My Philosophy and Approach
Addressing mental health issues in therapy is like nursing a plant back to health: when a plant is malnourished, neglected, or ill, it will have unhealthy roots and as a result, unhealthy leaves. Similarly, a person who has experienced life challenges such as trauma, isolation, and loss, may experience poor mental health and unwanted symptoms. If the roots of symptoms aren't addressed, improvement is challenging. For this reason, I emphasize working through the roots of symptoms with clients for long-term improvement and supplement this work with skill-building and practical strategies.
I don't practice from one specific form of therapy; instead, I combine concepts and strategies from several types of therapy in a wholistic way to meet client needs, strengths, and unique concerns.
Concerns I work with include:
Depression & mood disorders
Trauma & PTSD
Regulating emotions and anger
Existential concerns (e.g. purpose, meaning, identity, life direction...)
Suicide and self-harm
Adults of all ages
cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT focuses on challenging and changing negative thinking and associated behaviors and emotions. CBT also involves developing personal coping strategies that focus on solving current problems. CBT is based on the idea that unhelpful beliefs and behaviors play a role in the development and maintenance of mental health issues.
acceptance and commitment therapy
ACT emphasizes acceptance of negative thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories. There is also an emphasis on being present with what life brings, and moving toward one's values and what is meaningful despite suffering.
eye movement desensitization & reprocessing
EMDR is used primarily in the treatment of trauma, but it is also useful in addressing other issues such as anxiety and depression. Generally, troubling memories are recalled and explored while eye movements are performed to help in processing the memories. The goal is to reduce distress and make peace with past experiences.
internal family systems
IFS suggests that the mind is made up of multiple parts (emotional states, aspects of our personalities, competing wants and desires...). Parts may be extreme or in conflict with other parts, causing distress and confusion. The goal of IFS is to create a cooperative and trusting relationship between a person and their parts.
Existential therapy focuses on the human condition and the struggles that come with it, such as death, responsibility, and the meaning of life. Instead of regarding human experiences such as anxiety and depression as mental illnesses, existential therapy sees these experiences as natural and focuses on how to navigate them.
emotion focused therapy
EFT is based on the belief that human emotions are connected to human needs. If emotions are fully felt and worked through, they can help people change problematic emotional states, make informed choices, and improve interpersonal relationships.