Are you anxious or depressed and not sure why? Do you have panic attacks? Are you having feelings of dread or despair about yourself, your life, your future? You are not alone! Many high-functioning adults today are experiencing more mental health issues than ever before. The technical advances that have rocked our world in the last 20 years (the internet, mobile devices, and social media to mention a few) have challenged our ability to be PRESENT. These advances have empowered us in many ways but the down side is that we are constantly bombarded with an endless stream of data. As a result, to ground ourselves we must develop adaptive skills to bring us back to the HERE and NOW. Therapy is a safe space to do just that.
In session, I will invite you to slow down, tune in, and explore what’s underneath the symptoms. By simply ‘paying attention’, depression and anxiety will begin to decrease. At the same time, your ability to accept yourself as you are will grow. I’ll teach you how to befriend the patterns and themes that create your reality, and how to make conscious decisions of what to “copy, edit, paste, or delete.” It’s like a reset button for your brain.
I have been continually blown away by my clients. Time and again I’ve witnessed them navigating family, relationship, career, and mental health issues with profound grace and intelligence. It is truly a pleasure to work with you. Remember, it is human to struggle because let’s face it, life is tough. Pain IS inevitable but suffering is OPTIONAL . I am ready to join forces with you and help you transform anxiety and depression into confidence, resiliency and peace. We can do this! Let’s get started….
WHAT IS A MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST (LMFT)?
This is kind of a funny title, since it implies that I only work with married people and families. That’s anything but the case. I work mainly with individuals and couples with a variety of needs. The type of therapy I do often involves some sort of relationship issue, including with your Self and with others. I welcome all couples – married, dating, non-traditional partnerships, open marriages, polyamorous partnerships and all LGBT relationships.
As an LMFT, I’m referred to as a psychotherapist or just therapist. The “L” indicates I am licensed, which means I have a Master’s degree in counseling and have completed 3000 supervised hours of therapy. Following that, I passed an exam for the state of California and obtained a license to treat the public. I don’t prescribe medications but I know great psychiatrists who can. The doctors I use for referrals share my belief that medication and therapy can go hand in hand in addressing a variety of mental health issues. If you already have a psychiatrist, I am happy to join forces with them if you so choose.
In talk therapy, I incorporate mindfulness techniques drawn from spiritual practices such as yoga and Buddhist meditation. I find that involving the body and awareness of bodily sensations helps give voice to things that defy language. The therapeutic approaches I use most often are psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and narrative therapy.
Psychodynamics is a way of exploring one’s past, usually childhood, to make sense of the present. In CBT, we look at the thoughts you are currently having and how they form a belief system that may or may not be working for you. CBT techniques offer ways to “restructure” your belief system so it is more in line with your reality and promotes a growth-oriented mindset. Narrative therapy empowers people by letting them know they aren’t the problem they face whether it be anxiety, depression or trauma; the problem is the problem. By separating one’s identity from this ‘problem saturated story’, one can discover strengths and trajectories of behavior that help to manage life challenges and create a more empowered narrative.
WILL I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT MY CHILDHOOD IF I DON’T WANT TO?
As mentioned above, not all approaches of therapy involve talking about the past. I tailor therapy to each individual depending on what their needs and goals are. Obviously, if I can see you are actively avoiding something in your past and it’s creating suffering for you, I may mention it. But what to talk about or delve into is always your choice. This is your therapy and you are the expert in your life! I am here to support your exploration, make suggestions and use research-based techniques that address your specific conditions, but you are in the driver’s seat.