The heart of therapy, for me, is a mutually constructed relationship that enables you to know yourself in a radical, more honest way.

When two people come together with the shared focus of helping one of them, a transformation can occur. The relationship I form with clients, or patients, is collaborative. It's not that I know what's best for you and just need to tell you. Together, we find ways to make sense of your life that allow you to develop more satisfying strategies. Therapy is not formulaic. It would be nice if it was that easy. But each of us comes with an intricate and unique set of experiences. Our history, genetics, gender and interests vary widely. It takes time to sort through the influences on our lives, and make sense of it all.

Therapy works best when we explore and understand your emotional terrain. Perhaps most transformative is developing the ability to experience new or unresolved feelings. This allows the safety that we need to take healthier emotional risks, become more creative, and develop a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life.

There are a number of reasons people seek therapy or analysis. We suffer from distress, often labeled anxiety or depression. This can take many forms; we can even have symptoms of both at the same time. On the anxious side, we can experience panic attacks, performance or social anxiety. PTSD is in the anxiety family. Depression takes the form of chronic dissatisfaction on one end, to debilitating inertia on the other. We may experience feelings of guilt, worthlessness, insomnia, or loss of interest in the pleasures of life, including sex. Underlying anxiety or depression are complex progressions of thought, emotions and physical sensations which need to be examined and worked through. This work requires a caring relationship.

Research in Neuroscience shows that therapy can change brain chemistry and structure, similar to ways that medication works. These changes enable a person to think and behave differently. The research also shows how most of the mind operates out of our awareness - unconsciously. Therapy can allow us to access unconscious thoughts and feelings that direct our behavior. Then we can develop a more meaningful and rewarding life.