Many different techniques can be effective in treating common therapeutic issues. While there is no one best way to practice psychotherapy, the importance of finding a good “fit” between client and therapist is crucial to making progress and achieving hoped-for results. My approach to counseling and therapy is dynamic, integrated, contemporary, and relational.
Dynamic: Therapy sessions themselves tend to feel “alive” to both clients and myself, and we actively engage with what is most meaningful and relevant to the issues at hand. Humor, challenging dialogues, strong emotions, structured experiments, physical movement, creativity, and quiet reflection can all have their place. I respond to what is being said as well as what is being left unspoken, and I actively use my own experience, intuition, and initiative to help keep therapy on track and from getting sidetracked in unproductive “worm holes.”
Integrated: I know that for therapeutic work to make a lasting impact, it must engage multiple aspects of a person, including their thoughts, feelings, and actions. My approach is “head, hands, heart,” and I bring the practical wisdom of a life deeply lived, and years of physical, psychological, and spiritual growth and healing practices to bear in my work as a therapist. Rather than just treating isolated individual problems, I take into account a person’s, couple’s, or family’s entire life situation, including work, health, family history, finances, and other social, cultural and lifestyle factors which are often relevant to the presenting issue.
Contemporary: I value and utilize many of the insights and developments that contemporary psychology has to offer. Fields such as neuroscience, mindfulness, attachment, and somatics offer hopeful and relevant perspectives about what is useful in healing trauma, relationship wounds, and long-standing mental health issues. I incorporate emerging perspectives though continuing education, consultation, and my own personal explorations.
Relational: Many people are now recognizing the effectiveness of therapists taking a more engaged approach to treatment, and I have extensive training and experience working in this type of relational, collaborative style. I am gently supportive, playful, or direct and challenging, depending on what a particular person needs in the moment. Clients tend to value the warmth, transparency, authenticity, and effectiveness of this way of working together, and while not distant or removed, I maintain clear, flexible, and appropriate therapeutic boundaries that promote a feeling of safeness and depth in the work.
If this way of working appeals to you, I encourage you to give me a call at 415-312-0318 for a free initial phone consultation. Most often a short conversation on the phone will help you decide whether or not to take the next step of scheduling an Initial Appointment. If you or I decide that we are not a good fit, I am happy to offer you other referral options.