My Approach to Counseling

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  This page describes my approach to counseling and serves as my Professional Disclosure Statement.

My counseling practice is rooted in a basic understanding that we are inherently whole, completely interconnected, and that there is more right with us than there is wrong with us.  Therapy is a way to practice and balance strategies of acceptance and change.  My style is warm, active, and encouraging.  While issues of past and future are important to some degree, our focus will return to the power and wisdom of the present moment.  In therapy we will practice increasing moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behaviors.  We will also look at how changes in these areas may be conducive to improved health (mindfulness-based therapy).

I have extensive experience in working with such issues as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, childhood abuse, and domestic violence.  I have training and experience with Crisis Intervention, Brief and longer-term therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.  The wisdom of Buddhist psychology deeply informs our work together.

I understand the following to be true:

  • Deep, active listening is a gift that can be transformative.
  • Pain in life is inevitable; suffering is optional.  Living mindfully, in the present moment, is a way to free oneself from suffering.  And this requires a lot of practice.
  • The truth of impermanence can help us see our values more clearly, appreciate our lives, and focus our energies in a more intentional and satisfying way.
  • Emotional health is more likely when we are willing and able to feel, identify and appropriately express our emotions.
  • Substance abuse or other compulsive behavior is often an attempt to cope or self-medicate, but ultimately interferes with the natural emotional healing process.
  • People tend to be healthier when they are living with high degrees of connectedness in the many areas of their lives:  Socially, occupationally, spiritually, with family, historically, with community, culturally, etc.
  • We mutually impact family, cultural, and environmental conditions.
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