I believe that each of us is born with an internal urge to grow and become the whole, complete persons we have the potential of becoming. I also believe that, in order to achieve our potential, we require relationships with others characterized by safety, acceptance of our uniqueness, affirmation that we are worthy of love and valued as persons, protection from outside threats, accurate feedback/information from others about self/others/life itself, opportunities and challenges to become our best self and room/space to grow with the support of others. Unfortunately many of us have made the best that we could of our life circumstances into which we born & reared, where some or most of these characteristics were absent, thus disrupting our process of growth & becoming. As a therapist I try to provide a professional environment & relationship characterized by these qualities in order to provide a setting where persons can continue their growth as needed. Choosing counseling and/or psychotherapy is one of the most powerful avenues to achieving the growth one desires & one of the most self-caring steps one can take. Choosing that step can be frightening and difficult, especially in the beginning. I understand that I must earn your trust through (1) empathetic listening & understanding, (2) empowering you to grow in the areas and at the pace you choose, (3) providing accurate and affirming feedback, (4) exploring options available to you to achieve your goals, (5) utilizing the strengths you've already acquired to develop others, (6) supporting you through the changes you choose to make and (7) consistently affirming your right to be known, valued and encouraged to be the unique person you are.
For some thirty years I have had the privilege of working with individuals, couples and families from diverse backgrounds & life experiences including different cultures, socioeconomic and educational achievements, ethnic, national and/or racial groups, religious or non-religious affiliations, sexual orientations and occupational/professional groups. I have extensive experience and/or training with the following issues: marriage & family, especially step-family dynamics & military families; trauma & traumatic stress; chronic illness, such as cancer; grief & loss; couple relationships; life transitions, developmental & situational; men's & women's issues; spiritual and/or religious issues, including religious alienation & oppression as well as spiritual development within or without religious affiliation; and self-care for professional and person/family caregivers. My goal as a therapist is to facilitate the growth and becoming that my clients choose so that they can continue it independently of a therapist. I see my therapeutic relationship with my clients as sharing just a brief segment of their life's journey so they can fulfill the destiny of their own choosing. I see clients who often enter therapy to adjust to or manage constructively a situational crisis, such as marital/family conflict; job & financial loss; diagnosis with a chronic illness; death of a significant person; relationship problems; occupational dissatisfaction/complications; divorce & remarriage & the process between; depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress syndrome, retirement other life transitions, mid-life discontent, parental concerns, cross-cultural stresses, and clarity about & complications with sexual identity. Invariably the process of dealing with these and other crises becomes an invitation to growth as persons in ways that might have escaped them up to that point. Growth almost always involves some degree of change in our functional patterns, ways of relating, how we see ourselves & others and what we do or do not believe. Change is also anxiety-provoking and often requires the support of others, including professionals like a therapist. So I invite you to continue growing, moving toward wholeness and becoming the unique Self that you are. I would be glad to participate in that process with you for a limited period of time so that you can move on without me as a professional.