My general practice covers a wide range of issues with these specialties:

Anxiety Disorders

Depression

Eating Disorders

Body Image

Chronic Illness

Personal Growth

 

Anxiety Disorders (including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Anxiety disorder can be very confusing and disorienting. Fears and symptoms can hit you suddenly, out of the blue. Or maybe you feel nervous all the time and don’t quite know why.

People who have never had an anxiety attack or generalized anxiety have trouble relating to your distress. Sometimes the harder you try to make your fears go away, the bigger they become.

My approach helps you understand why you are having these stressful experiences. We do a lifestyle analysis to identify your stressors. I educate you about the biology of anxiety. We formulate strategies for dealing with the symptoms and a plan for getting to the root of your distress.

The ultimate goal is less anxiety overall and the elimination of panic attacks. Therapy helps you enjoy life and face your days with confidence instead of fear.

 

Depression

Depression doesn’t always feels like sadness. Some depressed people feel numb and like nothing matters anymore. They simply stop caring. Fatigue, lethargy, insomnia, irritability and decreased sexual interest can all occur.

When you are depressed your body is telling you something is not right. Your interest in life is blocked. I will help you figure out the reasons for your depression. Often, depression is anger turned inward. Other times grief and loss are primary reasons for you loss of interest in life.

I help you identify and express your feelings. Together we will find new ways to take care of you. Identifying and embracing your strengths increases self esteem. The ultimate goal is a renewed zest for life and increased overall health. Often, depressed clients are “hating on themselves.” The ultimate goal of therapy for depression is self love.

 

Eating Disorders

Anorexia, bulimia, and overeating can seriously affect our health and happiness. In my current practice I do not provide the extensive medical services needed to monitor anorexia and bulimia. Therefore, my practice is limited to overeating.

Overeating and body size are often complicated issues that involve far more than the simple calories in, calories out framework. We analyze eating habits, life stressors, emotional eating and food choices.

I encourage my clients to eliminate yo-yo diet cycling. We identify attitudes about eating and body size as we build self esteem and mastery. Exercise and body movement are explored.

Increased awareness of your body allows for food choices and activities that nourish and sustain you. The goal is to feel good about your body and to trust the messages your body sends you.

 

Body Image

We live in a culture with narrow definitions of acceptable body size and appearance. Many people feel that their bodies are not good enough. We often have misconceptions about the way we look and the way we should look.

People who feel unattractive have a special set of challenges to face in both their personal and professional lives. The most attractive sometimes develop self objectification and struggle when their bodies age. Few of us are genuinely happy with the way we look.

The goal of therapy is to see your body accurately and build on your strengths. I teach clients to feel compassion for their bodies and to put their appearance in its proper place, as one aspect of who they are but not their most important quality.

 

Chronic Illness

Chronic illness saps not only your physical stamina but also your emotional and psychological wellness. The ill person and everyone around them are impacted by the effects of illness.

Frustration, anger and fear cloud our judgment and make it harder for us to make decisions. We may be overcome with sadness and grief as we come to terms with changes in our bodies and our lives. Our livelihood and financial security can be threatened.

When people don’t understand or accept our illness we may feel abandoned, rejected and alone. Chronic illness challenges every relationship and aspect of our lives.

As someone who has experienced chronic illness first hand, I understand. I can help you find your way through these challenges to a place of hope, acceptance and faith. Emotional health can strengthen physical health. Hopefully, along the way, we will find a deeper message for your illness and use that message to create greater health and well being.

 

Personal Growth

Some people wonder why they are considering therapy. Their lives are going well. Compared to others, they have a good life. They don’t have any real psychological or emotional problems. Their marriages are OK – maybe not great but fine.

These people call me wondering if therapy is silly when they already enjoy so many advantages. I ask them why they would deprive themselves of the benefits of therapy. Why not take steps to feel great instead of just feeling fine?

Improving your relationships creates even more personal satisfaction. People who feel joy and confidence benefit not only themselves, but also their families and the people around them. Therapy is not only for people feeling significant pain, but also for anyone curious about life who wants to live even better.

