I strive to understand my clients holistically, and as such, I explore with my clients biological, psychological, social/relational, and spiritual components of their specific problem. My psychotherapeutic approach is integrative. I work primarily from psychodynamic, mindfulness-based cognitive and behavioral therapies, attachment-based therapies, and family systems therapy. Therapeutic approaches are chosen collaboratively with clients, and are based on therapy goals, client characteristics, and research-supported interventions.
When establishing goals of therapy, I collaborate with my client to identify first order and second order change goals. First order change goals are often practical, solution-focused interventions to reduce suffering, help clients increase their coping abilities, problem-solve difficult life circumstances, and build positive habits that can protect clients from becoming more overwhelmed. In working toward first order change goals, I often utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, as well as aspects of mindfulness-based interventions such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Often times I will utilize "homework" outside of therapy, such as asking clients to practice coping skills or track their mood throughout the week. Because different approaches work for different clients, I try to be flexible and creative in helping clients improve their repertoire for coping with their unique life challenges.
Second order change goals include addressing one's sense of self, understanding and changing core beliefs, understanding one's personal narrative, building new relational/attachment styles, and/or processing childhood trauma(s). For engaging second order change type goals, I typically take psychodynamic, attachment based, and family systems approaches. I will explore with the client the nature of their family system, and how they learned to understand themselves, others, and intimacy through their family system. I also pay particular attention to how client's current difficulties are manifesting in their current relationships, and how these patterns may be reenacted within within their core relationships, even within the therapeutic relationship.
Often clients will benefit best from a treatment team approach. Depending on the particular issues a client is facing, it may be best to establish concurrent care with a psychiatrist, dietitian, social worker, and/or family therapist. Additionally, a client may benefit from increased levels of care, depending on the severity of symptoms and clients level of functioning.
Overall, I strive to collaborate with clients on clear goals and approaches to therapy. Often these goals and approaches will evolve as therapy progresses, and I will often check-in with clients regarding progress toward these goals. I typically will utilize both objective measures and subjective client reports to track the efficacy of therapy.