My Approach to Therapy

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A. Individual Therapy: Some of the issues we examine in individual therapy:

  • Why now? - what is the trigger that brought you into therapy at this particular time in your life?
  • What specifically are you struggling with? What are your particular symptoms and stressors?
  • What, if any, are the ways you've tried to address the problem so far?
  • If you've previously been in therapy, what was helpful and what wasn't helpful? How did it help?
  • What are your therapy goals? What would you like to accomplish or change regarding your self, your life, and your relationships?

Together, in a spirit of curiosity and understanding, we work to understand:

  • The influence of your personal, family and relational history on the development of your current struggles and challenges

I draw on a variety of theoretical approaches including:

  • systemic (understanding the role and impact of your significant relationships in the development and maintenance of your current difficulties)
  • cognitive-behavioral (understanding how specific ways of thinking and behaving are maintaining the issues you're struggling with)

Together, we develop a plan for addressing your challenges and difficulties, overcoming obstacles, and reaching your goals.

As part of that plan, I will make recommendations. These may include the following:

  • Homework assignments (books; articles; written exercises; specific types of journaling, tracking or charting)
  • Workbooks or worksheets
  • Practicing new strategies, such as relaxation exercises or new ways of communicating

B. Couples Therapy As we work together to build the relationship you've always wanted, we'll discuss and examine many issues including:

  • The history of your relationship - how you met, what led you to fall in love, how your relationship developed over time
  • What are the underying dynamics that led you to choose each other, in light of your individual and family histories
  • How each of you, individually, has contributed to your current difficulties
  • How is each of you re-triggering each other's earlier trauma and old emotional wounds
  • How to heal yourself and each other in the context of the relationship
  • How each of you wants to be in this relationship
  • How each of you has, in the past, made each other feel loved and special
  • What are your typical communication styles and conflict management patterns, and how to improve them
  • What are your strengths as a couple, what do you do well together
  • Where is each of you currently in terms of individuality or sense of self, versus sense of "we-ness" or being a couple
  • How strong is your attachment or emotional bond, how can your attachment style be characterized, and how is it serving you as a couple
  • What are the unspoken rules, assumptions and expectations underlying your everyday communications and interaction patterns
  • How to work through the painful feelings, including anger, frustration, and disappointment, that you may be coming into therapy with
  • How to create and work towards effective goals, in the context of the relationship

Homework assignments may include: readings, couple dates, written exercises, journaling, skills practice, and progress charting

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