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Philosophy

Treatment Philosophy

I custom tailor a treatment plan that takes into account each individual’s or family’s strengths and goals. I believe in combining high quality treatment with the virtues of old-fashioned care – the kind where we take as much time as we need – no insurance company forcing us to rush or interfering with our treatment plan. And I strive for clear, open communication about your biggest concerns, without the doctor-speak.


Medication

I believe that some problems can improve with therapy alone and without medication, although medication can be a valuable adjunct, and is occasionally curative.  At the end of the initial evaluation I will give you my opinion on what treatment would be best for you.

I do not accept money, dinners, or gifts from drug companies or their representatives.  Not even pens or stickies.


Psychotherapy for adults and couples

I frequently see adults with depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties or ADHD; family or relationship stress and separation or divorce; feelings of emptiness, or those suffering from grief, trauma, abuse (PTSD), or loss; and those having difficulty coping with medical issues. I also work with many adults on improving their time management, organizational, managerial and leadership skills.

My main therapeutic work with adults is psychodynamic, meaning that we strive not just to reduce symptoms of suffering, but to get to their root causes, and then work to improve one’s sense of self and relationships.  This process takes time and commitment, but the changes are usually long-lasting and for the better.

Skills from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) are also incorporated to make the treatment comprehensive.  Finally, elements of eastern philosophy are woven in at times to help us deal with issues that western psychotherapy techniques have yet to fully address.

When working with couples, my hope is that we establish an atmosphere of trust, in which each member can safely bring issues to the table. By facilitating each partner’s ability to hear the other, and providing skills for more effective communication and conflict resolution, we work toward a greater understanding of each individual and the relationship itself.


Psychotherapy for children, adolescents, parents and families

I often see children and adolescents who get into trouble; have academic, learning, or relationship difficulties; have ADHD, anxiety or depression; are underachievers; have family stress or whose parents are divorced or separating; or who have been adopted, abused, neglected or traumatized.

My focus with children is multi-fold: to improve behavior, academics, and relationships.  I frequently work with families to help them deepen their connection, work through conflict better, and in the process, reduce troubling symptoms.

Many parents who see me have tried rewards and consequences with only limited success, feel “blamed” by other clinicians, feel guilty, or are at a loss.  I start with the assumption that parents are doing the best they can given what they’ve got, and I then work with them closely to help them understand the meaning behind their children’s symptoms, and how to respond to them more effectively.  In this process, we not only reduce symptoms, we deepen the parent-child relationship and improve the child’s self-esteem.

My work when seeing children and adolescents individually involves giving them a safe place to share their troubles; to help them communicate their distress in more prosocial, effective ways; and to build their strengths and sense of self.

Since the natural language of children is play, I engage in therapy with youngsters that takes advantage of this medium, helping them integrate these concepts naturally.  With teenagers, I try to meet them on their level to help them open up better—for example, sometimes that means they bring their iPod into a session to help me understand what music speaks for them, and then, we work to help them express those feelings better themselves.