“My approach to helping the client understand and resolve difficulties includes consideration of diet, exercise, faith, family history, client developmental history, traumas, social life, and intimate partner relationships.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
Since I was an adolescent, I envisioned myself as a clinician. I became interested in the helping professions in high school while mentoring elementary-aged boys. I came to the realization that helping others in crisis was helping me get through my own family crisis at the time. I chose a college curriculum that was geared toward understanding the human condition, so I focused my studies on the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, and social work. I chose an advanced degree program in the social work profession because of its emphasis on the biopsychosocial approach, which is the most holistic approach to understanding and resolving the problems of the human condition. After 10 years of working in the profession, I was ready to open my own private practice.
What should someone know about working with you?
My approach to helping the client understand and resolve difficulties includes consideration of diet, exercise, faith, family history, client developmental history, traumas, social life, and intimate partner relationships. A beginning, middle, and end of therapy are identified from the outset in order to map the course of our work together. However, while our conversation will be goal-focused, it may not be linear. As new insights materialize, the focus of our conversation may change. Homework is assigned at times but is not mandatory. Often the homework and the very assignment itself is the idea of the client. Homework may take the form of writing, practicing a social skill, or developing a healthy routine. I work with clients from an infinite variety of backgrounds with various goals.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
I continue to cultivate a meditation practice and regular reading of psychology classics. I’m particularly interested in the interface of Eastern psychology/meditation and Western psychotherapy tradition. My continuing education is both formal and informal, including international bicycle touring, professional supervision, academic reading, non-academic reading, language learning, meditation, and permaculture. Of the formal postgraduate work that I have completed, my practice is most influenced by mindfulness-based stress reduction and trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy. However, my approach is centered on building a fruitful relationship with clients that can provide them with the opportunity to grow.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
I was raised in a small coastal town in Maine during the 1980s and 1990s. I learned the virtues of hard work and self-reliance from my family and local tradition, which I credit largely for my success. In my practice, I encourage clients to exercise the will in the change process much like one would exercise a muscle. The most difficult experiences in my life have provided the most opportunity for growth, which I help clients recognize in their own difficult times.
“Of the formal postgraduate work that I have completed, my practice is most influenced by mindfulness-based stress reduction and trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy.”