ISSUES AND AREAS OF CONCERN
What causes one person to rage at the slightest provocation and another to suppress all anger? How can the right balance be found? Is anger necessary? Is too much or too little a problem? The way you and those around you experience your anger tells much of the story. If anger is being used to control others or as a constant shield against other feelings, then something is not working. Also, if you feel terrified or ashamed of your own anger, life can become all about avoiding any situation that might make you feel it. Anger is a natural part of the spectrum of feelings, and we can work together to uncover the causes of your anger response so that your emotional balance improves and your relationships are safer.
Anxiety is a signal that something bad is happening. When stress becomes excessive or emotional wires get crossed, the signal can send an alarm even when you are safe. If you are experiencing frequent or pronounced anxiety, life can become very hard to navigate. I can help you reduce the volume of anxiety and deconstruct the underlying source so that you experience increased peace and tranquility.
THE AUTHENTIC SELF:
In order to live in the world we have to make many accommodations. We learn that some things can't be said or that sometimes we can't reveal our true selves. When the accommodations outdistance our authentic self, we can feel disconnected, inhibited, not fully real. We yearn to be free to express ourselves in the voice and style that feels most true to who we really are inside. Sometimes we get so lost that we can't seem to find our way back to our authentic selves. Through a caring and empathic therapeutic process, I can help you to retrace your steps, locate the parts of yourself that have become hidden or forgotten, and become able to experience life more fully.
BOUNDARIES, SETTING LIMITS:
We need to be able to set limits, know our limitations and have respect for our own boundaries and those of others. When boundaries are blurred, it's hard to protect yourself and it's also hard to see yourself clearly. When boundaries are not strong you are vulnerable to injury and slow to recover. It's easy to feel invisible when you are used to others failing to see you. To change this you need to be able to see the validity of your needs and learn how to get them fulfilled. It's also crucial that you are able to say no – to things and people who are not sources of nourishment. I can help you sharpen your sense of self and protect your boundaries from unwanted intrusion.
The challenges that we face when we form a relationship often seem insurmountable. Finding a new path to mutual respect, kindness and empathy is possible. Learning to communicate in ways that enhance the individual without damaging the partner can be truly healing. Making visible the ways in which old, unresolved pain and injury are impacting the current relationship can move both partners to new, more productive and more loving ways of interacting. I can help you to reclaim the love and passion that brought you together.
If you are a creative person, a great deal of your identity arises from your capacity for creative self-expression. Why do you suddenly hit a wall and become unable to create? The nature of your particular creative barriers, how to work though them and resolve them is a task we can take on together. The result can be the freedom to create and express yourself as you have always wanted to.
Depression is oppressive, relentless. It undermines strength, will, self worth. It isn't really understood by many people and they can be short on compassion because of that. The depressed individual can also fail to understand that he or she is suffering from something very real that is deeply painful but not a personal failing. Recovery requires that the depressed person receives empathic care. When you are depressed you feel completely alone. That is the core of the problem – which makes it so hard to conquer. You don't deserve to go through this alone. I can travel this difficult road with you to a place where you are restored to your true self.
FEAR AND SHAME:
Every emotion has its place. Feelings which overwhelm you, however, can stop you from living life fully. The objects of our fears seem so real that it is hard to imagine feeling differently. This can change dramatically through a supportive therapeutic process. So, freedom from fear is a very real goal of therapy. Shame can often be as debilitating as fear, but less obvious. Shame can seem like the truth about who you are. But by examining where the shame originated and exploring beliefs about the self, surprising transformations are possible. I can help you to diminish these feelings and increase your capacity to truly experience life.
GRIEF AND LOSS:
To live is to encounter loss. It's part of our reality. But we need to be able to grieve and process those losses within a compassionate and empathic framework. And everyone's process is unique. The important thing is to be able to go through these most painful experiences and come out the other side. Getting stuck in a place where the pain is endless is not necessary. I offer a therapeutic relationship that can be helpful and healing.
Coping with ILLNESS, DISABILITY:
None of us is immune from the unexpected burdens of illness or disability. Having a place where all thoughts and feelings can be shared and received with compassion and empathy can greatly enhance your capacity to deal with the challenges you face. I can help you find your path through the fear and hopelessness that illness or disability can produce. Although the circumstances can often be overwhelming, you don't have to lose yourself in them. You can grow stronger despite adversity.
LOVE: FINDING A PARTNER, FINDING LASTING LOVE:
The world can be a disappointing place or a nourishing environment. We have something to do with the world we perceive. When it comes to finding a partner, we can become disheartened or hopeless, believing there are no good men or women out there. Or we can believe that there is something inherently wrong with us that makes us undesirable or unlovable. These beliefs can be fully conscious or exist just below the surface. When these beliefs are examined they always prove to be a distortion – one that is based on old injury or pain. When we untangle the teachings of early relationships and
re-invigorate self-esteem, the possibilities of finding a loving, caring partner open up in unexpected ways. I can help you travel the distance from enforced loneliness to the joy of having someone to share life with.
MEDIATION FOR SEPARATION AND DIVORCE:
When a marriage or long term relationship is ending, anger and pain can take over. Many things still need to be resolved and sometimes it is just too hard to do that without a compassionate and balanced third party. Through mediation, I can provide a safe environment to work out the painful but important elements at the end of a relationship.
