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My Practice

My training has taught me to help people examine and describe the life they have, identify areas in which they are “stuck,” and reconnect to the life goals that motivated them. Sometimes this stuckness has to do with certain feelings, sometimes it is about past traumas, often it shows up as repeating patterns in significant relationships, and sometimes it manifests as a malaise in which a direction in life seems impossible to find.

"Memory believes before knowing remembers."

- William Faulkner
Often people have a sense of why they are stuck but have a hard time bringing all the pieces together in a way that allows new learning to take place. Some things are too painful or terrifying to bear alone. Together, we will seek to find the roots of the stuckness. Once that stuckness is truly experienced and witnessed, it gifts us the perspective and information we need to move forward in life. With new experiences, our world becomes a larger and more exciting place, richer in possibilities; a place where we are more comfortable being - both with ourselves as well as with others.

I practice psychodynamic mind-body psychotherapy, incorporating Psychoanalytic, Existential-Phenomenological, Experiential Dynamic, and Buddhist perspectives. My work has been informed by Psychoanalytic Infant Observation and Child Development Theory, Attachment Theory, Affect Theory, and Neurobiology, and is based on Mindfulness of the present moment.
  • Psychoanalytic: My work is informed by the development of the mind, from object relations to intersubjectivity. The healing process takes place through open dialogue between therapist and client, where the therapist empathically follows a client into the unconscious and difficult psychic spaces, and together they find ways of making the experience bearable. The understanding that comes from exploring relations bears the fruits of increased confidence and freedom, feelings of integration and wholeness, and a deeper sense of meaning and aliveness.

  • Existential-Phenomenological: Existentialism teaches us we are essentially free and that can weigh on us heavily. We can feel guilty for not becoming the person we sense we are capable of being before we pass from this lifetime. It is up to us as individuals to create meaning in our lives. Phenomenology teaches us that the more clearly we can describe our particular suffering, the deeper the opportunity for healing. Paradoxically, our particulars reveal to us our common humanity.

  • Experiential: My mind-body work with clients is experiential, in that it attempts to bring into present-moment awareness and make meaningful that which has been unconscious and stored in the body. I use Buddhist mindfulness practices, Eugene Gendlin's Focusing techniques, and the Hakomi Method with clients to help facilitate a dialogue with bodily experience.

  • Dynamic: My practice is psychodynamic in that the processing of early childhood experiences of family misattunements in the "here and now" can lead to letting go of limiting, defensive patterns driven by unconscious fears and identifications with the past.

  • Buddhist: Buddhism teaches us that there is a fundamental connection between all things; that change and impermanence imply we are only limited by our limiting beliefs, and reminds us of the necessity of compassion and generosity towards all beings.

  • Infant Observation & Child Development Theory: Following the process Ester Bick developed at the Tavistock Clinic, infant observation helps to ground analytic theory in the experience of infant & child development.

  • Attachment Theory: Every child must be attached to a caregiver, or perish. The strategies (both the good and the bad) we learn in infancy to create an attachment to our caregivers tend to persist throughout life. In adulthood, the less adaptive strategies tend to cause people to be labeled by others as insecure, jealous, rageful, needy, or withdrawn. Therapeutic relational experiences can help people gain an earned security. Securely attached, people begin to explore their self and their environment, unlocking their creativity and creating successful relationships.

  • Affect Theory: So much of the “juice” of human life comes from the sharing and receiving of emotional signals, and yet experiencing and expressing our emotion can feel so vulnerable, or even, forbidden. By exploring the emotional signals that feel threatening in a safe environment, we unlock the unconscious and new avenues of behavior for the enrichment of our lives.

  • Neurobiology: A new field of clinical practice, articulated by Daniel Siegel, interpersonal neurobiology attempts to infuse psychotherapy with neurobiological research into how structures in the brain function and relate to one another. It explains how the interpersonal qualities of mindfulness and compassion can heal the dissociative tears in the mind caused by trauma.

  • Mindfulness: Through the repeated practice of the mind taking as the object of awareness that which is being experienced in the present moment, the mind develops and evolves - emerging out of embeddedness, into the possibilities of deep peace through acceptance, and new freedom of choice.

I also weave in, when appropriate, aspects from the various schools of psychoanalytic thought, Gestalt psychotherapy, self-psychology, an Emotionally-Focused-Therapy-styled approach for couples, Nonviolent Communication, Motivational Interviewing, and cognitive-behavioral therapy modalities such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Ultimately, all that I do as a therapist is held in the context and teachings of the Buddhist tradition about self-reflection and compassion.

Professional Memberships & Licenses:

  • Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy Institute

  • Alliance: Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study

  • American Balint Society

  • American Balint Society Balint Group Leader Education Fellowship Committee

  • American Mental Health Counselors Association

  • American Psychological Association: Division of Psychoanalysis (Division 39)

  • Center for Object Relations

  • International Psychotherapy Institute

  • International Psychotherapy Institute Infant Observation Program Committee

  • National Certified Counselor by National Board for Certified Counselors

  • Northwest Balint Circle: Celebrating Collective Wisdom

  • Spiritual Directors International

  • Washington Mental Health Counselors Association

  • Washington State Licensed Mental Health Counselor

  • Western Canada Psychoanalytic Society and Institute Community Affiliate

Scheduling & Fees:

  • Hours: Mondays through Thursdays
    Free initial consultation session

  • Fees: $180 hour | $85 groups | $70 classes
    Payment: Check, cash, card

  • Insurance: I will provide a statement with the necessary procedural and diagnostic codes for you to submit for reimbursement. Please check with your PPO insurance provider about coverage.

  • Sliding Scale: Yes, based on household annual income.  Currently, my slide scale hours are full.

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