Undergoing psychotherapy is not like visiting a medical doctor, because psychotherapy requires an active effort on your part. It is not something done to you; it is something done with you. It requires trusting someone to help you see and understand yourself in ways that you cannot discover alone. A good therapist is someone who can see in you what you do not see in yourself. By accepting you just as you are, a good therapist can help you become who you are capable of being.
Albert Einstein once observed that our thinking creates problems for us that the same type of thinking cannot solve. In my experience, when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at will change. At the same time, effective problem solving also involves actually doing things, because what we learn to do, we learn by doing. Sometimes we do the same old things, hoping for different results, whereas doing some things differently is more likely to produce different results. A good therapist can help you discover new ways of thinking and doing things that will result in more positive emotions, better problem-solving, increased productivity in your career, and more satisfying relationships with others.
Our work will involve a process in which we build a confidential relationship to seek a new understanding of your problematic or stressful life situations while identifying your personal strengths and resources that may be hidden from your awareness under the pressure of life stresses. This process varies depending on the particular presenting problems of the client, the skills and experience of the therapist, the theoretical orientation and empirical basis of treatment, and the interaction between the personalities of the client and the therapist.
Psychotherapy is not a quickly learned bag of tricks or set of gimmicks. It is a special type of relationship based on well-established theoretical foundations, conceptual models, and scientific evidence. I have received education, training, supervised experience, and ongoing professional development in several forms of psychotherapy. For more than 40 years, I have practiced several forms of counseling and psychotherapy. For more than 20 years, I have taught and supervised various forms of counseling and psychotherapy in graduate training programs.
I approach psychotherapy from a holistic perspective by using techniques that enhance physical and emotional health as well as psychological and spiritual integrity. I work in an active, collaborative manner in which you take the leading role in setting the agenda. Based on our collaboration, I will help you develop the best approach to address your needs and goals. In order to make changes, you will have to work both during our sessions and in your everyday life. As the adage goes, "Without a dream, there is no need to work. Without work, there is no need to dream."
My approach to counseling is, in part, determined by your preferences. I use short-term, goal-oriented strategies as well as long-term, insight-oriented forms of counseling. With some people, I prefer experiential and interpersonal methods. With others, I prefer a more integrative cognitive-behavioral approach in which clients learn how to examine their thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns, and together we explore how these patterns interact with each other. At all times, I strive for an active, collaborative, and interactional approach focused on the best interests of my client. Through this process, you will learn to identify the changes that are needed to improve the quality of your life. After all, how you are living today is how you are living your life.