I practice from a psychoanalytic, relational perspective. I view psychotherapy as a path to greater self-awareness, a deeper understanding of oneself, ones relationships and the world. While it is often acute symptoms like anxiety, panic, or depression that bring us into therapy, I believe that there are deeper issues below the surface that must be addressed in order to find lasting change and a deeper ability to function, enjoy life and create and sustain meaningful relationships. Symptoms are attempts at solutions to underlying problems, and those flawed solutions often work well enough for months or even years before they begin to bring us more pain and suffering than they alleviate. I believe that the process of long term psychotherapy helps us to build the capacity to step back and observe ourselves---both our internal dialogue and the one's we enter into with other people. This power of observation promotes lasting change.
It is my belief that the mind body connection is powerful and any approach to treatment must honor the whole person and both the pain and wisdom that reside in our beings.
I view people as ultimately social beings, and our relationships and connections with others—for better or for worse—hold the key to both our difficulties and our greatest happiness. We create both conscious and unconscious narratives about who we are in the world, what we can expect from other people, and how to be in relationships from the moment we enter the world and begin forming attachments to those caring for us. These attachments are powerful road maps for understanding both our strengths and vulnerably. The process of psychotherapy helps us to understand who be believe we are and what we think we deserve at an unconscious level so that we can begin making conscious, thoughtful and mindful choices about what we need, want and can offer to others and ourselves. Psychotherapy promotes the authenticity, vulnerability, and interdependence necessary for meaningful relationships and self-actualization.
Pregnancy and Postnatal Treatment
I specialize in treating women and families during the transition to parenthood—during pregnancy, early postpartum, and beyond. I recognize that the transition to parenthood brings with it an overwhelming range of thoughts and feelings---from transcendent joy to the depths of despair, and everything in between. A common reaction to these sometimes difficult and ambivalent feelings is self-judgment and insecurity, leading to greater suffering. I use a psychodynamic approach in combination with mindfulness mediation techniques to help my patents learn to attend to experience as it happens with loving kindness; I want my clients to be better able to hold and parent themselves as they learn to do this for another.
With this singularly ordinary/extraordinary task of trying to tenderly keep a tiny human being alive while working to grasp what it means to be someone’s parent—let alone continue to do things like sleep and feed yourself—trying to find time for yourself can feel impossible. However this is a critical time to seek that support. Becoming a parent is an incredibly triggering experience---in ways we can’t possibly anticipate our earliest relationships come to bear as we attach and bond to our children. Unresolved issues and conflict, grief and loss, insecurity and self-doubt come bubbling to the surface. Sometimes in the form of recognizable anxiety and despair---but also in more veiled ways, like persistent irritability, rage, intense focus on our child/children, intrusive thoughts about harm befalling our child, etc.
I help my patients to reflect on early attachment patterns and past trauma as a way to understand and consciously shape their forming of a parental identity. I also assist them in practicing being in the present moment with their own feelings and those of their children to work toward the goal of responding less out of fear and anxiety, and instead by building relationships within families in a more thoughtful, grounded way.