“I have trained in many different styles of treatment and, through them all, discovered the common theme of helping the client give themselves permission for the unacknowledged parts of themselves to shine forth.”
What was your path to becoming a therapist?
I've been a psychologist for 30+ years. I've worked in hospital settings, VA settings, and private practice. In so doing, I have seen how each of us unnecessarily limits ourselves through fear and inadequate relationship models based on past learning. These models are cognitive templates that are embodied in the psyche and nervous system. I have trained in many different styles of treatment and, through them all, discovered the common theme of helping the client give themselves permission for the unacknowledged parts of themselves to shine forth. This is challenging when our survival in childhood and beyond depended on conforming to certain strict ways of being. We often adopt default and dysfunctional ways of navigating the world. As a therapeutic team working together, we can investigate these default behaviors and help form new models for growth and individuation.
What should someone know about working with you?
Psychotherapy helps you reclaim yourself; we will augment your natural coping skills to help you develop newfound freedom and happiness in your relationships and your life. Everyone is different, and no one approach fits all. How we proceed is determined by you and your needs. Your family, culture, sexual orientation, and ethnicity are all important. I use an integrative approach that combines insight-oriented, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral, and humanistic modalities.
What do you do to continue learning and building competencies as a provider?
My interest is more than a career; it is a vocation and a commitment to understanding what psychological and societal structures limit our freedom and happiness. I continue to engage in ongoing professional development through training in the areas of CBT, behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, gestalt therapy, internal family systems, EFT, couples counseling, group psychotherapy, prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, psychedelic-assisted therapy, and existential psychotherapy.
How do your core values shape your approach to therapy?
Each of us must choose values by which to guide our lives. I value individual awareness and integrity. I try to bring as much personal honesty as I can to interpersonal situations and try to foster courage in myself and others to speak the unspoken rules that guide our lives. At heart, this is a spiritual process. My own privilege as a White man has forced me to consider how “whiteness” has contributed to the limitation and oppression of others and myself. I try to use psychotherapy and honesty as tools to deconstruct how societal categories of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability limit our perceptions and experiences.
What are you most excited about within the evolving mental health landscape?
So much is happening in mental health and more and different types of psychotherapies are being offered. Though their scientific value is still being established, new treatments offer great possibilities. I’m personally excited about internal family systems, emotionally-focused therapy, psychedelic-assisted therapy, and more. The power of group psychotherapy continues to amaze me; though it’s not new, it remains a powerful ally for growth and change.
What happens if therapy is just talking and nothing actually happens in my life?
This is a danger that many therapies can fall into. Change can require facing anxiety for both the therapist and the client. Sometimes, they will collude to avoid difficult conversations. But growth and happiness are strangely based on difficult conversations; as the Buddhist saying goes, "No mud, no lotus." Together, we will work to ensure that you are making real progress in your psychotherapy.
“Psychotherapy helps you reclaim yourself; we will augment your natural coping skills to help you develop newfound freedom and happiness in your relationships and your life.”