My Therapeutic Philosophy
I strongly believe in the transformative power of the therapeutic relationship. At the same time I also understand how odd it can feel coming into a stranger’s office for the nebulous purpose of “getting better.” Most of us are used to hiding certain parts of ourselves from others (and sometimes from ourselves), and yet these long-hidden layers are exactly what we’re supposed to talk about in therapy. That can be difficult -- I get it. Therapy can be weird.
And that’s exactly why I find it so crucial to start by building a strong foundation of trust and connection with each of my clients. Most clients find me warm, relatable, playful, and humorous, and I work hard to make them feel supported and understood. My job isn’t to poke and prod at you until you “spill your guts.” Instead, it’s to create an environment where it feels natural for you to peel back your long-hidden layers; where it feels like a relief to get things off your chest; where it maybe even feels good to uncover your long-hidden secrets. Okay, maybe not good. But at least not crummy. Hopefully cathartic. Possibly even transformative.
I believe that I am able to create this environment of trust and vulnerability in therapy because of something maybe a bit unusual about me: I genuinely like everybody I work with -- even teenagers! Truly. I’m a legit philanthrope. I love nothing more than getting to know somebody on a deep, authentic level, and it still amazes me that I get to do it for a living. The therapeutic process is often uncomfortable, even painful, but I believe my warmth, humor, kindness, and the genuine affection I feel for my clients makes therapy less painful than it might otherwise have been.
Finally, while therapy is about the problems, I tend to be a bit more strength-based than your average therapist. While working on the presenting problem is necessary, I don’t fixate on it. Instead, I see my client as a whole being, one with struggles and challenges, yes, but also one with passions, talents, humor, fascinating stories, and the potential for wonderful relationships. Therapy may be weird, but I know it can be deeply enriching as well.