Areas of Clinical Experience: Codependency, Anxiety, Depression, Sleep difficulties. I also specialize in working with couples who experience distress, dissatisfaction, and decreased warmth and intimacy in their relationships due to destructive cycles of conflict and problematic communication.
Clinical Model: I believe that our life challenges often present uniquely tailored opportunities for our growth. When we don't have effective ways of coping with internal or relational distress, it "shows up" in our life in the form of sleep difficulties, or symptoms of depression or anxiety, or weight issues, or inability to focus or sustain our attention. It also shows up as increased conflict and consequently reduced capacity to experience joy in our most intimate and loving relationships. Effectively learning to manage our internal distress and cope with our anxieties is the key to ultimately having a productive and self-directed life. Therefore, I teach my clients to become aware of their “reactions” and learn how to choose to "respond" instead of feeling forced to "react" to their inner turmoil, their circumstances, their life events, experiences and ultimately to their partners or children. Conceptually speaking, I understand my clients' lives with a bio-psycho-social-emotional model. I ask questions regarding health, sleep, eating, relationships, emotions and cognition, spirituality/religion (when applicable), and family history because they all connect to who we are at this time, and how and why we experience certain difficulties in certain areas of our lives.
In my work with couples, I teach partners to develop differentiation and resilience, instead of dependence.I also help partners work on individual issues that contribute to the relationship difficulties. I may recommend some intensive individual work along side couple sessions, if I note that individual issues are coming in the way of your ability to progress in joint session.
I teach practical conflict-resolution skills using Gottman's model to partners. Using ideas of differentiation and comfort-growth model from David Schnarh's Crucible therapy approach, I teach partners ways to effectively manage their internal distress, increase their distress-tolerance, and communicate from a place of integrity within themselves. These skills help couples de-escalate destructive patterns of volatility or shut-downs (fight or flight or freeze reactions).
Specific Techniques: In addition to traditional cognitive behavioral strategies, I specialize in the use of Mind-Body techniques, mainly Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Clinical hypnosis. Mind-body techniques bring about relief from:
(A) Psychological and emotional symptoms such as:
- Depressed mood,
- Relationship conflict,
- Attention difficulties, and
- Self-destructive habits such as smoking
(B) Stress-mediated medical conditions such as:
- Gastrointestinal problems,
- High blood pressure,
- Autoimmune diseases,
- Pain (acute and chronic),
- Chronic fatigue, and
- Sleep difficulties.
My therapeutic style tends to be collaborative, respectful and educational, and my clients note rapid relief in their suffering, emotional-psychological or relationship-based.
**I am a clinical member of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) and an associate member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and routinely travel in order to attend trainings and conferences for my clinical education.