My Approach to Counseling
Above all - Relationship.
Studies show that the relationship between counselor and client is one of the most important indicators of change. In other words, the best techniques in the world won't work if there's no trust or rapport. That's why I spend time building a strong therapeutic relationship. I do this by holding a safe space for you to unpack your story and providing a confidential environment that's free of judgement and full of hope.
Mindfulness is simply paying attention to your present-moment experience without judgement. When we stop living in auto-pilot and tune into the present moment, we notice the thoughts running through our heads, emotions bubbling up within us, and physical sensations in our bodies. We notice the "stories" we tell ourselves: the self-judgments and the inner criticisms. Mindfulness allows us to choose whether we accept these stories as true. It also helps us to see that the present moment is not only tolerable, but maybe even pleasant. A lot of my work focuses on becoming more mindful of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. There are numerous studies showing how practicing mindfulness can reduce anxiety and depression and can increase work production and physical health.
Change your thoughts, change your life.
Every behavior is the result of a feeling, and every emotion is the result of a thought. Therefore, if you change your thoughts, you change the way you feel and act. Sounds simple, but it takes practice. I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to identify the core beliefs you have about yourself, others, and the world. Then, we get to work on reframing those beliefs into ones that are true and helpful. We look at the automatic thoughts that run through your mind and help you to recognize them as mental hiccups that aren't rational or useful. This is especially helpful for anxiety disorders and OCD. I specialize in treating OCD with ERP, which is the gold standard treatment for this disorder.
Most of us have experienced trauma in one form or another. As much as we wish it weren't true, our childhood wounds usually come with us into adulthood and affect our relationships and overall functioning. I spend a lot of time understanding the messages you received as a child and how they may still impact you today. I also work with you to process and heal from past trauma, unlocking the "stuck" emotions from your body and mind.
Acceptance and commitment to your values.
What do you want to be doing in life? What dreams have you lost sight of? I help you clarify your values and act according to those values even when you feel anxious or sad. My work focuses on accepting that life holds pain, but that pain does not have to hold you back from doing what you love. In fact, accepting the hard emotions allows those emotions to hold less power over you.