My Therapy Approach
I work with individuals, couples and families in an environment of warmth, compassion, acceptance and nonjudgmental neutrality to address their concerns and to find practical solutions to the problems they are experiencing. My approach can be summarized by the acronym, AIM:
A: Awareness. Bringing the truth of the problems into the client’s awareness. Clearly identifying the core difficulty is an essential first step on the road to healing, which often involves finding our way together through a tangle of coping mechanisms that have worked to keep the acute pain of the problem somewhat at bay, but have produced a chronic level of suffering rather than lasting relief and desired change. Denial of the problem, avoidance of the truth and preoccupation with work or other distractions may provide temporary respite, but an honest and accepting awareness of the truth is a necessary first step in the healing process.
I: Insight. With compassionate support and expert guidance, assisting the client in the development of an understanding of what contributes to and continues the painful issues, including exploring coping behaviors that may have been useful at one time but now seem to cause problems both to oneself and to relationships, such as emotional distancing, numbness or co-dependency. Insightful understanding enables clients to see clearly where they are “stuck” and why they repeat behaviors and relationship patterns that while familiar, are ultimately unhealthy for them and/or the relationship.
M: Management. The problematic behaviors and patterns we encounter in our selves and our relationships can be managed, but not excised; we can’t cut out the painful or undesirable parts of our history or personality aspects that don’t work the way we’d like them to. We can, however, recognize that we are not our history or any one aspect of our personality or experience and choose to acquire tools and develop skills for managing problematic issues that impact our happiness and healthy functioning. After learning to recognize and accept the reality of their problems, and developing a solid understanding of the contributing factors, clients can learn and practice new, more adaptive coping skills that can be applied in a practical way to achieve lasting happiness for oneself and in partner, family, friend and work relationships.