I have 14 years working as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I specialize in depression, anxiety, trauma, and couples counseling.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR
Long-lasting, successful relationships can be hard work and I believe it is an act of faith and bravery for a couple to acknowledge that a problem exists and make the conscious choice to work with a therapist. Their willingness and commitment to growth is an investment with many benefits. My primary approach when working with couples is using the techniques of Emotionally Focused Therapy. As an EFT therapist, I encourage couples to express their actions and emotions in a secure, non-judgmental environment. By observing the release of feelings, emotions, and anxieties of one partner, the other can gain new insight and perception into the effect their own actions and behaviors have on the relationship as a whole. I believe that problems between a couple are best treated by changing the way the "couple" works rather than trying to fix just one person in the relationship. My goal is to help them restore their relationship to a better and healthier level of functioning.
I believe that all people experience depression at some point in their life. However I work with people who experience situational, as well as clinical depression that inhibit them from enjoying even the smallest, simplest things in life. In the beginning, we look at all things in their life – their history, their family of origin, traumatic events, as well as current events that are affecting their ability to enjoy their present life. Depression can also be clinical, such that medication management may become a part of the treatment plan to help them begin to feel better and manage their life. Medication is a personal decision and it is not without in-depth exploration into the “whys” of the depression before a decision is made.
While everyone experiences some form of depression during their life, I work with those people who are suffering from severe, intractable depression, whether it be situational or clinical. I believe that with insight and awareness into the “whys” of their depression, they are able to find new ways to cope and begin to live the life they have dreamt of living . I do believe that some forms of depression are clinical and often medication is a useful adjunct to the therapy process. However, choosing to use medication is a personal decision by the client and it is not until we have completed a full history and assessment of their symptoms that we may make the decision to go that route. I believe there is help and there is hope and fighting this terrible disease. And hope is the most important part of the therapy process.
I am an EMDR-trained therapist (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and frequently have used this technique when working with clients who are suffering from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress, and other emotional problems. In the past, these conditions were difficult and time-consuming to treat. EMDR therapy can often help the client heal more rapidly and provide lasting relief for many types of emotional distress. I also employ a technique called Brainspotting, which is a relatively new form of treatment that taps into the body’s innate ability to heal in order to reduce and eliminate the impact of unresolved trauma, negative beliefs, and emotional distress. It accomplishes this by using a unique and powerful combination of specific eye positioning and bilateral auditory stimulation (music). Brainspotting is designed to discover, dislodge, and ultimately release trapped energy so it no longer causes problems in our life.
Long-lasting, successful relationships can be hard work and I believe it is an act of faith and bravery for a couple to acknowledge that a problem exists and make the conscious choice to work with a therapist. Their willingness and commitment to growth is an investment with many benefits. I work from a systems perspective—that problems between a couple are best treated by changing the way the "couple" works rather than trying to fix just one person in the relationship. My goal is to help them restore their relationship to a healthier level of functioning without either partner having to breach their core values, dreams, or deeply held beliefs. Another approach I use are the techniques of Emotionally Focused Therapy. I encourage couples to express their actions and emotions in a non-judgmental environment. By observing the feelings of one partner, the other can gain insight and perception into the effect their own actions have on the relationship as a whole.