Gender and Sexuality
I apply an affirmative approach to addressing issues of gender and sexuality. This means that I seek to understand these from the position of your own experience of difference. I also assess the potential impact of stigma and the strategies you may employ in response. I recognize the importance of not just providing a safe and knowledgeable relationship in which to support you, but to provide additional resources as necessary to reduce the effects of stigma and enhance your ability to fully integrate gender and sexuality into your life.
Depression can feel different to each individual: a shutting down of feeling, a longing to withdraw, a well of sadness, or a dark and narrowing path. It may be in response to life events and circumstances or come out of nowhere. It may be a new experience or one that has occurred many times before, and may lift after time or persist for weeks and months.
In working with you, we will assess the particular nature of your depression and employ a range of strategies to address them. These may include: 1) identifying and practicing specific actions or behaviors that bring relief, 2) reorienting thinking and beliefs, 3) creating opportunities for processing underlying emotions and, 4) addressing life circumstances that may contribute to feeling depressed. All of these can augment medical approaches such as the use of prescribed medication.
At various points in life, we may struggle with some aspect of our identity, re-defining who we are and how we relate to the world. Becoming a parent, identifying as LGBTQ, becoming a business owner, experiencing chronic illness are just a few examples of how our identities may change.
At these points, therapy can provide a safe, non-judgmental place to explore these changes, assess their impact, and adapt. At times, it can be particularly helpful to create a "road map" or plan for this kind of personal exploration. Ultimately, we move toward consolidating that identity so that there is increasing congruence between how we see ourselves and how we present ourselves to others.
I welcome and immensely enjoy the opportunity to work with couples. The work is by necessity more active and immediate. I will attend to your needs and identities as both individuals and as a system, and work with your strengths to address your challenges. There will be times where I may ask you to engage directly with each other in my office and I will offer suggestions and guidance as you do so. At other times, I will encourage you to practice new behaviors at home, and to review with me the effects of that work. I will always work to help you resolve conflict by learning new skills and strengthening the bonds between you, and to construct new meanings for the relationship. Finally, I recognize that many of the concerns affecting same-sex couples are unique, such as the impact of homophobia. My familiarity with these insures that I bring greater understanding and skill to my work with same-sex couples.
Persistent anxiety and worry can all too easily become disabling. The pit in the stomach becomes sleeplessness; self-doubt becomes panic; unsteadiness becomes a wall of fear. Ameliorating anxiety begins with assessing your own experiences with it, the history of those experiences, and what if any attempts you have made to address it. We then develop a plan for reducing anxiety. This may include working to change particular thought patterns and underlying beliefs, developing ways to process experiences that may contribute to anxiety, or changing actual circumstances or conditions in your life that fuel worry, such as work and relationships. All of these can augment medical approaches such as the use of prescribed medication.