Who

I work with kids, teens, families, and adults. I mostly work with kids who are 9 years and older, but sometimes work with younger ones if it's a good fit. 

With kids and teens, I invite the parents - and sometimes the whole family - to also attend some sessions and be involved in the work. This is a simple but rich way to clearly see the situation and solutions, and to more efficiently and effectively make change. 

Why

Most folks that I work with are having difficulty with relationships, parenting, anxiety, and/or depression.

It's common for younger clients to have some kind of trouble with emotion regulation, such as managing anxiety or anger. Adolescent clients are often struggling with stress, mood, and/or relationships. Adult clients frequently have difficulty with habits that are no longer working. 

How

There is more written than anyone would ever want to read in terms of what strategies work best in therapy. But, the bottom line is that working with a psychologist involves building a relationship. This is so essential that research studies show the therapist-client connection has more of an impact on the effectiveness of therapy than the particular strategies and techniques the psychologist uses.

That being said, I will go ahead and name the theories and techniques that inform my practice (for those who like labels and psychobabble): Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, Buddhist/Eastern psychology, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), psychodynamic, interpersonal, and humanistic. If I were a chef (which I am totally not), I guess you could call my style "fusion." 

My early training taught me the traditional schools of thought in psychology: Human problems arise from problematic thoughts, feelings, behaviors, sensations, and memories; the focus of therapy is to change those factors. More recently, I am learning that it may be more helpful to focus on how we relate to those factors, rather than changing them. We can't choose our thoughts or feelings, for example, but we can choose how we will respond to them. And, as Viktor Frankl said, that's where our freedom lies ("Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom"). This paradigm shift has been transformative – for myself and my work.