For those who have never been in therapy (and sometimes for those who have), it's common to have questions about the therapeutic process in general and about the therapist in particular. Listed below are several questions and answers which you may find helpful. If you have any further inquiries, please feel free to e-mail me at the address to the right.
Q: I'm interested in receiving therapy, but what if talking about painful past experiences stirs up even more pain?
A: To be honest, therapy may sometimes bring up difficult memories and emotions, but it is often the courage and vulnerability to willingly explore such feelings that results in the greatest healing and empowerment. I have witnessed many clients reexamine and even reexperience the pain of the past in order to experience deep growth and change in the present. A popular sentiment amongst therapists is, "The only way out is through," because confronting such pain is, ironically, often invaluable in letting it go.
Q: Do you work from a specific theoretical orientation?
A: Yes... and no. Yes, in that I generally work from an integrated model of cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic and existential/humanistic orientations because I believe this approach can be very powerful in facilitating emotional insight and healing. No, in that I am a firm believer that each client has a unique personality, needs, and values, so I also maintain a flexible, creative, and collaborative approach that honors each client's way of being. A positive and trusting relationship between client and therapist is often the biggest predictor of success in therapy, which is why I am ultimately more focused on attending to the depth and quality of our relationship than adhering to any single therapeutic theory or tradition.
Q: I may be going through a tough time, but can't talking to a trusted friend be just as helpful as seeing a therapist?
A: Therapy is not for everyone, and at times a good friend may be all the help that's necessary. But for other people and at other times, the compassionate focus and gentle presence of a therapist within a safe and supportive environment may be what is most needed. Such an experience can help a client not only overcome emotional wounds, but grow from these wounds in ways that inspire greater self-awareness and personal vitality.
Q: I have an unpredictable work schedule. Do I need to be seen at the same day and time every week to receive therapy?
A: While the regularity of a set day and time for session can be helpful for the therapeutic process, I understand this is not always possible, so I make every effort to be flexible and accommodating to clients with difficult work schedules.
Q: What is nature therapy and how could it help me?
A: Nature therapy, sometimes known as ecotherapy or green therapy, is the applied practice of integrating a deeper connection with nature and the natural world as part of the healing process. Insight-oriented talk therapy can often be very helpful to a client, but many clinicians have found that assisting clients in developing a greater appreciation for and engagement with nature can increase emotional well-being. Empirical research strongly suggests that such practices as gardening, taking nature walks, spending more time in green areas, and reading nature-themed poetry are beneficial to people struggling with emotional, spiritual, and even physical difficulties. For those interested in this approach, I do not practice nature therapy as a substitute for more traditional psychotherapy, but rather as an integrative piece of the overall therapeutic process.
Q: What if the issue I'm dealing with is one you don't feel equipped to help me with?
A: During our initial contact, either in person or over the phone, we will discuss what you are hoping to get out of therapy. If after this conversation, I do not feel I would be an effective therapist for you, I will refer you to colleagues whom I believe would be of help.
office location and
22231 Mulholland Highway
"In a poetics of growth it is important to explore how possibility and change remain so faithful to us. They open us to new depths within. Change, therefore, need not be threatening."
-- John O'Donohue
"Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."
-- Rachel Carson
"May you walk in beauty..."
-- Navajo blessing