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The therapy relationship

The therapist-patient relationship is the heart of the therapy process. Creating safety together provides the foundation for you to create your own safety and to evaluate safety in your relationships with others. I view therapy as a collaborative process of equals. You are the expert in yourself, and even though you may not have the answers you want yet, you are the only one who can decide what those answers will be. My commitment to you: I will hold space for you without expectations of who you “should” be or what is “healthy” to do. I am authentically myself with you, not to show you how to live, but to provide an experiential model for creating safety so you can make space for yourself.

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Do you feel a lack of control over your own life, loss of meaning and purpose, pain about a difficult past, or a sense of anxiety and overwhelm? Have you tried to cope alone and question if that is enough anymore? When people have experienced complex trauma—whether it is oppression, childhood abuse, painful relationships, or the struggle of being alive—they often lose trust in themselves. Therapy is an opportunity to rebuild that trust, redefine your sense of self, choose your values, shift your relationship to the past, and create a life of meaning and engagement. People have an amazing capacity for resilience. The skills people develop through struggle are valuable and deserve to be honored, even if they are not a good fit anymore. Rather than teach people to change negative thoughts, emotions, or behaviors, I provide a safe environment for you to listen to the thoughts and emotions you have. Pain and difficult emotions are powerful signals; learning to be with distress enables you to hear and connect with yourself. 

Relationship Systems

Are you struggling with relationship conflict or avoidance, misunderstandings, lack of relationship security, jealousy, or relationship renegotiations? Relationship therapy is an opportunity to practice internal safety and build safety in your relationship(s). The fear of criticism, abandonment, and interpersonal distress often motivates people to cope through avoidance, defensiveness, aggression and control, reassurance-seeking, and emotional manipulation. While these strategies may provide a sense of safety, they often undermine the type of safety people are trying to cultivate in trusting relationships. I provide a contained space to have challenging, growth interactions as you create safety individually and together. I present ideas and ways of interacting, and you decide together what is a good fit for you. There is no one right way to have a relationship—there is only what is right for your relationship values.

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For neurodivergent/autistic/ADHD patients, I use a neurodivergence-affirming identity development model rather than a disease/'behavior correction' model.  I support people in discovering themselves as authentic neurodivergent people, deprogramming shame and internalized ableism, and developing ways of living that respect their needs, strengths, and cognitive processing style.

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