Tell me your target and I'll shine a light on how you relate to the obstacles.
Counseling for Individuals
Trusting in each individual’s innate desire for growth, I view the work of therapy as identifying and unlocking internal barriers to enable movement, risk taking, and growth in one’s life. Nature shows us through myriad examples that life has an impulse to grow and flourish. This form of intelligence, if you will, is present in humans. Often times with the challenges and demands of life we end up getting in our own way. The disturbed elements of our life are not an entirely isolated malady. They may be signs of disconnection and imbalance with the lusty, vital forces of health, meaning, reason, and individuation. Recognizing that an individual is a "person-in-context" encourages clients to self-identify the unique forces and universal experiences of their context that they are interested in examining and addressing. Developing and nurturing a skillful attitude and outlook to best engage with the process of life is what makes one a satisfied human.
Good psychotherapy has been described as a balance between science and art. Too much science, and the process becomes dull, sterile and clinical. Too much art and the process becomes ungrounded -- what some might call "flakey."
I start with a client-centered approach. I believe that at the core of any effective therapeutic intervention must be a sense of trust and mutual respect. For some clients, this trust comes easy. For others, it takes time to cultivate. What emerges from the early stages of therapy is each client’s unique set of needs.
Once therapeutic goals are understood and agreed upon, I typically employ a variety of therapeutic interventions, depending on a client’s needs at any given moment. A narrative approach is helpful for developing autonomy and looking forward. A psychodynamic approach is useful when a client would benefit from understanding conflicting or confusing inner forces. A cognitive approach can help clients understand unskillful beliefs and thought patterns. Experiential approaches provoke emotion- a crucial factor required for inducing new neural pathways and attaining "felt" change as well as cultivating motivation. A solutions-oriented approach can help clients sort out practical answers to concrete problems.
I have post graduate training in the Hakomi Method of psychotherapy. A mindful and experiential method of psychotherapy that includes a focus of awareness on the body (sensorimotor) as well as our mind (emotions and cognitions) and values the art of tracking and attunement by the therapist. Having found the Hakomi Method to be elegant and efficacious I have much appreciation for it. If there is any one therapeutic approach I lean most heavily on this would be it.
I have found that no one therapeutic approach works with any client 100% of the time. Choosing what approach to use, and when, is part of the art of psychotherapy. I strive to provide an individually tailored and collaborative approach that is unique to each person. Thus the way I work is necessarily flexible so that it is customized to you. In doing so I draw from an array of styles and techniques to incorporate what is most helpful for each individual. It's wiser to pull from all of the field's clinical knowledge than be an ideologue and devotee of one particular practice. My intention for each session is to provide the experience that you need or seek.
I have a Masters in Social Work and completed the post graduate supervision training (2000 hours) and testing to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I am licensed in the state of Maine (LC 15342) and Oregon (4850). I have thousands of hours counseling adults of all ages and backgrounds. I have provided psychotherapy in counseling centers, medical clinics, hospitals, prisons and in my private practice for seven years. I have significant counseling experience helping people with relationship discord, intimacy, anxiety, grief, a history of trauma and sexual abuse, depression, crisis, substance abuse, life transitions, and gender issues. While this may seem like a varied list most problems fit into three categories: distress, difficulty with change, and difficulty with things as they are. Thus my work with individuals is about relieving distress, helping them get unstuck, and cultivating acceptance of that which they can not change.