Areas of Expertise
I offer therapy for individuals, couples, and families who are experiencing stress, depression, and anxiety. My specialty is helping people navigate complex interpersonal problems, such as divorce conflict, co-parent communication problems, blended family issues, and work conflicts. Sessions are practical, conversational, and focused primarily on present day concerns.
I have over 30 years of experience in assessment and interpretation of psychological testing. Presently, my work in this area is restricted to evaluations of adults and adolescents where there are questions about emotional functioning, differential diagnosis, and treatment . My goal with these evaluations is to uncover what is driving the problem and to offer specific recommendations for how to address it. I also try to stay away from technical language and jargon, producing written reports that are understandable to any intelligent layperson.
My approach is rooted in family systems theory and cognitive-behavior therapy. It is a bit hard to summarize, however, because I am much more interested in finding creative, tailor-fit solutions that match the needs and personalities of individual clients than I am in running people through a structured protocol. That being said, here are a few guiding principles that I have found useful.
People tend to develop automatic routines that they are only dimly aware of. Many of these routines are helpful. For example, the "morning commute" routine allows us to get from home to work without any thought of turning the steering wheel, pressing the accelerator, or tapping the brake pedal. It all happens automatically. Unfortunately, we can also develop negative routines and destructive patterns that leave us asking, "How did I get here again?" Therapy can be helpful in uncovering these patterns and replacing them with things that work better.
Interpersonal problems are usually caused by people setting each other off in predictable ways, producing cycles of negative influence. The key to producing change is to identify these cycles and find ways to divert them.
Developing insight into the past does not cause change, but behavioral change usually leads to insight. In other words, understanding how you got depressed is not as important as identifying what keeps you depressed and how to break destructive patterns that are currently at work. Interestingly, people often experience insight about the causes of their problems after they’ve learned to do things differently.