Mood problems, stress, personal losses, conflicts, unforeseen challenges as well as maladaptive behaviors affect millions of us each year to cause enormous distress and suffering, as well as disruptions in social functioning, relationships, career and family life. I offer a safe, confidential and compassionate place to seek resolution and happiness for the problems you face:
- Depression; loss of interest; feeling inadequate, lost and directionless; low self-esteem; despair, hopeless and helpless; guilt and shame.
- Anxiety, stress, phobias, OCD, sleep disturbances and eating disruption.
- Drug and alcohol dependency.
- Difficulties and boundary issues in inter-personal relationships.
- Irritability, anger, hostility, aggression.
- Confusion over life, marriage, school or career directions.
- Grief, bereavement and aloneness.
- Mid-life and empty nest issues.
- Physical complaints, including fatigue, headaches, abdominal discomfort, muscle aches.
My clinical training, experience and the scientific literature show me three treatment approaches that work. First, to directly address and solve the problems that cause stress and unhappiness. We’ll do this through understanding your pressures and goals in order to develop rational ways to cope and respond. Second, to mindfully change how we interpret and react to our situation to lessen the impact of our challenges through acceptance. Third, use targeted cognitive restructuring, psychoeducation and emotion regulation approaches (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) to generate healthy behavioral alternatives and strengthen long-term resiliency.
Unhappiness, Despair and Low Self-Esteem
Depression and feelings of hopelessness are treatable through behavioral, cognitive and mindfulness approaches as alternatives to, or augmentations of, medications. My empathetic approach involves identifying and expressing your underlying emotions, changing perspectives, and helping you acquire crucial emotion regulation skills along with behavior modifications. Each integrated component is individually tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Anxiety and Stress
Perhaps because stress, worry and anxiety are so common in our lives, clients can mistakenly believe, “It’s normal - I’ll just have to live with it.” Fortunately, that isn't true! I employ evidence-based therapies that work to specifically address chronic worry, panic attacks, PTSD-related symptoms and social phobia through mindfulness, distress management and cognitive restructuring approaches that are derived from Dialectical Behavior Therapy techniques. My goal is not only to alleviate the reasons that bring you to therapy, but empower you with healthy coping skills for future challenges.
Maladaptive coping behaviors
Many clients arrive at therapy because of problematic or dysfunctional coping mechanisms: poor eating habits; drug abuse, drinking or smoking; social isolation or unhealthy relationships; shopping and other obsessive-compulsive behaviors. As well as treating these maladaptive behaviors, we will also explore, treat and resolve their underlying causes, including trauma, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, dependency, guilt and shame.
Repeated Irritability and Anger Problems
I have found that many anger-related problems reflect unresolved underlying issues, such as trauma, disappointments, sadness and guilt. So, not only do I focus on effective anger regulation techniques, I also address and resolve the causative issues and problems.
Interpersonal Relationship Disruptions
Unhealthy relationships, frequent and repeated arguments, marital conflicts, loss of friendships or frequent clashes with strangers can also be symptomatic of unresolved emotions. I address these problems from problem-solving, interpersonal relationship skills and emotional regulation perspectives.
Loss, Grief and Bereavement
While sadness and mourning are a normal and healthy response to loss and role transitions (divorce, job loss, chronic illness, mid-life and empty nest scenarios), extended grief can severely disrupt personal functioning and relationships. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) offers an evidence-based and time-limited treatment protocol that is effective in restoring positive mood and outlook.
Often, mood, anxiety, personality and behavioral disorders cause significant physiological responses in our bodies: joint pain, headaches, neck and back muscle tension, gastrointestinal problems, tiredness and fatigue, sexual dysfunction, body weight changes and sleep disturbances. We will work to identify the sources of your physical distress and pain, and apply emotion-focused treatment approaches to reduce your suffering.