Psychotherapy is for healing, for problem-solving, and for growth. All of these mean change–changing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that hurt, don’t work, or get in the way of moving forward. Psychotherapy is effective when it does more than simply identify what you want to change; psychotherapy is effective when it teaches you how to change, and how to adopt thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that create more effective, emotionally satisfying, and fulfilling ways to live.
Based on what we are learning about how our brains grow throughout our lifetime, my therapy is active, and present and future-oriented. While awareness of how you got where you are can be helpful, my therapy focuses on what you experience now, and where you want to go. In our work, I encourage experiments that help you try out new ways to think, new ways to imagine, and new ways to do things to make the changes you want to make.
There are many therapeutic approaches effective for different people for different purposes at different times: psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, humanistic and Gestalt therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, crisis intervention, grief counseling, trauma-focused approaches like EMDR, mindfulness, imaginative rehearsal, hypnosis and guided imagery—all of these offer wisdom, skills, and techniques. We use whatever works.
But all research, and all experience, tell us that what matters most is a strong, positive, trusting relationship with your therapist, and—in addition to basic competence—your therapist’s ability to provide unconditional acceptance, render realistic encouragement, and instill and hold on to hope.