Specializing in Anxiety, Depression, Trauma work, and Expression
Anxiety has become a painfully ubiquitous term in our society, and it is the number 1 reason that clients contact me. Anxiety is most often a manifestation - albeit a frustrating and painful one - of our real and existential fears and concerns. Because of this, the primary work of my practice is to understand these roots, and to approach them in both practical and mindful ways. We will work together to address the aspects within your control, and to work on pushing through the fear that comes from not knowing how to address the less "real" symptoms and causes of anxiety. Anxiety work may include a combination of socratic reasoning, structured journaling, breathing techniques, and work on accepting the general messiness of life. This journey may be brief, or it may be long, but it is absolutely a journey worth going through.
Depression is a misunderstood creature. We are told depression is everywhere now, and the increase of prescriptions for antidepressants - one in eight Americans took an antidepressant in 2014 (CBS News, 2017) - suggests that "depression" as a diagnosis is becoming more common, but less understood.
However, like all other emotions, depression exists for a reason. As with understanding anger or anxiety, the role of therapy is to help us know the purpose of depression, and to work with this purpose, as opposed to against it. I employ a number of techniques - such as behavioral activation, structured journaling, and developing social support - to help with the alleviation of depressive symptoms. In addition, I will also work with you to discover what drives your depression, and to help you see depression as a messenger and a friend, rather than an enemy or something to fear.
Working with trauma can feel like a long, exhausting, and ultimately hopeless experience. Unfortunately, most often the only way past trauma is through it. My clients who have suffered a trauma will often show up exhausted and tired from trying to "outrun" their trauma. My ultimate goal with trauma work is to establish a safe space where we can work through your trauma together. By mastering our reaction to trauma, we can become familiar with it, to the point of being unafraid, and this is where freedom comes from.
Growth In Relationships
For clients who are looking to grow in their relationships or who wish to know themselves independently, I provide a space to examine their relationship values and needs. I believe that sex roles and the cultural concepts of masculinity and femininity can be constraining, and for this reason I seek to explore what the needs of my clients would be if not for the outside forces of family and cultural expectations - that is, if a person could just be who they were. This approach can be very freeing, as the intention is merely to allow for the client to say what is they need in order to feel fulfilled, and then to determine where our partners can and cannot assist us.
I also offer counseling for men who have been unfaithful. I believe it's important to approach an event like this with compassion and responsibility, and there is room for my clients to explore the reasons for infidelity and what underlying causes were at the heart of their indiscretion. I do not personally advocate for staying in or leaving a relationship - I only hope to help my clients make a choice that is right for them.
Unfortunately, at this time I do not do couples counseling.
Domestic Violence Work
I believe strongly in the need to provide assistance for survivors of domestic abuse, wherever a person is in their journey. While I cannot provide primary social service needs, I am available for clients who are currently in or who have been in abusive relationships in the past. Depending on where you currently are, we will work together on a plan to address your needs, and to help disrupt the cycle of abuse before it repeats.
Onsite Trauma Work
My work in the employee assistance realm has provided me the honor of sitting with many employees after a traumatic at-work event. I continue to provide this service now when contacted by one of several EAPs in the Seattle area. My focus when providing onsite support is to be with employees during a time when they will have many questions, both practical and existential. I seek to utilize all the resources on hand - both professional and personal - to help them make sense of an often senseless event.
My prior work with onsite trauma includes providing management and front-line services to first responders, social service workers, nursing home caretakers, industrial accidents, employee suicide, and more.