"We are only as needy as our unmet needs."
- John Bowlby
HOW I HELP
In my early days as a therapist, I worked as a community-based therapist. This meant that I met children and their parents in their homes and schools and provided treatment within their natural communities and contexts. A typical day included coaching misbehaved children in classrooms and playing games with families in their living rooms. My first goal is to see you in the context of your family and your community. Who are you as a mother? A daughter, a sibling, or a spouse? What role did you play in your family? Who were you close to growing up? Did you feel loved and cared for and by whom? Was your home a safe place?
Another way to say this is that I work out of an ATTACHMENT-MODEL. I believe how you attached to your caregivers as a child (or did not attach) can influence the way you connect to your loved ones now. Henri Nouwen says it best: "The tragedy of our lives is that, while we suffer from the wounds afflicted on us by those who love us, we cannot avoid wounding those we want to love.” Thus, my second goal is to increase your awareness of attachment patterns, tendencies, and outcomes played out again and again between you and those you love.
YOU ARE NOT CRAZY
YOU MAKE SENSE
An important idea I want to impart to you is that your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings make sense even if others thought you were maddening, annoying, "crazy" or neurotic. These behaviors, or adaptations, worked at one point in your life to keep you alive, loved, secure, and moving forward. Many of us cut off those unwanted parts of ourselves; we believe the lies others have told us that we are not good enough, unlovable, or odd.
BALANCING SELF-ACCEPTANCE AND CHANGE
The great paradox of life is that we all need to accept ourselves AS WE ARE while continuing to grow, expand, and adapt to new situations. My third goal is to help you to expand your beliefs, abilities, and perspectives. What worked at one time in our life may now need an alternative, an upgrade, or a replacement altogether. I use our time in the office to help you uncover and connect to new parts of yourself, one that is more authentic, effectively vulnerable, alive, and assertive. If you participate in couples or family therapy, I will facilitate new interactions between you and your loved ones. I believe change occurs through an emotional experience - that connecting to, making space for, and listening to the authentic self can be a source of change and growth in the self and in relationships. At the heart of the authentic voice lives compassion, love, and choice.
VOICES OF INFLUENCE
I have been influenced by the following voices (in both psychology and spirituality):
Restoration Therapy (Terry Hargrave, PhD)
Emotionally Focused Therapy (Sue Johnson, PhD)
Object Relations Theory and Attachment Theory (John Bowlby, Melanie Klein)
Child-Parent Psychotherapy (Alicia Lieberman, PhD, Patricia Van Horn, PhD)
Internal Family Systems (Richard C. Schwartz, PhD)
Gestalt Psychology (Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka)
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. (Trauma-informed care)