Areas of Expertise
The struggles men face over their lifetime can be overlooked and in many cases their experiences are minimized and invalidated. Any man will tell you the one thing we all know is we “should never be weak.” This narrative creates a great deal of psychological problems for men and their struggles to find genuine connection and authentic happiness. Some Men struggle with communicating honestly (expressing vulnerability) with their partner about what is really going on, including fears, feelings and emotions, their mistakes, and their slips. Some Men believe they cannot make mistakes (be imperfect) and instead constantly over achieve, avoid pain, strive for perfection. Avoiding vulnerability becomes a way of life.
Most men have not been taught to identify what they're feeling, not been given space to explore feelings, and most surely have not been encouraged to express their feelings. I help my clients begin with slowing down and organizing the most pressing problems first. Then, I provide psychoeducation around the body and the body’s nervous system which helps clients feel more in control. We move on to integrating evidence-based interventions in our work. Usually, these interventions include Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) with a lot of mindfulness interventions. I conduct this work from a trauma informed lens.
I work with, and identity with, individuals of the LGBTQ community…and all those beyond these 5 letters. The underpinning of my work is guided by the ongoing research of trauma experienced by LGBTQ individuals. The community is wonderfully diverse in its identities, including racial identities, socioeconomic, education, religious backgrounds, and many others. These identities should be experienced as strengths but more often than are used against individuals to create self-doubt, negative thinking, and symptoms associated with trauma. Each member of this community has their own unique experience within this community and cannot be compared to another members’ experience. Therefore, I work with you as a unique case in order to explore and understand the specifics of what is contributing to the current issues brining you in to counseling and create a tailored treatment plan to address your needs.
Trauma symptoms can be felt when we experience moments of life that are beyond our emotional, physiological, psychological, and spiritually threshold. The experience is confusing and disorganizing. It can keep us awake, restless, in constant states of flashbacks or in a nagging sense of avoidance. Our bodies feel different and respond differently. Our mind will try to organize what happened to help relieve our symptoms but more often we forget or overlook important details. Trauma can have lifelong impact on individuals and their loved ones.
The treatment of trauma is personal and should be tailored to each individual’s specific experience. I had the honor and privilege of learning from great women in the field of trauma research and treatment. I follow the guidelines outlined in Judith Herman’s heavily researched and applied stages of trauma: Safety, Remembrance & Mourning, and Reintegration. This work is handled in very specific ways. I outline exactly how the stages will be experienced and what will be expected during our work together. I have great success with these approaches and, as always, I encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation with me so we can meet and review our treatment together.
Every member of the couple will tell me in their own language "communication" is the issue. I integrate evidence-based interventions aimed at increasing everyone's level of communication. Specifically, I anchor the Gottman Method as the foundation to my couples work while integrating Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with mindfulness-based interventions and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). This combination of interventions is proven to be effective in the treatment of trauma-related symptoms while also helping couples appreciate, understand, and respect the need to stay calm, rational, and effective in their communication skills.
Addictions-Post-Treatment and Continuing Care-
I have researched and worked with addictions since 2005. I work with individuals who are currently in, or above, the “Contemplation” stage of the Transtheoretical model. These individuals know there is a problem and are thinking through the pros and cons of change. Individuals who integrate personalized skills based training and feedback from a trained clinical professional while attending support groups and aftercare services tend to have higher success at maintaining their long-term sobriety goals. Therefore, I work best with individuals who have just completed treatment as I continue the work treatment centers are unable to address during the treatment episode. I work on the deeper issues that really need to be addressed to avoid relapse and maintain balance in life.