No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster. - His Holiness the Dalai Lama
By exploring thoughts and feelings we make meaning out of experience.
I work holistically, integrating mind, body, and spirit into the way I think about the human experience and condition. I have a collaborative, psychodynamic style, always bearing in mind how the relationship I develop with my patients relates to the issues and struggles they deal with out in the world.
By carefully and thoughtfully examining your life -- your hopes, fears, and desires -- we develop a practice, a discipline, cultivated over time that will help you continue to grow for years to come.
Relational and Integral Psychology
I am trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy from a Relational perspective - Relational Theory proposes that a central human necessity is the establishment of authentic and mutual connection in relationship. Disconnection in relationship is the source of psychological problems (Stephen Mitchell). A Relational approach has been used by feminist psychologists, such as myself, based on the theories of Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin who emphasize the experience of equality and inequality in relationships as having great effect on mental health.
In addition, I have a background in Integral Psychology – an approach embedded in my graduate training at California Institute of Integral Studies - which integrates insights from mind/body approaches, nutrition, spiritual/religious traditions (Western and Eastern), and alternative health practices in order to allow for a more comprehensive approach to working with clients in therapy.
Mindfulness and Focusing
Mindfulness has been a central part of my training and continues to be of great value in my personal and professional life. Mindfulness, paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them, is rooted in Buddhist practices that I have studied, initially on retreat with Robert Thurman and Mark Epstein studying the integration of Buddhism and Psychotherapy. More recently, I have been trained in Focusing, a practice very similar to mindfulness, as developed by Gene Gendlin, and taught to me by Marsha Smith. Focusing is body-oriented, not just words. It's about paying attention to your felt sense of a situation and making your feelings clearer so you can use them to guide your next steps. Focusing and mindfulness skills help to build one's inner ability to deal with stress and frustration.
I offer a genuine approach to psychotherapy, acknowledging each client as an individual with unique needs. Every person strives for health and has the possibility of healing, although one often meets great challenges along the way. A relationship with another person who is meant to facilitate the process of overcoming these challenges can be of great benefit. Psychotherapy offers a confidential place for a person to share, explore, and process those things that make life stressful.