Counseling Approach

I believe that symbols hold seeds of wisdom when we look at what they might mean. I help clients pay attention to dreams (both daydreams and night dreams) because I believe that the imagination is a natural resource that, when cultivated, can heal and help us flourish. In the midst of mental pain and confusion, acknowledging our deeper wisdom can be quite difficult. As a therapist, I hold the faith that this wisdom is alive and well, and I help my clients listen to it.

My work is grounded in psychodynamic and attachment theory, and is experientially based. What this means is that I pay attention to the way our earliest relationships create neurological ‘wiring’ and set up present day expectations and experiences with others. Sometimes our ‘here and now’ sense in relationship is distorted by ‘there and then’ past experiences. Opening to our existential, present moment experience can allow for increased self-acceptance, and healing of early relationship wounds.


 Individual Psychotherapy

I work collaboratively and supportively with my clients, offering gentle challenge when it is needed. I see the psychotherapist/client relationship as a key element in the process of healing. I endeavor to help my clients access their inner wisdom in a variety of ways – dream work, sensory and body awareness, working with images and symbols that arise from the imagination, and paying attention to the ‘here and now’ feelings that our work evokes. I listen for the wise part of the individual that wants to grow, and I help the client nurture that. I believe that loss is an integral part of life, whether it be loss of parents, partners (through divorce or death), children, health, jobs – or loss of what we imagined our lives ‘should’ be. I help my clients find a doorway to increased happiness, even in the midst of painful and difficult circumstances.


Couples Counseling

I view the conflicts that arise between couples as a sign that some part of each individual wants to grow, and is becoming stuck in a sort of gridlock with the other. I help each partner to see the meaning within the conflict – both for her/himself and for the other. Couples can then make more conscious choices about how or whether to go forward, and about what each of them needs in order to do so. I look at couple relationships from an attachment perspective. This means that I acknowledge the emotional patterns that are formed in our earliest relationships, and that influence our present day experience of intimacy. I help couples learn to connect more deeply and to create safety within their partnership. I also help couples when moving forward is not possible, to separate with compassion, and to minimize the destructive acting out that often arises from feelings of loss and abandonment.


Child Therapy

Children who are troubled by some aspect of life often know just what it is they need in order to feel better. They may not be able to articulate it in words, but they know it in their feelings and in their imaginative life. Because of this I use a non-directive play therapy approach when working with children. A child can then ‘play out’ his or her problem and ‘play’ with solutions. A struggling child can often benefit from an adult who is not a part of the family to witness, to ask good questions, and to affirm the child’s sense of him/herself as expressed through play. This can allow for growth in confidence, and in the ability to come to terms with whatever problems the child’s life has presented. In my work with children, I also meet with parents periodically, to get their perspective and to share my own sense of their child’s experience.