Hi, and welcome to my private practice website, and perhaps being patient with my fairly long, hopefully somewhat useful introduction.
Since you’re here, most likely something “hurts.”
By this I mean that there is something that you may be struggling with, whether it’s anxiety, or depression, or relationship struggles, or work/career troubles. If everything was feeling right, you probably wouldn’t be reading these words right now. It’s hard being a person. A grown up busy person, with responsibilities, and choices, and freedom?
Maybe we can call it “something isn’t feeling right,” or this is too painful, too much suffering. Maybe you feel angry, irritable or impatient and have no idea why. Or you just KNOW things can be better than this, that you could be having a more meaningful, perhaps less lonely or difficult time. Whatever it is, the anxiety or depression or confusion is interfering in your life, and that’s not ok with you. You’re stuck.
Perhaps in an effort to fix or understand or change or manage this, you’ve thought:
I should know better, why am I still suffering with this??
It doesn’t make sense that I’m feeling this way, look at the people in the world who are REALLY suffering (insert comparisons here-starving children in Africa, Syrian refugees, war veterans…)
Why am I not HAPPY??!! Everyone else seems so happy and able to handle everything so well! (Facebook tells us so…)
I can’t get out of my head!
Either way, it all suggests that it’s your fault and that you should have figured this out already dammit!
Often psychological pain has more to do with how we fight and judge our thoughts and feelings, and we end up in an exhausting internal struggle that we cannot win. This struggle rarely works. Probably you’ve tried. And we end up in our heads, in the past, or future trying to fix ourselves. And maybe living on autopilot, disengaged.
Whatever “hurts,” whatever is going on inside, it’s no doubt really interfering with
something VERY important to you:
You don’t want to be anxious because, in addition to it feeling really shitty, it also gets in the way of engaging in life in the way you want. Or if you’re depressed, in addition to it feeling pretty bad and confusing, it also tells us that you’d like to be doing something much more important than what the depression is “making” you do. Or the anger or frustration keeps you from feeling more connected to people or have a more fulfilling work life. It sucks to feel so powerless and unable to make ourselves feel better!
Sometimes we can be struggling so hard that it’s not even clear what matters! And so we ask:
If our work together was effective, how would you know?
If you could be less anxious or depressed, what would you be doing differently?
If you were communicating differently, what would you be saying, and to whom?
What qualities do you want to cultivate?
If you ran your life going towards what you wanted, rather than away from what you don’t want, what would you be doing? And what would you move towards?
In addition to exploring what’s hurts, the answers to these questions will guide our work together.
We will work together to explore this struggle in a mindful way, gain distance from it, and learn skills and strategies to reduce its impact and influence on your life. Maybe you don’t have to work or struggle so hard in there. Maybe you don’t have to fight as much. We will work together to figure out what works for you.
In my 20 years of work as a psychotherapist, the thread that has consistently run through my work is mindful awareness. However we begin our first, second or third session…the first question is always something like “what’s it like to be you, right here, right now.” The only time anything ever happens. Now.
While I consider myself to be an integrative psychotherapist, that is, drawing from the psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive-behavioral traditions, I mostly focus on ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT is a powerful mindfulness-based psychotherapy, which asks us to be aware of what’s happening now, to explore how we struggle, to gain distance from these struggles, to clarify what we value and what matters, and to take action in the direction of what’s important. We learn develop patience with ourselves and others. To make choices in our lives, rather than reacting.
The fact that you get to/have to choose between so many therapists shows that you are not alone in your struggles. Maybe it’s time to get some help. Maybe you deserve it.