I utilize a developmental approach to psychotherapy in that I am interested in my client’s early developmental experience and how that has impacted the way they function in relationships, navigate developmental milestones throughout the life cycle, and how they negotiate challenging or traumatic life events.
Here and Now
Although historical material is important in providing perspective and developing insight, my practice focuses on how the past impacts individuals in their present lives. This aspect of my approach includes utilizing what happens in the therapy relationship to address behavioral or relational patterns.
The Therapeutic Relationship
The therapeutic relationship provides an opportunity to explore how historical patterns that were once essential for an individual can become less functional in meeting one’s needs. As the therapy progresses the relationship between a client and their therapist becomes a microcosm of present and past relationships. This affords one the opportunity to practice new patterns of relating to others in the world around them and helps achieve long lasting change.
Some aspects of our identity (i.e. race, gender, ability, sexual orientation etc) are supported or positively reinforced by the communities we live in, media, and or the larger world around us and others may feel marginalized and reinforced by systems of oppression. Exploring differences in relationships (including the therapeutic relationship) can be helpful in validating and working through the trauma of marginalized identities and learning more about the impact of privileged aspects of our identities.
Groups, Couples and Family
Often an individual has made progress addressing personal issues of concern but has struggled to integrate these gains in their relational lives. Group, couples, and family therapy provide unique settings in which to address the relational aspects of personal issues. Conversely these modalities often shift individual dynamics, which have not been sufficiently addressed in individual psychotherapy.
No two therapeutic experiences are the same. Each therapy is unique due to the unique aspects of each client and how that client relates to their therapist. I have found it important to respect the client’s ability to shape the therapy to meet their personality style and needs.
I hope that this information helps provide an understanding of what I bring to assist the therapeutic process and meet each client’s individualized goals.