About My Practice
Problem-Solving or Depth Psychotherapy
Therapy may focus on immediate issues that can benefit from a practical, problem-solving perspective. Or therapy may be more depth-oriented, focusing on patterns that underlie long-standing problems. Often, a mixture of the two approaches will lead to the most enduring changes.
Duration of Therapy
It is impossible to predict with certainty what goals can be achieved in a given amount of time. Some clients have done a satisfying piece of work in little time (say, six months or less), while others are facing longstanding, complex difficulties that require more time. Occasionally, clients can make big changes quickly, even with complex, enduring difficulties, given the right combination of readiness and fit between therapist/therapeutic approach and client. In general, the more a problem is rooted in a current situation, rather than in a repetitive, enduring issue, the more amenable it may be to brief psychotherapy.
My Therapeutic Orientation
I am an integrative therapist. My belief in the importance of integrating theories of change has led me to Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), in which I am certified. AEDP integrates findings from neuroscience (brain imaging techniques have led to major advances in this area), attachment theory (which studies the origin and maintenance of healthy human connections), emotion theory (which studies the purpose and healthy functioning of emotions), psychodynamic psychotherapy (the study of the unconscious, of conflicting impulses, and the impact of the past upon the present), and somatic psychotherapy (the body and mind relationship, and how attending to bodily experiences can be used to facilitate deeper change). Another essential aspect of AEDP is its recognition of the importance of building upon strengths as well as exploring problems. AEDP has truly accelerated my ability to help my clients achieve the changes they seek. It is a great home base to which I incorporate various complementary approaches.
I use the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) model frequently. EMDR originated as a treatment for trauma. It is now often used for a variety of problems. Although some clinicians offer EMDR as an adjunctive therapy (that is, as a procedure offered for a limited number of sessions when clients are referred by their primary therapist), I believe it is usually most effective within the context of an established therapeutic relationship. Please click on this link if you would like more information about EMDR: www.emdr.com.
I am deeply influenced by Internal Family Systems and ego state theories. I am also influenced by modern psychoanalytic psychotherapy, especially the relational school and by two different approaches to short term psychotherapy, Coherence Therapy and Dynamic Emotion Focused Therapy. Although I do not believe one can predict the duration of therapy, becoming skilled in time-sensitive psychotherapies helps me make the most of each session. I have some training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); although I occasionally incorporate CBT practices and homework, CBT is not my main therapeutic approach.
Background and Experience
I have been providing psychotherapy to adult individuals since 1985, including ten years at Kaiser Permanente Department of Psychiatry in Oakland, where I gained experience with brief psychotherapy. I also provide consultation to licensed psychotherapists and supervision and training to interns through clinics in San Francisco and Marin. I earned my Ph.D. at the California School of Professional Psychology (now Alliant University).