In an ideal world I would want all my clients to be able to say that they have never felt more understood and, simultaneously, that they have never felt more challenged — always in a safe and respectful environment.
I work with both individuals and couples dealing with a wide variety of difficulties. With individuals I specialize in treating depression and anxiety and my treatment approach is mainly informed by an empirically supported treatment known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Most couples I work with are wrestling with some combination of anxiety, depression, anger, and being “stuck”. In addition, they are sometimes struggling to figure out what is most meaningful and important with regard to being in a romantic relationship. With other couples, their goals and values may be clear, but they find themselves running into psychological barriers such as fear and avoidance. I truly believe that neither partner is to blame for their struggles as a couple. Instead, I place the blame clearly on the traps couples fall into; the cycles they unwittingly enact again and again as they see no other way out. My job is to shed light on how to emerge from these destructive cycles and my main tool is a predominantly emotional focus–helping to unearth the feelings that each partner is unable or unwilling to communicate to the other.
When couples are in this trap they often get little from the other that they can connect with, or warm to, in order to begin breaking the cycle. Most of our work will be to go underneath the defenses (such as criticism or withdrawal) we use to protect ourselves from pain and to realize that, ironically, these defenses have become the problem. We will be accessing the hurt, sadness, fear, shame and the desire for intimacy (as well as the opposing need for autonomy) that underlie the anger and “checking out” that often occur when you are both stuck. This style of couples’ work is known as Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) which is an empirically supported treatment as well.
Orientation: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy
Modalities: Individuals, Couples
13 and up
Years in Practice:
License Number and State:
- Couples Therapy
Average Cost: $160-$210 per session
Sliding Scale: no
Accepted Insurance Plans:
Most insurance as an out-of-network provider
How I Can Help:
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (503) 281-4852 ext. 219