Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

Why I became a therapist

When I was growing up with an alcoholic father and a codependent mother, I saw and experienced my family's angst as we tried to look good when things were bad. And when I struggled with an eating disorder, I witnessed first-hand my parents' and brothers' pain and frustration as they attempted to help me. 

I was one of the lucky anorexics who survived. At the age of 30, weighing 68 pounds, I finally entered therapy for “anxiety and depression.” I am immeasurably grateful for the guidance I received from many helping professionals. And I deeply appreciate the gifts both of my disease and of my recovery, which have helped me understand, in a way that no amount of education or clinical training could, the experience, thinking and behavior of those who struggle with food problems and other addictions.

It was my own journey towards recovery that compelled me to become a psychotherapist. I wanted to help individuals and families free themselves from the bondage of pain, codependency, unhealthy relationships, emotional eating and addiction.

 

 

How I work with you

First and foremost, therapy is about  you -- what brought you into therapy, what thoughts, feelings, fears and concerns are stirring in you today, and what you want to be different in your life. I ask you many questions and give you the opportunity to speak freely about what troubles you, as well as about what brings you joy and pleasure. In therapy, we work together to help you understand yourself and your struggles, overcome barriers and grow towards achieving  your hopes and dreams.

If you come in with a partner, you each have space to share both about yourselves individually and about your relationship -- to revisit what brought you together and what it means to be in relationship with your partner, as well as to voice the the disappointments and pain that have brought you in as well as the desire you have to reconnect. Couples work is particularly tender because the flame of love between you and your partner may need rekindling and stoking, while at the same time, you each have grievances to air for the hurts and wounds you have suffered in your relationship. 

I know it can be difficult to share your innermost world with someone you don't know. I am compassionate, empathic, non-judgmental and respectful of you and whatever pain has brought you in, and I provide a safe and welcoming space in which you can share parts of yourself that may have been hidden for a very long time. I seek to create a close, collaborative relationship with you so we can identify and explore the obstacles to your happiness and foster your growth towards the life you choose.

  

My therapy style

I am a seasoned therapist and have trained and worked in many modalities. What I believe is more important than any particular technique or approach in therapy is developing a relationship with you -- a relationship in which you can trust that I understand your struggles, have your best interests at heart, and and will help guide you towards achieving the life you desire. Therapy, at root, is about bringing forth the best in you -- the essence that you want to embody and express. 

My background using a variety of therapy approaches -- psychodynamic work, family systems therapy, eating disorder treatment, addiction and codependency treatment, interventions, cognitive work, mindfulness-centered therapy, body-centered therapy, and several modalities for helping couples -- allows me to I draw from a broad base of experience in working with you. I strive to use the best in me to bring out the best in you. 

 

I have an integrative approach specializing in the following areas:

 
 

EMOTIONAL OR STRESS EATING

Get support and specific tools to help you heal self-defeating eating patterns and address the feelings that drive you to eat for emotional reasons. more

EATING DISORDERS

Would you like to find peace with your body? Do you obsess about food or weight? Are you frequently upset about your appearance? Do you feel like you can’t manage your eating or your weight? I can help you stop obsessing and start living. more

ADDICTION

Do you, or does someone you love, struggle with dependence on alcohol, drugs, food, sex, self-injury, overspending, computer games, or gambling? Does your life feel unmanageable and ruled by acquiring substances or repeating specific unhealthy behaviors? Do you keep swearing that this is the last time you are going to do this? more

COUPLES

Do you feel misunderstood or unheard by your partner? Have you noticed an increase in negativity, criticism, arguing or distancing in your relationship? more

CODEPENDENCY

Do you try to control another person’s behavior through your actions? Does your peace of mind depend on how people close to you are feeling? Do you think it is your job to make those around you happy? When you place your needs second to those of others, and put effort into making other people feel or act in certain ways, you are acting in co-dependent ways.  more

WOMEN’S ISSUES

Are you feeling overwhelmed by trying to balance the demands of motherhood and/or work, and holding it all together? Have you forgotten what “fun” is? Do you find yourself trying to cope by getting too little sleep, drinking too much coffee or wine, or snacking throughout the day and night? more