978
  • License State: California
  • Practicing Since: 2013
  • Education: I completed my undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley. My Masters degree in Counseling and Marriage and Family therapy is from the University of Phoenix.