Individual Therapy

Welcome! The best therapist is the therapist that's right for you, On this page, I provide more information about my clinical specialty areas and how I think about them so that you can decide whether my services seem like the right fit for you. If you'd like to skip straight to any topics, you can do that using the links below:

Anxiety

        

Depression

      

Persistent Anger

   

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural emotion that we all feel. It serves the helpful purpose of motivating us to work towards our goals or solve problems in our lives. However, when it runs amok, anxiety can restrict us from doing what we value, harm our relationships with others and even begin to dominate our lives. It  can show up as uncomfortable body sensations (heart racing, muscle tension) or negative thoughts ("What if I'm a total failure?") that go around and around in circles.

While it is a universal emotion, I also believe that everyone's anxiety shows up a little bit differently and people develop patterns of how they respond to their anxiety over time. I would work with you to understand your anxiety better and to develop more helpful ways of responding to it.

 

For more information on the clinical tools I would use to do that click here.

Anxiety Mind 1.png
 

Depression

Depression Mind.png

Depression is about much more than simply feeling sad. It is like carrying a huge invisible weight on your back that goes everywhere you do and makes everything harder. Motivation and drive seem to evaporate. Things that used to bring joy begin to feel empty, and so it is natural to stop doing them over time. It is hard to see the good in anything, and it becomes hard to connect with others. This is a lonely and isolating experience, as it just feels more bearable to stay in and try to manage the negative thoughts and feelings alone.

If this describes how you've been feeling, I am so sorry to hear it. It is not your fault that you're depressed, but (fortunately or unfortunately) you are the only person that can find your way out of it. I would work with you to (1) address the negative thoughts that often come up in depression, and (2) help you get engaged in doing things that are important to you.

For more information on the clinical tools I would use to do that click here.

 

Persistent Anger

Like anxiety and sadness, anger is a natural emotion that we all experience. Anger is an emotion that tells us that something is wrong or that our boundaries have been violated in some way, which is pretty useful information. However, anger can become problematic if you notice it coming up in many different situations across the board, if it feels like the main emotion dominating your experience, or if your reactions to the anger cause complications in your life.

It can be a powerful realization that we have many options for how we respond to anger. I would work with you to identify what purpose the anger is serving for you, and to assist you in finding more helpful ways of dealing with angry thoughts. For more information on the clinical tools I would use to do that click here.

Anger Mind.png
 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

I always do this!

Why am I such a failure?

CBT on Hover copy.png

Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that is based on the idea that our thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and behaviors are all interconnected. While these factors can each influence one another, it is our thoughts and behaviors that we have the most ability to control. As a result, these are the main focus in CBT.

CBT's primary emphasis is on helping you develop skills that you can use in your day-to-day life, such as the ability to recognize and push back against unrealistic or unhelpful thoughts. Increasing your awareness of your own experiences and patterns can also help with communicating your emotions to other people. In the case of anxieties or fears about something that is unrealistic or unlikely, CBT works by helping you confront your fears in a safe way so that they no longer have the impact they once did.

For additional information about CBT, please see  this video  from  Psych Hub .

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) shares a lot of similarities with CBT in that it focuses on how we think and what we do. The core philosophy in ACT is that human suffering is caused by our profound ability to represent abstract concepts in our minds.

 

For example, having the thought "I am a loser" only causes suffering to the extent that we buy into it or accept it as true. ACT suggests that, rather than challenging the content of our thoughts like CBT does, it is helpful to change our relationship with our thoughts (for example, how literally or seriously we take them).

In addition, ACT places emphasis on understanding your values - the things that drive you and give your life meaning. These are different for each person, and are explored in the therapy. Finally, mindfulness is a key concept in ACT. Often associated with meditation, mindfulness is a moment-to-moment awareness of our internal experiences and the outside world without judging them. The more we practice mindfulness, the more we can learn to be more compassionate toward ourselves and others.

For additional information about ACT, please see  this video  from  Psych Hub .

I am a loser.

Loser on Hover.png

Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.

 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Barracaded door.png

If you've been through a terrifying or traumatic event and are still feeling the heavy weight of that experience even several months or years later, you may be dealing with the effects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Common experiences in PTSD are:

  • having thoughts or memories of the trauma come to your mind when you don't want them to

  • avoiding certain people, places, or activities because they remind you of what happened

  • feeling irritable or jumpy

  • being "on guard" in public

  • nightmares and difficulty sleeping

  • feeling isolated from others and emotionally numb

  • blaming yourself or viewing yourself negatively

PTSD is a very exhausting disorder to have, and it can also have a significant impact on relationships with friends and loved ones. The good news is that there are proven effective therapies for PTSD.

 

I provide both of the "gold-standard" evidence-based treatments for PTSD, called Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure Therapy. You can learn about each below.

 

Cognitive Processing Therapy

One of the effects of trauma in PTSD is that it can profoundly shift the way that people view themselves, other people and the world in general. People with PTSD often blame themselves for causing the trauma, and may have beliefs like "I'm not able to keep myself safe" or "the world is completely dangerous."

 

These thoughts, referred to as stuck points, are the primary focus of Cognitive Processing Therapy. By working through these beliefs in the therapy, people with PTSD can learn to shift their perspective, which in turn reduces their PTSD symptoms.

CPT is typically delivered in a format of 12 weekly sessions, but also involves daily home practice that you do on your own. In this way, the therapy combines skill building with emotional processing of the trauma.

 

For more information about CPT, please see this helpful video from  Psych Hub .

I can't trust anyone

CPT on Hover1.png

Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.

 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

One of the most psychologically painful symptoms of PTSD is the memories or images of the trauma coming to mind when you simply want to have a moment's peace. People with PTSD may do many different things to keep these images out of their minds, such as staying busy with work or avoiding situations that bring them up.

 

Unfortunately, it is precisely the avoidance of these memories and situations that keeps the PTSD locked in place.

Prolonged Exposure (PE) targets this process directly by helping you confront the memory of the trauma in a way that is both safe and systematic. By doing this repeatedly, the trauma memory loses the power that it once had over you. It becomes one part of your history but no longer feels like it defines you.

At the same time, the therapy helps you confront situations in real life that you may have been avoiding, such as going to the grocery store or being in public. By doing these things you had previously avoided, you learn that you can handle the situations well. This process helps people with PTSD feel less anxious in the situations and ultimately expands the boundaries of what's possible in their lives.

PE involves approximately 10 weekly sessions as well as daily home practice. Much like CPT, when people have the space in their lives to engage in the treatment fully (that is, to do the home practice), it can be truly life-changing.

For more information about PE, please see this helpful video from  Psych Hub .

Open Door1.png
 

Let's talk!

Book a free 15-minute phone call with me