Our Approach to Treatment
We believe in helping people understand themselves more deeply to facilitate changes that last. Much like a surgeon who makes deeper incisions at the site of the wound to restore health, we too believe in working deeper. Instead of offering temporary solutions that tend to only dull pain, we work at the root of the problem by walking with you through your pain. By exploring painful thoughts and feelings more deeply, we hope to foster greater insight, self-discovery, and the capacity to weather not only present and past struggles, but future storms you may encounter. Although the path towards greater insight and self-discovery may involve pain, it is of a kind that ultimately yields lasting change, restoration, and hope.
We believe the quality of the therapeutic relationship is fundamental to the change process. The therapeutic relationship serves as a safe space where old ways of being may emerge, and new ways of being may be discovered. It is only when you find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and safe that you will be able to journey more deeply into your pain and face your problems more directly. We find this process occurs much more easily with the reassuring presence of a trusted companion who will go there with you.
We view therapy as a unique relationship where you may find healing for emotional wounds, discover more about yourself, and grow more deeply in your relationships with others. Individual psychotherapy offers you a unique experience where your deepest thoughts and feelings may be shared openly in an environment marked by privacy, confidentiality, and the reassurance of a caring and compassionate professional.
In the beginning stages of therapy, we will try to learn more about you and your difficulties. As therapy progresses, aspects of yourself that have long-remained hidden gradually tend to emerge. This process can be painful as it often evokes feelings of sadness, fear, anger, and recollection of painful memories. With increased emotional insight, however, new solutions to problems may become available for greater reflection and potential use. We hope that, as you begin to experience yourself differently, you will gradually extend this new way of being to your life outside therapy and experience greater freedom, fulfillment, and joy in your life.
The process of change in therapy involves many facets. Since many of the problems that bring people to therapy often involve emotions, we pay special attention to your feelings and towards understanding the information they may contain. Since our present relationships are often influenced by our past, we may explore earlier relationships in your life in addition to present concerns. Similarly, one’s emotional and relationship dynamics outside therapy often emerge within the therapeutic relationship. By exploring such dynamics as they occur “in-the-moment,” we have the opportunity to observe them together and make better sense of them – freeing you to make different choices and experience different results. Our hope is that psychotherapy will be a place where you will ultimately find the healing and restoration you deserve.
Relationships contain the possibility for passion, joy, and transcendence, as well as heartache, despair, and loneliness. At times, they can be what make life worth living, and at times they can make life feel empty and utterly hopeless.
We see couples struggling with all types of difficulties. We welcome couples who are weary from years of struggling in their relationship and on the verge of divorce to those seeking help to better understand and communicate with one another. We find that many couples are entrenched in repetitive patterns of relating that are triggered by various emotional buttons. Once these buttons get pushed, each person acts out their “script”, and the possibility for genuine, healing communication between partners becomes blocked.
In couple’s therapy, we focus on uncovering the hidden emotional pieces that often underlie relationship problems. This means that during this process, you may initially feel increased anxiety, sadness, frustration, loneliness, or helplessness in your relationship with your partner. Although sometimes painful and often scary, these feelings are usually good signs as they indicate that you are beginning to experience the inklings of change. You may have spent years relating to each other in one particular way, and risking change in the way you relate is often a necessary requirement. Our hope is that you will find the rewards of change in your relationship to be well worth the risk.
Families are the foundation from which we emerge as adults. We learn how to laugh, love, cry, hate, pursue, withdraw, attach, and separate all in a context of close and not-so-close relationships. As we mature, we get involved with others and create families of our own where the joys and sorrows we experienced in our own families often become re-enacted in our new ones. The old familiar dynamics we were determined never to repeat are often re-experienced with our partners and transmitted to our children in ways that don’t make sense.
We want to help families better understand these dynamics in order to make changes that are meaningful. Every family operates as a system where each individual has specific roles and responsibilities. Although some of these roles and responsibilities are evident, many dynamics are often hidden and negatively influence the familiar patterns that become enacted. We help families who feel stuck in these relational patterns by helping family members identify their individual roles in the system and the impact of individual behaviors on other members of the family unit. Families gradually learn to alter these worn-out routines to achieve changes in the system that were previously unseen. We help parents learn new ways of parenting that differ from what they inherited, and we help partners work together instead of against each other in decision-making.