My goal as a therapist is to allow clients to feel seen and heard through the strength of the therapeutic alliance we create together. I partner with my clients in a warm, supportive, non-judgmental, and safe environment, and I infuse sessions with optimism, kindness, playfulness, and a gentle sense of humor as we join together to work through difficult issues creatively. I strive to help each client realize the full potential of his or her inner and outer resources for healing and personal growth. Each client’s therapy is unique, based on individual needs, and I utilize a variety of techniques, including talk therapy, EMDR therapy, play therapy for children, sand tray therapy, art, mindfulness, sensory exercises, creative visualization, and cognitive behavioral interventions.
My understanding of clients is based primarily on developmental, attachment, and neurobiological approaches and includes an appreciation of the deep impact trauma can have on a person’s development. Childhood developmental trauma, whether obvious (e.g., neglect, abuse, loss) or subtle (e.g., feeling chronically misunderstood by parents, peers, teachers, or other caretakers) can leave behind painful memories, as well as reactivity and behavior that often seems inexplicable. Recent trauma research indicates that traumatic responses are stored in the body, which is why traditional talk therapy methods are often inadequate: the thinking (talking) brain is for the most part cut off from both the emotional brain and body memories. Body-based psychotherapy (including EMDR therapy) is a very effective way to build a bridge between the thinking and emotional brains and to move towards integration of traumatic memories, so that they don’t “run the show” from behind the scenes (paraphrased from Francine Shapiro, the originator of EMDR therapy). I have had great success in helping clients to become free of their difficult pasts via body-based approaches to psychotherapy.