Areas of Practice
I have worked with survivors of trauma for twenty-five years, helping survivors of abuse and sexual/developmental trauma recover and thrive. Unpacking both recent and longstanding trauma issues is key to long-term recovery.
Narcissistic abuse recovery
Coercive control and emotional abuse is not yet well understood in the larger psychological community. From both personal and professional experience with narcissistic abuse, I help survivors recover from cognitive dissonance and gaslighting and address underlying self-esteem and attachment patterns that make us vulnerable to narcissists and toxic relationships.
Depression and anxiety
The way you think determines how you feel, and identifying and changing distorted thinking patterns improves the way you feel. CBT is a powerful tool to help clients heal from depression and anxiety. I also use behavioral interventions to address anxiety.
Borderline personality disorder and complex PTSD originate in trauma, and I seek to end the stigma of these diagnoses. By using DBT, I help people stop the cycle of self-injury and chronic suicidality, heal the underlying trauma, and recover from trauma.
Substance abuse/dual diagnosis
Because mental health and/or trauma is usually at the root of addiction, it is critical that substance abuse treatment address the core wounds that make individuals turn to substances to self-soothe. I tailor treatment to encompass harm reduction and a gradual reduction in use, work with MAT prescribing physicians, and help manage addiction from a long-term, disease management perspective.
Modern parenting comes with no playbook. I work with families to increase communication, understanding, set reasonable limits and protections with social media, and help navigate healthy parent-child relationships.
Because many of my clients are unpacking years of trauma, our work generally begins with evidence-based therapy (CBT/DBT) to enhance coping skills, examine unhealthy thought patterns, and better tolerate distress. We create safety plans together when self-harm or suicidality is involved. In some instances, and for some clients, this work helps improve their lives dramatically, and we complete our work together. For most others, once these coping skills are in place we can begin a deeper level of trauma-focused treatment to heal underlying trauma.
With more in-depth trauma work, I typically utilize approaches based in inner child work, internal family systems (parts work), and EMDR. With relational trauma, we identify the factors that contribute to a vulnerability to repeating unhealthy relationships, based in family-of origin-and self-love issues.
Clients recovering from trauma oftentimes have concurrent attachment issues that impact adult relationships. Examining these patterns and guiding clients to secure attachment and healthier adult relationships is another focus of my work.
When addiction is an issue, I create an individual remission plan with each client. I have seen clients have much success with therapy, abstinence, and 12-step meetings alone, yet this is not a solution for everyone - particularly those with opioid or polysubstance abuse. I support a harm reduction model, with a gradual reduction in use, and partnering with addiction psychiatrists to prescribe medication assisted treatment. There are many individual paths to recovery, and I tailor treatment for each individual to achieve long-term remission.
I see many clients without a history of trauma who prefer a more solution-focused, brief course of treatment. Examples of this work include brief family therapy interventions, parenting issues, work and role stress, anxiety, and in some cases mild to moderate depression. In these situations, we collaboratively develop a treatment plan and work towards resolving clients' goals for treatment.