Whether working with a child, adult, or an entire family, I always begin by leaning into the therapeutic relationship. I strive to create a warm, judgment-free environment where you can feel comfortable processing difficult experiences and sharing vulnerable feelings. Through my curiosity and a genuine desire to get to know the “real” you, I use our connection as a tool to help you feel safe as you explore the depths of your internal world. I believe that this relational process can help you attain a better understanding of yourself, your relationships, and your role in the world. Ultimately, it can lead to insight, growth, and even transformation.
With children (and sometimes even adults), I combine talk therapy and play therapy. Play is a language used by children to explore, understand, and express their internal worlds. It can take many forms, and I pride myself on my ability to listen, understand and connect across countless forms of expressive play. Whether it’s board games, drama therapy exercises such as role-playing or puppet shows, expressive arts therapy, or just throwing things around a room, I find myself engaged and attuned, always looking for the deeper meaning hiding underneath the language of play.
To illustrate the power of therapeutic play, here’s a quick example from my work: For my first couple years with a teenage client, I felt his suffering, but also felt him holding something back. When I learned that he loved rap music, I suggested we each write a rap song. I shared mine with him – a playful song about what I liked about him. When he shared his with me, I was awed and honored that he’d opened up about his experience of the trauma of losing his father to addiction. Talk therapy had felt too direct and raw, but through the lyrics of his rap song he was finally, for the first time in his life, able to share his feelings of anguish, loss, loneliness, fury and love.
The most important moments in my work often come from such unexpected interventions.
While relational therapy is great for long-term, transformative change, I also appreciate the need for a firmer approach to treat more acute problems such as persistent tantrums, ongoing family bickering, problematic screen use, or situation-specific anxiety. In such cases, clients often want rapid solutions. That’s why I integrate a variety of action-oriented interventions into most of my work, ranging from behavioral/CBT interventions and coping skills development to a variety of directive family interventions intended to help families recognize and disrupt problematic patterns of interactions. As an integrative therapist, I always support clients in finding short-term solutions to immediate challenges while simultaneously working towards longer-term transformational growth.
Finally, a growing trend in therapy has therapists serving as “general practitioners” of mental health, an approach I encourage. It allows clients to maintain a strong relationship with a therapist through their lifespan, rather than starting from scratch with somebody new every time they encounter a new challenge in life.
Whether you’re looking for therapy for yourself or your family, I would be honored to be a part of your journey towards emotional health, better communication, growth, connection, and vitality. And if you find we are a good fit, I would be thrilled to serve as your general practitioner of mental health needs.