Relationship counseling tends to be short-term, perhaps eight to twelve weeks, and focused on a particular problem or set of problems. Working with a therapist means learning tools - ways to communicate and connect, sort out differences and boundaries, and take better care of ourselves and each other. When you develop new tools for resolving a current problem, then you have a tool box to take home with you and apply to any problems you may encounter in the future. It is axiomatic in relationship counseling that the relationship is the client. Relationships thrive on good boundaries, communicating about our emotions, owning our feelings, and the deep honesty and emotional presence that we sometimes call transparency. Only in our deepest relationships do we get the opportunities to struggle with our hardest conflicts. Therapy can support that struggle and work toward an outcome where everybody wins.
I offer a safe environment for all kinds of relationships: couples, triads, and polyamorous and BDSM families. From my experience in complicated poly families and negotiated power exchange in S/M, I learned to value diversity in lifestyle choices. I like to work with the particular strengths and resources your lifestyle provides.
Solution-Focused Therapy for Individuals
Together, we apply tools and techniques from cognitive and behavioral therapies to solve a problem. People often come in for support with challenges such as looking for a job, making a difficult decision, or getting through college or graduate school. Many come with very concrete goals, such as being able to do something without anxiety or poor self-esteem getting in the way. In problem solving therapy, we investigate questions such as: How did you learn the way you deal with this difficulty now? How has that served you so far? What might you choose to do differently? How could you learn new emotional skills? Many of the tools I employ are directed at developing a practice of being kind to yourself and treating yourself very well, especially when approaching a difficult task.
Individual Therapy for Deep Healing
Compassion begins at home. Opening your heart to yourself may not be easy, but it's certainly worth it. This first step toward healing old wounds can constitute a solid foundation for the project of building self-awareness and self-love. The better you know yourself, the more choices you have and the freer you are.
The challenge is to become conscious. I'm a great believer in the power of consciousness. My work is informed by Jung's concept of Shadow, which teaches us that the thing we most fear to look at and that we forbid ourselves to be aware of is the obstacle that we are stuck on. The work of therapy is dragging all that sticky stuff out into the light of consciousness. Once you have found a safe way to be aware of whatever was getting in the way, healing progresses rapidly. Therapeutic techniques might include sand tray, art therapy, EMDR, guided visualization, journaling, homework, and role play.
I offer acceptance, unconditional positive regard, and a warm relationship with gentle challenge to support you on your journey through your own emotions.