While I have a decade of experience treating clients of all ages and all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, most frequently I see individuals dealing with:
- Relationship issues
- Life Transitions (includes career changes, divorce, parenthood)
- Pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum issues
- Trauma and abuse (including PTSD)
- Self harm and suicidal ideation
- Sexual identity issues
- Substance abuse
Across the broad range of presenting concerns I have experience in treating, I have developed expertise in treating mood disorders, postpartum issues, PTSD, trauma, offering parental guidance, and providing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for those suffering from significant emotion dysregulation problems, including Borderline Personality Disorder. I am also extremely passionate about mindfulness and it’s many health benefits, along with remaining attentive to the mind-body connection. Thus, strategies aimed at increasing mindfulness, cultivating gratitude, and building resiliency are integrated into my work, when appropriate.
To DBT or not to DBT:
A quick note about DBT because I get a fair amount of referrals for folks needing/wanting DBT, and also work with many individuals who do not need or wish to participate in this type of treatment, and many who fall in between; individuals who could benefit from certain aspects of the treatment but do not need the full package, so to speak, that is involved in a true DBT model.
I draw on empirically validated treatments and interventions to create a unique, tailored approach for each individual. For some of the clients with whom I have worked, significant positive change came just from carving out an hour every week for themselves where they could come to a warm, supportive, neutral space and share their triumphs and struggles, getting feedback when needed and bouncing ideas off of me as I played the role of a key “consultant” in their life. For instance, helping them figure out how to approach big life decisions they were grappling with, helping them figure out how to prioritize responsibilities and relationships to lead to greater contentment, and helping them identify barriers that were preventing them from reaching their full potential. Some of the clients with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working noted that just having someone who didn’t judge them, who demonstrated care and concern for them in a meaningful way, and offered support in a gentle and respectful manner was enough to help them implement changes for a better, healthier future.
Other individuals who have come into my practice have significant trauma histories and/or have experienced major life stressors, and in the most extreme cases, have a history of struggling with self-injury and suicide ideation. For these individuals who oscillate between feeling checked out emotionally or fully flooded with painful affect, there is no happy medium of experiencing difficult emotions without feeling overtaken by them. Therefore, treatment is focused first on learning basic emotion regulation and distress tolerance skills through either a DBT-informed or true DBT approach (this includes DBT skills training and access to me for skills coaching outside of session). This provides a foundation for better coping with stress, before one begins to work on deeper, underlying issues. Prioritizing the work in this way often means helping clients focus on taking one day at a time, building resiliency as they began to experience greater control over their emotions, and then being able to shift our attention to more subtle yet pervasive struggles and difficulties.
Should you have any questions about the extent to which you could benefit from DBT or what that might look like in your individual case, please feel free to contact me for an initial consultation and I would be happy to explore this with you.