Areas of Expertise
The struggles men face over their lifetime can be overlooked and in many cases their experiences are minimized and invalidated. Most men will tell you the one thing we know is "we should never be weak.” This narrative creates a great deal of psychological problems for men, particularly struggles to find genuine connection and authentic happiness. Many men find it difficult to communicate honestly (expressing vulnerability) with their partner(s) about what is really going on, including feelings and emotions (especially fears), and their mistakes. Some men believe they cannot make mistakes and instead are driven to overachieve, do what is necessary to avoid pain, and strive for perfection. Avoiding vulnerability becomes a way of life.
Most men have not been taught to identify what they're feeling, have not been given space to explore feelings, and certainly have not been encouraged to express their feelings. I help my clients begin with slowing down and organizing the most pressing problems first. I provide psychoeducation related to the body and the body’s nervous system which helps clients feel more in control. We integrate evidence-based interventions into our work. These interventions are based in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), and mindfulness techniques. Additionally, I conduct this work from a trauma informed lens.
I work with, and identity with individuals of the LGBTQ community…and all those beyond those 5 letters. The underpinning of my work is guided by the ongoing research particularly related to trauma experienced by LGBTQ+ individuals. The community is wonderfully diverse in age, racial and ethnic identity, socioeconomic background, education, religious affiliation, and many other identifiers. These identities should be experienced as strengths but instead are often used to marginalize individuals and to create self-doubt, negative thinking, and induce symptoms associated with trauma. Each member of this community has a unique experience which is not comparable to another member's experience. Therefore, I work with you as a individual to explore and understand the specific issues bringing you to counseling and to create a tailored treatment plan to address your needs.
Trauma symptoms can arise when we experience moments in life that are beyond our emotional, physiological, psychological, and spiritual threshold. The experience can be confusing and disorganizing. It can keep us awake and restless, re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks, and instill a cycle of avoidance. Our bodies feel different and respond differently. Our mind tries to organize what happened to help relieve the uncomfortable symptoms and often we forget or overlook important details. Trauma can have a lifelong impact on individuals and their loved ones.
The treatment of a person who has experienced trauma(s) is personal and should be tailored to that individual’s specific experience. I have had the honor and privilege of learning from highly respected professionals in the field of trauma research and treatment. I follow the guidelines outlined in Judith Herman’s heavily researched and successfully applied Stages of Trauma: Safety, Remembrance & Mourning, and Reintegration. This work is approached in very specific ways. I outline how the stages will likely be experienced and what can be expected during our work together. I have seen great success with these approaches. I encourage you to schedule a complimentary consultation with me so we can meet and review your treatment needs together.
Relationship problems can arise in traditional couple and family environments, as well as in more nontraditional arrangements. I encourage each member in the relationship to tell me about the problems from their perspective and in their own language. Effective communication is at the heart of the treatment process. I integrate evidence-based interventions aimed at increasing each person's communication skill level. Specifically, I anchor the treatment to the Gottman Method. It is the foundation to my relationship work while also integrating Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with mindfulness-based interventions and Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) approaches. This combination of interventions has been proven to be effective in helping those individuals dealing with relationship problems appreciate, understand, and respect the need to stay calm, rational, and effective in their communication.
Addictions-Post-Treatment and Continuing Care-
I have researched and worked in the field of addiction treatment since 2005. I work with individuals who are currently in or beyond the “Contemplation Stage” in the Transtheoretical Model (Stages of Change). These individuals know there is a problem and are thinking through the pros and cons of change. Individuals who can integrate personalized skills-based training and feedback from a trained clinical professional while attending support groups and aftercare services tend to have higher rates of success in maintaining their long-term sobriety goals. Therefore, I work best with individuals who have completed in-patient or day-treatment to continue the work that treatment centers are typically unable to address during the more intensive treatment episodes. I work on the deeper issues that must be addressed to avoid relapse and to maintain balance in life.