Change of Life/Crisis

Single Life

Relationship and Marital Issues

Parenting and Children

Divorce

School Phobia

 

Change of Life/Crisis

Life has a way of kicking us in the pants. We gain or lose money, loved ones die, children grow, we get older, are downsized/fired from our jobs, or experience divorce. Sometimes menopause or a declining sex drive triggers a change of life moment. Illness may knock us flat.

Changes in life challenge us. They are also opportunities. We can grow stronger or lose ground. Sometimes it takes time to figure out who we are when our world is turned upside down.

Therapy is a place to figure out where we have been, where we are now, and where we want to go. Often we need to grieve for what we have lost. Self reinvention may be in order. The ultimate goal is not just to survive the crisis; it’s to use your crisis to be better than you have ever been before.

 

Single Life

It used to be that we lived in a couples’ world. Singles were the exception. Today single life is more common than ever before. In the United States 44.1% of all people are single.

Many of us are single by accident. Some would like to marry but can’t find the right partner. Others are widowed or divorced against their will. All must live without the benefit of a married partner by their side.

On-line dating and meetup groups have dramatically changed the lives of singles looking for love and companionship but some things have not changed. For some it is very hard to find the love of their lives.

Others struggle to feel good about their single state. Loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, loss and rejection can cast a pall on your days. The goal of therapy is to make the most of your unattached state so you can exude confidence and not desperation. Self worth and owning your strengths can help you find dignity and delight in the single life.

 

Relationship and Marital Issues

When our relationships are going well, everything is easier. When things are rocky between us and others, misery is often the result.

Relationships can trigger feelings from the past and fears about the future. We may struggle to understand how the other is feeling.  Often we have trouble adequately expressing our own ideas and feelings. At times effective communication is difficult or even impossible.

Taking time to systematically and thoughtfully examine your relationships can initiate dramatic change. Whether or not your partner joins you in therapy, our work can help you become happier and more secure. The goal is to create relationships that honor and support you and the people around you.  Creating good relationships can be an extremely challenging goal. The divorce rate is testament to this difficulty.  In therapy we look for new ways to achieve intimacy, mutual appreciation and pleasure.

 

Parenting and Children

Even very good parents sometimes wonder how to best support their children. There are so many theories about parenting. Every child is different. Mothers and fathers must find a way to meld their styles to serve the needs of their child.

I have been helping parents and children since the late 1980’s. My training allows me to work with children aged 10 and up.

Some problems are mild. Subtle interventions are enough to get things on the track. Other times there is reason for serious concern and stronger interventions are required.

I help you assess your parenting and all aspects of your child’s life. We will develop a treatment plan that reflects your child's needs. School administrators and psychiatrists may assess your child’s well being differently than you do.

I am not only your therapist, I am also your advocate. I personally coordinate with doctors, teachers and school administration to promote your child’s success and happiness.

 

Divorce

Separation and divorce are one of the most traumatic events a family can face. Though painful, good therapy helps you make this transition more smoothly.

During a divorce, emotions run high. Therapy helps you release your pain and make better decisions. Advice from someone who has been through this process gives you a broader perspective.

My experience in the legal field can be an asset for divorcing couples. We will formulate guidelines to protect you and others. When you are scared I will help you understand the process so you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Let me help you work through your grief to a place of acceptance. Divorce gives everyone a chance at a fresh start. The goal is to heal your wounds from the past and create the stability needed to allow for a bright future.

 

School Phobia

When kids are afraid to go to school parents are often torn about the best approach to take. There are times it is best to force your child to attend school and learn that they can face their fears and be OK. Staying away from school often makes their fears larger.

Other times, forcing a child can create larger problems that seriously threaten your child’s emotional and physical health. Parents are frightened and confused for good reason.

Schools must consider not only what is best for your child but also the well being of other students. Sometimes the school and parents are at odds and parents may not know who to trust or what to believe.

Watching our children struggle creates sadness, uncertainty and shame. Our parenting is on display for everyone to see. Others may not understand all that we have been through or the real issues.

I have considerable experience working with students who suffer from school phobia. My approach combines the resources of the school with family support. I am willing to attend school conferences to help you and the school hammer out the best plan to help your child.

Our goal is to get your child safely back into school. I want your child to feel proud of his/her mastery and see their return to school as a triumph over their fears. I want them to know they can be strong even when they feel scared. We will use all the resources around them to give them their best chance at success.