Often it is helpful to explore the underlying factors (situational, familial, cultural, societal, temperamental) that are influencing your current behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Such knowledge can provide the impetus to change what is not working or provide an acceptance of and the means to cope with circumstances that are currently beyond your control. We’ll find strategies to address specific needs that resonate with your unique strengths and skills.
Methods may include:
CBT: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy explores the cyclical pattern of our thoughts’ impact on our feelings that in turn influences our behavior. The resulting behavior will affect our feelings/thoughts and so on. In part CBT teaches us to monitor our self-talk and ruminations and learn to tease-out thoughts that are realistic from those that reflect a no-longer-helpful narrative.
Mindfulness: Learning to be non-judgmentally aware of the present moment. Such awareness can open the opportunity to interrupt and change a habitual response. Being present also calms the mind/body.
Somatic Techniques: Emotions are often locked in our body. Attending to physical cues allows us to uncover feelings and memories that need to be released. Techniques may include deep breathing, relaxation exercises, EFT (emotional freedom technique), and movement.
Visualization: Guided imagery taps into our mind’s visioning process and may result in a deeper understanding of the phenomena influencing our behavior. Images generated can allow us to release emotions and discover self-soothing strategies. Visualization can also provide a means to 'practice' new behavioral options.
Solution-oriented: Examines the times that we are manifesting the behaviors, thoughts, feelings we’d like to develop more fully, allowing more control over the factors that encourage such behaviors.
Positive Psychology: Strengthens our natural optimism, appropriate assertiveness, and resilience.
My work with couples is guided by the work of Dr. Sue Johnson and Drs. John and Julie Gottman. Dr. Johnson developed Emotionally Focused Therapy which explores the natural interdependence between partners. Depending on our partner for nurturance, comfort, and protection our needs can sometimes become thwarted due to ineffective communication. Drs. Gottman have developed effective communication strategies and techniques to increase a couple’s friendship, ability to manage conflict, and create shared meaning. I've helped couples resolve conflicts and increase marital satisfaction by developing their understanding of mutual interdependence and natural attachment needs and at the same time improving their communication skills.
Additionally my background working with children has given me insight into the strains that parenting can place on a marriage. Together we aim to optimize parent’s understanding of their child’s strengths and needs as well as help parents develop strategies for effective child-rearing.