My approach is engaging, collaborative and directive. While I hold a warm, safe space for you to process your feelings, I am also an active participant in the process of your healing.
I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you examine how thoughts and behaviors affect your feelings. We'll look at distortions in thinking and learn how to reevaluate them. I'll help you identify problematic behaviors and give you better coping skills. I'll introduce you to techniques to face your fears and calm the mind. We'll work on developing a greater sense of confidence in your abilities. All of this provides you with the tools necessary to challenge the thoughts and behaviors contributing to anxiety.
Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is another modality I utilize. Here we learn to stop avoiding, denying or struggling with difficult emotions. You will learn how to accept these emotions while redirecting your attention toward what you value. Accepting your feelings and engaging in what you value can help you create a full and meaningful life.
For the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). The exposure is a purposeful confrontation of the obsession. An obsession can be a thought, feeling, image, sensation or urge that causes anxiety or distress. Once the obsession has been triggered, response prevention refers to the choice to not engage in a compulsive behavior (physical or mental). This process gradually desensitizes the brain to the obsession. ERP is the gold standard treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
I blend Mindfulness into all the work I do by helping you to become the observer of your thoughts and engage in the present moment. Here we learn to view our thoughts and feelings with non-judgement: to view them as neither “good” nor “bad”. I incorporate Self Compassion techniques to help you hold your thoughts and feelings with a sense of kindness and nurturing. This combination of mindfulness and self compassion empowers you to be more fully present in your life.
Finally, I use EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing). EMDR is a highly researched, highly effective power tool for healing trauma and painful life experiences. EMDR can also expedite the treatment of everyday difficulties such as confusing negative emotions, problematic behaviors (drinking, overeating, procrastination) and physical pain. Humans are wired to heal from emotional pain but, like a physical wound, we can’t heal if something is blocking the wound. EMDR uses a specific protocol and technique to find and remove the blockage so that we may forge a new relationship with a distressing experience.
I have been influenced by the work of Jonathan Grayson, Reid Wilson and Kimberely Quinlan (CBT and ERP); Russ Harris (ACT); Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield and Kristin Neff (Mindfulness and Self Compassion); and Laurel Parnell (EMDR).