Treatment specialization includes:
Eating Disorders (all) –
Eating disorders are a group of progressive illnesses that require psychological, nutritional and often medical interventions to achieve a full recovery. Although the insidious nature and pervasiveness of eating disorders make them hard to treat, I strongly believe that full recovery is possible and is my goal for every client I treat. If you come to me for help with an eating disorder, the first session is usually spent getting to know you, assessing the severity of your symptoms and figuring out your immediate needs. Depending on that assessment, you might be referred to a dietician, a doctor or a psychiatrist who specialize in eating disorders to help in your treatment. This treatment team approach is very effective and also offers the extra support often needed to fight this difficult illness. Unless there an immediate health risk, the choice is always yours if and when you add anyone to your treatment team.
My work with you will focus on gaining insight into the underlying emotional and psychological issues fueling the eating disorder, working to change destructive behaviors and negative and/or critical thinking patterns, learning to manage difficult emotions, helping you build and sustain more meaningful relationships and improving the quality of your life.
Through both my professional experience and my own battle with an eating disorder, I understand that ambivalence is part of the recovery process, but it does not mean that you don’t want to, or can’t recover. Underneath your eating disorder self is a healthy self that needs some help being rediscovered and will help you fight for your recovery. Together we will work to strengthen that part of you and to find the peace and freedom the eating disorder has taken. Sometimes being willing to try is enough to get on the right track or back on track, so even if you are not sure if you are ready, I hope that you will be willing to keep trying.
Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are serious, but very treatable disorders that can be debilitating if left untreated. They can both take over a person’s life and sense of self. If you come for help with depression and/or anxiety the first session will be a time for me to get a history and assess the level of severity. If severe, I might recommend a psychiatric evaluation for possible medication, but most people find coming to therapy helpful and sufficient in dealing with their depression and anxiety.
My approach to treating anxiety and depression is highly individualized. The type of person you are as well as the type of depression or anxiety you have determine which treatment modality will be most effective. I utilize a variety of theories and techniques including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as well as narrative and psychodynamic therapy. I work to help you understand what inborn or biological factors contributed to your disorder and what current situations or environmental factors are contributing or causing it now. Finally, I teach skills for distress tolerance, communication effectiveness, self-care and new ways of handling or managing the thoughts, people, places or situations that trigger overwhelming feelings that worsen anxiety and/or depression.
Both anxiety and depression are very treatable illnesses, but I am aware that when you feel depressed it is often hard to do the very things that would help lessen it and when you feel very anxious it is often very anxiety provoking to do the very things that would help to lessen the anxiety. Part of my job is to make those changes manageable and in some cases to literally hold your hand through it.
Some families come to therapy after a crisis like serious illness or loss of a significant family member; some come for help in dealing with a strained relationships within the family and many others come to learn how to cope and restore peace when one or more of the members are dealing with drug/ alcohol problems, eating disorders or any other addictive or compulsive behavior. Any significant change in a family system creates new thoughts, feelings , expectations and obstacles. With a lot of change and increased stress, communication breaks down much quicker resulting in more anger, blame, misunderstandings, and frustration. If I am seeing a young adult, or teenager I often will ask parents or family members to come in so I can facilitate better understanding. It can also be very helpful to hear from those closest to my client. Most of the work I do with families is helping them learn the skills to communicate more effectively with each other in a way that results in more understanding and respect and less blame and hurt.
There is a psychological principle which states that people are usually doing the best they can. I tend to agree with that principle for this simple reason – If they could do better, why wouldn’t they be? That in no way means that I also don’t believe that people need to look honestly at themselves and how they are effecting others. If people want to see improvements in the way the family relates and acts they must be willing to see their role and be open to making some changes themselves. There are many different types of family therapy and therapy goals, which are determined after meeting and getting to know everyone and the issues at hand. When there are children involved, I often use more creative approaches to facilitate communication. Family therapy is usually booked for longer sessions and the length of therapy tends to be shorter in duration. Often families will come for a few sessions giving them enough to think about and work on for awhile and will come back again when they are ready to continue. If you have any more questions feel free to email me
Other Areas of Clinical Experience
I have described the most common reasons people come to me for therapy, but there are many other disorders and problems that often require outside help to really make lasting change. Below I have listed some of those areas that I have experience and interest in, and often treat. If you would like more information on any of them, please email me and let me know.
- Stress management
- Life transitions
- Dealing with loss
- Asperger’s syndrome
- Co parenting in divorce
- Support for parents
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Conflict resolution
- Self -harming behaviors