I work with individuals, couples, and families with a full range of presenting issues. I have become more and more interested over time in the integration of what we know to be true in our “logical brain” and the strong emotions that so often seem to confuse matters, yet are very much a part of who we are. As highly social creatures, much of what ails us boils down to relationships that disappoint us. Solving this puzzle is what most interests me in working with people on the wide range of problems affecting them.
Having genuine, enduring relationships with our loved ones turns out to be a very significant factor in overall life satisfaction. Discord in our intimate relationships with our partners or other family members can often be what sets us into a tailspin of unproductive behaviors or emotional upheaval.
While I often meet with couples or other family members together, relationship distress can also be the focus of treatment even when others are not present. Some individuals are in distress precisely because of a lack of partnership. Or sometimes a partner or other loved one is unavailable or unwilling to participate in therapy, yet significant improvement can still be achieved.
It is important to acknowledge that sometimes relationships do not thrive or endure as we might have hoped in spite of our best efforts. I also have extensive experience helping individuals and families navigate the challenges of break-ups and divorce.
Here are some of the kinds of cases I work with:
- Relationship issues of all sorts
- Couples in conflict
- Couples recovering from infidelity
- Remarriage and step-family challenges
- Parenting challenging children of any age
- People who can’t find a relationship
- People trying to get out of a bad relationship
- People out of contact with their families
- People without a healthy support network
- People grieving loss
- People recovering from abuse
- People who want to change but are unsure how
I see people with all kinds of presenting problems such as anxiety, depression, trauma, problem behaviors, lack of direction or motivation. The difference is that I tend to look at all of these things through the lens of the relationship system. Thus I will be less focused on the diagnostic label than on how to realign the relational map and strengthen the attachment bonds.
Advanced study and areas of particular expertise
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
EFT is an approach to working with couples that focuses on assisting couples to repair the rupture in the emotional attachment bond between them. This work is based on the clinical research and methodology developed over twenty years by Dr. Susan Johnson.
Learn more about EFT
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a treatment approach developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro to help individuals move past traumatic events in their lives that have been “emotional roadblocks”. Originally used for the desensitization of single incident traumas such as rape and combat trauma, this approach has been advanced over the last twenty years by careful research and experimentation with a broad range of problems.
I have found EMDR to be a very powerful tool in transforming disturbing emotions and repetitive negative thoughts that can be traced to troubling experiences in the past. With the disturbances of the past finally put to rest, people are much more capable of making healthy choices in the present and planning thoughtfully about the future.
Learn more about EMDR
Bowen theory is a family systems theory that provides a road map for understanding multi-generational family systems and the legacy unwittingly passed from one generation to the next. Developed by Dr. Murray Bowen over fifty years ago, this theory looks at families as emotional units in which each individual in the system is constantly impacting and being impacted by the others. This approach acts as a guide as people learn to balance the challenges of claiming an individual identity while staying emotionally connected to others.
Learn more about Bowen theory