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My Approach

Sunlight illuminates golden tones in the leaves of an exquisitely shaped tree in a Japanese garden.

Image credit: Photo168 -

If we have these personal problems, we must live with them and see how time brings some kind of personal evolution rather than a solution.

                                                                                                                                                          – D. W. Winnicott         

My approach is grounded in both the psychodynamic and Jungian depth traditions, with an open-ended curiosity about what makes each of us feel, think, and act the way we do, and about what might be the necessary conditions for change to occur. My understanding is informed by my own depth work and a recognition that psychotherapy is often hard work. The process asks us to face what doesn't work in our lives, so we are often confronting pain, disappointments, and difficult emotions. Yet I also know the potential of psychotherapy to be profound and joyous.

It's profound because it's a relationship unlike any other in our lives. It's grounded in care, yet open to challenge. It's governed by strict rules of confidentiality that protect your privacy. There's space for you to be honest and forthcoming, and also to hide. It can be joyous because there's a feeling of liberation as you shed old limitations, speak freely, and experience those "a-ha!" moments of self-insight. There's pleasure in being seen and heard, finding the welcome to exist just as you are, perhaps for the first time. Psychotherapy is a space where we face what is arrested or seemingly dead within us, and find that life still exists, and that we can embrace our existence. 


People come to psychotherapy because something is no longer working, something is unbearable, something needs to change. But in seeking change we are working with patterns that have deep grooves – ruts that are hard to get out of. Parts of you will be on board with the process, and parts of you will be resistant - after all, you formed this way in response to life, and you don't yet have proof that life can be different. As your psychotherapist, I'll listen to you, and you can speak freely. Together we'll reflect on what you bring in, and I'll point to things for you to consider. The work is supportive - we explore resistances to understand and soften them, rather than break through them. There will also be times of challenge, where I comment on what seems to be a fixed view, or where you bring forward a response to something in our relationship that provokes you. This too is part of the work, seeing relational patterns come to life in the here and now of the sessions. In time you will come to understand yourself better, have more clarity about what you feel, and develop new ways to think about your life and act in the world. With such understanding, symptoms or issues often dissipate, fixed patterns become more flexible, and the way through life challenges reveals itself.

With each person, I look for what works, what are the access points. I work with somatic approaches, drawing attention to what your body is telling us, and emotional processes. These hold primacy. There's room for the mind, yet real change often won't occur until these other layers are allowed to come forward into the conversation. The drop-down menu items on the "My Approach" tab open pages that go into detail about ways I may work with you, depending on fit. These are based in my training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, dreamwork and Sandplay (depth approaches from the Jungian tradition), Somatic Experiencing®, and a phenomenological / emotional / somatic orientation.

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