How Can Therapy Help?
Psychotherapy provides people with the opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of themselves, accompanied by a guide who is professionally trained to listen and understand many issues from many viewpoints. Regular, scheduled psychotherapy allows one the time, space, and support to process anything on their mind now or from the past, in a planned and directed way.
We all navigate this world each day doing the best we can, but life's biggest sources of pain and stress are rarely formally explained to us. We must simply just figure it out. While you have likely persevered through many of life's puzzles and difficult times with just the support of friends and family, therapy and counseling are different from every other supportive social relationship in one key aspect: they do not require you to "take care" of the therapist – sessions can be all about your needs.
You are more than just your thoughts, choices, or actions. You exist within the context of society, family, culture, race, ethnicity, visible/invisible disabilities, sexual orientation, gender expression/identity, power, oppression... and all the ways in which these identities limit or enhance your life. There are many pathways to mental health and wellness, and good therapy considers the totality of who you are through as many perspectives as possible.
You are reading this because you already have the self-awareness to realize you want a helping hand – and that should be acknowledged and applauded! Psychotherapy can provide long-lasting benefits and support, giving you the tools you need to process your past, build healthier habits and ways of being, and overcome the future challenges you will face. I'd be glad to join you for part of this journey.
Therapy for Anxiety
Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in the United States. Almost 1 in 5 people struggle with anxiety, but only about a third of those ever get professional support. Fortunately, anxiety is highly treatable! Many of the approaches to therapy that I use, including cognitive, behavioral, mindfulness, and existential therapies, all have robust evidence supporting their effectiveness in helping people overcome fears, worries, and anxieties. Anxiety is part of the human condition, but suffering with it does not have to be.
Therapy for Adolescents & Young Adults
While I enjoy working with individuals of all ages, I particularly enjoy counseling preteens, teens and young adults. There are many important discoveries, changes, and obstacles faced in the formative years of our lives. I will often observe that it is tremendously beneficial for teenage clients to meet regularly with someone who falls outside of their school, friend, and family domains. As a therapist, my impartial approach encourages young clients to develop and rely on their own decision-making skills, fostering their desire for increasing independence – a key area of growth for adolescents.
In young adulthood, big questions like "what do I do with my life?" start to arise. Starting college, finding a job or career path, and being on your own for the first time – there are so many choices, and it's okay for you to be unsure of what to do next. Therapy can help you discover your interests, structure a plan, set meaningful goals, and gain confidence as you start a new chapter of life.
Therapy for Men
It can be very difficult for anyone to open their inner world to others. In particular, our society instructs boys and men from birth that vulnerability, sadness, or fear is unacceptable. The narrative is passed down from fathers to sons, and boys to other boys, stifling the ability to experience one's true self. The reality is, having a broad range of emotions – joy, sadness, fear, and anger – is simply to be human. Feelings and emotions are a critical part of the human experience, and exist to guide us through important choices. Our work together can help promote your reliance on this internal compass, allowing you to put words to your feelings and establish deeper emotional connections with yourself and others.
For those who move through the world presenting as male or masculine, the ability to inhabit masculinity in an authentic, healthy way can be difficult. Our society's gender roles are highly prescriptive, and developing a true comfort with one's gender expression and identity is not without obstacles. Therapy provides a space to explore, question, experiment, and challenge your preconceived and desired gender roles and expectations.
Therapy for Couples and Relationships
Everyone can agree that relationships, especially those involving love, commitment, and sex, are difficult to navigate. Our parents and caregivers provide our earliest – and often only – models for how we should "be" in relationships with others, and we carry this into our adult lives, repeating the same patterns we learned.
I see couples therapy as a way to re-examine these early models, and investigate how you and your partner may be stuck repeating ineffective cycles of communication. Once couples develop greater awareness of their communication styles, they can mutually begin to work on establishing more empathy, trust, and understanding of each other's needs and goals. Couples will often wait until their relationship is very distressed before coming to a therapist, but it is never too early to strengthen a healthy connection with one another.
I welcome all types of relationships, including those in open and consensual non-monogamous relationships.
Therapy for LGBTQ+ People
Effective therapy requires considering the whole person, including how all of their identities intersect, both internally and in society and culture at large. This is especially important with LGBTQ+ clients, because a history of marginalization and stigma cannot be separated from what it means to live, exist, work, and love in the many communities under this umbrella.
Early on, many LGBTQ+ people learn to hide who they truly are, and this can create a sense of isolation, loneliness, and confusion. The aim of therapy, then, is to realize a healthy, true sense of comfort and authenticity, positioned within one's unique identities. I specialize in working with a range of LGBTQ+ identified persons, and welcome all gender and sexual identities and expressions in my practice.
Therapy for Chronic Illnesses
Chronic illness can be completely draining. It sometimes takes every ounce of energy to do the most basic of tasks, leaving you with no motivation for anything else. Chronic illnesses can also take a heavy toll on one's mental wellness, and you might ask yourself if you'll ever see a life free from the constant pain, fatigue, or time-consuming medications, doctor's appointments, and insurance woes. If you are a caretaker of a person dealing with chronic illness, you face a unique challenge as well.
I am a person who has lived most of his life with a chronic illness, and I have a unique appreciation for all of these struggles. Therapy to address your chronic illness will focus on your self-care, developing healthy routines, and examining the sense of unfairness, helplessness, or guilt that might come along with managing a condition out of one's control. If you are recently diagnosed with a chronic illness, an important part of our work involves coming to terms with a new reality. I will support you as you navigate the path of integrating your illness with your identity, or the responsibility of caring for someone who is ill.