Treatment Philosophy

I believe every person is unique and therefore needs an individually-tailored therapy approach. My approach is interactive, empathic, respectful & objective.   I take a positive view of human nature and the uniqueness of the individual. I am interested in helping my clients realize their potential through change and self-directed growth. We will collaborate to decide which among the following approaches will be most helpful to you:

  1.  Couples Counseling: To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love,” admonishes the great Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hahn.   This idea is “counter-cultural” in that our culture often thinks of love as something that happens to us or something we fall into.   In fact, love is not only a passive emotion.  It is also a skill we can actively learn through a conscious decision – just the way we would decide to learn to speak Chinese or to play the violin.  That’s good news – it’s not just luck!  I teach couples tools which result in a more secure bond and improved relationship satisfaction.
  2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT stresses how our thoughts affect how we feel and what we do. It is based on the belief that thoughts, rather than people or events, cause our negative feelings. I help my clients identify and correct any unhelpful beliefs that may underlie thinking. We then work to modify those thoughts and the behaviors that flow from them. CBT has been clinically proven to help in a relatively short amount of time with a wide range of disorders, including depression and anxiety.
  3. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT): MBCT blends two disciplines–cognitive therapy and mindfulness. Mindfulness helps by learning to cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of thoughts and feelings in the present tense.  The goal of MBCT is to interrupt the automatic processes that often occur when distressed, and to focus on accepting and observing them without judgment rather than reacting in unconscious or unhelpful ways.
  4.  Family Therapy: Problems within the family can be seen as the result not just of a particular members’ behaviors, but of the family’s group dynamic. The family is a complex system having its own language, roles, rules, beliefs, needs and patterns.  As individual family members come to understand their own contribution to the family’s dynamic, they feel empowered to improve the functioning of their family as a whole.
  5.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Using an ACT approach, I help people learn strategies to live life more in the present and more focused on values and goals that matter to them. ACT is not about overcoming pain or fighting emotions; it’s about embracing life and feeling everything it has to offer. Through acceptance and mindfulness techniques, we develop self-compassion and psychological flexibility in order to fully embrace life and all it brings us.  ACT has developed within a scientific, evidence-based approach, and has been proven effective in treating anxiety and depression.