PARENTING: NEW PARENTS, SINGLE PARENTING, AVOIDING REPITITIONS FROM CHILDHOOD
A child is a new beginning and an enormous responsibility. How can you know what to do? What is right or wrong? How to sort through the different points of view and find the approach that is going to work for you and your partner? How do you react to each new stage of your child's development and the attendant challenges? How do you keep yourself from fading into the background while you care for your child or children? How can you keep your relationship with your partner strong when so much of your energy and focus is on parenting? If you are a single parent, how can you manage everything yourself? What kind of support do you need? What are the beliefs and ideas that might interfere with you being the parent you want to be? How do your own childhood experiences play a role in your attitudes, fears, assumptions? I can help you answer these questions and find both clarity and greater strength as you engage the hardest job in life.
Healing PAST EMOTIONAL INJURIES:
When old injuries have not healed we just carry them around. It's like having a broken bone that didn't set properly. We often believe that we were the cause of the injury or that we somehow deserved the pain we experienced. It can also feel like pieces of the self are missing. I can help you to gently and respectfully examine what happened, what it meant, and what it doesn't mean. You can reclaim what was lost and become stronger than you imagine.
Realizing POTENTIAL, Achieving EXCELLENCE, Creating a MEANINGFUL LIFE:
Relieving pain is not the only domain of therapy. Removing barriers that limit your ability to fulfill your potential is another. Your quality of life is affected by many things: Accidents of birth, early experiences, random circumstances and actions, decisions and efforts made by you. When the foundations of self are strong you are able to take actions which are both self-protective and self-enhancing; you are able to use your instincts and insight to make knowledge based decisions and expend unfettered effort in the service of the self. The opportunity to live life to the fullest then becomes attainable: to realize your full potential, to achieve excellence and to create a life that is meaningful. We can work together to make that possible.
Dysfunction in any of the important relationships we have can undermine our capacity to live life fully. I can work with you to create a shift in the quality of these relationships.
Love: We need to be loved and to give love. It is that very elemental need that makes us so vulnerable when we are inside a love relationship. I can help you to understand and strengthen your vulnerabilities and become more able to receive love that adds to your well-being. You can learn to communicate with your partner in a more authentic and productive way. Addressing past injuries therapeutically can change the way we interact with our present partners. Becoming able to express real needs and set real boundaries can change the landscape of the most important relationships.
Family of origin: This is where we come from. Whether those relationships continue in the present as they were in the past can often be up to us – in terms of our expectations and awareness. Resolving old issues that keep going round and round like a revolving door – with mothers and fathers and siblings – can open up new opportunities for more satisfying relationships with less pain.
Children: Our children have a direct line to our hearts and also to our fears and often to our sense of self-worth. It can be difficult to acknowledge areas that may not be working in our relationships with our children. However, you can discover new understanding and create new strategies that promote real connection and healthy communication. This can open up these most precious relationships and replace frustration with joy.
Professional: So much of our life is spent working. And it's a place where many of us feel stuck. How we relate to people in our professional life and how we see ourselves in that context can contribute to much of the stress we experience around work. Our capacity to be as productive as we would wish and to have our work life feel truly satisfying can be an important goal of therapy.
Friends: Friendships can be deeply nourishing or another place where we feel a great deal of disappointment and a source of pain. Spending time understanding what isn't working and whether this can be changed can lead to a strengthening of the self. Becoming able to be your authentic self with your friends and having friends who really respect and admire you makes life a sweeter experience.
SELF-WORTH, SELF-ESTEEM, SELF-CONFIDENCE:
How you see yourself, what you believe about your value, lovability and capability determines how you present yourself in the world. You have an idea that is deeply held about how you measure up. Often this idea has been the product of insufficient support, respect or empathy on the part of the most important people in your life. I can help you discover your true self-worth beyond any self-defeating beliefs. We can put to rest the guilt and dread that may taint your authentic self and raise your self-esteem and confidence so that you feel strong and good about yourself.
Stress is unavoidable. How we react to it can vary widely. If we don't have a healthy way of limiting and processing stress, it can erode the foundations of our well-being – both physically and emotionally. I can help you examine and manage the reactions and attitudes you currently have toward the stressful areas of your life. By doing so, you will become far more resilient and less vulnerable to becoming overloaded and overwhelmed by stress.
Dealing with TRAUMA:
Things happen in life that change everything. Traumatic events in childhood can color our perceptions for our entire lives while remaining either partially or fully hidden from our conscious awareness. Traumatic events that occur when we are adults can derail our sense of safety. We can continue to see things through the prism of old, painful, shocking experiences forever. The trauma can be of a very personal and individual nature or one that was shared by many. It is important to be able to fully process the events and our feelings and thoughts about what happened – whether the trauma was recent or far in the past. It is never too late for recovery and healing to occur. But there are some things in life we can't do alone. I can help you find a way to move forward and put the pain to rest.
WORK ISSUES, CAREER BARRIERS:
Our work or professional experience can be one that nourishes our self-esteem or one that is full of pain, stress and conflict. How do you see your working self? What do you believe about your capabilities? Do you usually operate out of
self-doubt, feelings of being a fraud? Do you feel dread about your work or oppressed by those you work with? Do you feel unseen and unappreciated? Do you feel stuck and unable to move forward in your desired career? I can help you to navigate a more satisfying path to a work life that provides satisfaction, accomplishment and acknowledgement.