How do I know if you’re the right therapist for me?
The most important factor in achieving a successful outcome in therapy is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client. Usually I’ll meet with new clients for one or two sessions and then check in to see whether it feels like a good fit to both of us. Take some time to reflect on how it felt to have intimate conversation with me after we meet, and I will also think about our time together. If either of us feel it is not a good fit, or if I believe I do not have the proper skills or training to help you with what you wish to work on, I will refer you to another therapist who I believe will be a better fit.
I encourage you to speak with as many therapists as you need to to find what feels right for you; that said, it is not advisable to see multiple therapists concurrently for more than a few sessions to figure out the right fit. Each therapist has a different style and personality; my best advice is to go with your gut feeling of who you are most at ease with.
Do you work with clients in person or online?
I offer both in-person and online sessions via Zoom. I am in the office on Thursdays. In-person clients are required to have proof of vaccination against COVID-19. If local authorities determine that it is unsafe to meet indoors due to a new wave of COVID-19, in-person sessions will move online until it is safe to resume meeting in person.
How frequent are sessions? How long will I have to be in therapy?
I meet with clients once per week at a designated appointment time that will stay consistent from week to week. The majority of my clients meet with me once per week for the duration of our relationship.
Requests for therapy sessions every other week will be considered after 4 months of weekly therapy, and an every other week appointment is not guaranteed upon request. I can accommodate only a very small number of every other week spots during set times, and they are usually full. If I do have an opening, most likely you will have to change your current appointment time.
Clients see better results from therapy when they can attend consistently, and the research shows that weekly (or greater) frequency yields better therapeutic outcomes than less frequent therapy. If therapy at a frequency of less than once per week is something you are wanting at the time you are initiating therapy, we should talk about why that appeals to you and the options that serve you best.
The duration of therapy depends on each client. We will discuss your goals for therapy at the start of treatment, so we have a roadmap to check our progress against. I encourage my clients to try therapy for at least three months. This may sound like a long time, but results of therapy accrue over time rather than being an immediate fix. If you are not able to make a commitment to the process, you run the risk of the therapy being a disappointment or feeling like a waste of time or money.
What is your approach to therapy?
I have a creative background, having worked as an actor and vocalist for over 10 years, and many of my clients are creatives. I also worked doing research at the intersection of mental health and the arts while I was in graduate school, so I am particularly aware of the challenges presented to those working in creative careers.
My style is a combination of experiential/somatic as well as psychodynamic methods – both “bottom-up” and “top-down.” Talking about events and relationships in your life currently, as well as those from the past, can help us track and analyze patterns of behavior, some of which you may want to shift. While insight is important, it is also the tip of the iceberg. It is often the case that tracking and naming issues and how we want to change does not instantly result in changed behavior. By using mindfulness-based, experiential, and somatic techniques, we will slow down and get to know the moment-to-moment experience of what happens when a particular emotional reaction is enacted internally. This gives us information about the “how” in addition to the “what.” With practice, this can help to slow down your process, as you come to witness your own reaction rather than remain immersed in it, allowing for more freedom to choose your response to difficult situations rather than automatically reacting.
My training includes gestalt, Hakomi, internal family systems, nonviolent communication, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. You can read more on the About Me page.
What issues do your clients most often see you for?
I work mostly with clients struggling with anxiety and mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder.
Do you prescribe medication?
No. You will need to see a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner for a prescription. If medication or medication management is something you are interested in, we can discuss your needs and I can provide you with a referral to a qualified prescriber.
What are sessions with you like?
For the first session, I ask my clients to talk about what’s bringing them to therapy. This can be what’s going on in your life now, or things from the past that feel important – whatever is easiest for you to talk about as we get to know each other. It may feel awkward at first revealing intimate personal details to someone who is essentially a stranger, so go at whatever pace feels best to you.
In the second session I usually will begin a full intake where I will take notes and ask you questions about your history, relationships, habits, and lifestyle. This will help give me context for what’s going on in your life currently.
As sessions progress, they are different for every client. Some methods are very prescriptive and have a set format for a set number of sessions; this is not how I work. Sometimes it makes sense to do a few minutes of mindfulness practice or body awareness at the beginning of the session to practice and to let what’s present that day guide the session; other times, we might launch right into talking about the events of the week.
I work collaboratively with my clients. I encourage clients to let me know if a direction I am doing isn’t working for them, or if something I said landed the wrong way. Talking openly about these sorts of things lays the groundwork for relational growth both inside and outside of therapy and is an important skill to cultivate.
While I work somatically, this mainly involves guiding clients toward a felt sense of their body; I do not do hands-on bodywork or tissue manipulation.