brianMy hope in creating this website is to provide potential clients with a feeling for my approach to therapy, and offer the gift of some concepts and tools listed on the topics sidebar you may find helpful to use on your own. I will add new topics over time, so please check back occasionally if you are interested in this educational material.

The Overview section describes agreements and some techniques I use in therapy, for both individual and couples counseling. I hope it gives you enough of a flavor of what working together might be like that you can decide whether you want to schedule a first session.

Each person is different, and it is important to remember that both the topics section and the overview offer ideas that may or may not fit. It is most important to learn in the course of therapy who you are and what works best to meet your needs.

I work especially with meaning-of-life issues, couples counseling, dissociation, trauma, abuse, depression, and spiritual problems. I have been EMDR-trained and certified, which is useful for treating trauma and anxiety (see www.emdria.org).  I use a somatic approach to therapy, drawn primarily from sensorimotor therapy (www.sensorimotortherapy.org). Together we work to connect split off parts with inner resources, spirit and the adult self.

With 25 years’ experience working in hi-tech, I help people balance between personal life and career. We question interpretations and the validity of beliefs and cognitive structures that may be negatively influencing your current behaviors. I teach couples communication skills to clarify intentions and limits.

Coming to therapy often feels vulnerable and tender. I usually ask in the first phone contact what is it at this time that caused you to pick up the phone for an appointment. Something has occurred that breaks the inertia of working just on your own, something that is overwhelming, painful or has frustrated you. It helps me to learn what the specifics are that contain the urgency that caused you to take action. As we explore that, patterns often emerge of behaviors that you’re not sure why you do. I don’t feel good enough, or I get unreasonably angry, I can’t stop criticizing myself, I want to do this but don’t ever find the way; often these patterns were put into place as a child or adolescent, but are still very much present and affecting our adult interactions.

There is a paradox in good therapy. You are coming for change and change will occur. However, if you and I have the agenda of forcing that change, resistance happens and change is much more difficult. The approach that works best for this, in my experience, is to welcome everything about you with curiosity and openness, the desire to learn much more with no agenda to make wrong or to insist on change. It’s about learning how to help internal parts in conflict shift roles or adopt new strategies, rather than to get rid of a part that you don’t like.

Ultimately, through deep insight on an emotional as well as thinking level, you will make different choices and that is how effective change will occur.

I invite you to call or email to set up an initial session to explore whether there is a fit for us to work together.