PRACTICES THAT HELP YOU LAUGH MORE AND FIGHT LESS.
Beyond the research and explanations about psychotherapy about couples therapy, doing therapy is personal for me. At a memorial marking my father’s passing, people shared story upon story of how he had this ability to totally get into the lives of others, making so many people from young to old, feel special and cared for. Knowing and helping people is something I also love doing.
There are many therapists in San Francisco, so how do you know I’m the right choice for couples therapy or individual psychotherapy? Here are some specifics about working with me that might help because I’m not the right fit for everyone. I have many wonderful colleagues who work similarly to me in San Francisco and will gladly provide you any referrals if needed.
- Location is key. Many of my clients who are looking for therapy in San Francisco work near my office or take public transportation, because driving here can be tricky due to San Francisco rush hours.
- Scheduling. I have only my San Francisco office and see clients for psychotherapy sessions Monday-Thursday from 9-7. Half my therapy practice are individual psychotherapy clients and half are couples therapy clients. Generally I only have a spot or two open at a time. This means I work better with folks who have flexible schedules, can take a break from work, can go into work late or leave early. Or even are ok waiting a few weeks and being on my waiting list.
- Frequency. I work weekly with clients. Not all therapists work this way, but it’s the way that my style is most effective.
- Style. One of my teachers once said that I’m a quiet volcano. Not quite a compliment, but I do think it speaks to my psychotherapy style. I’m quiet, but I am a fierce when needed. Both spaciousness and directiveness are important to me and I do my best to employ each at the right time. Couples therapy by nature is more directive and individual therapy more spacious. A sense of humour is also an important part of therapy!
- Cancellations. When we agree to work together for individual psychotherapy or couples therapy I reserve a weekly spot for you. I ask for a week’s cancellation notice, and that you cancel that spot no more than 4 times/year. While all therapists have a policy of some kind, this is among the stricter ones.
Though I blend many modalities my therapy style is informed most by emotionally focused therapy, somatic psychology, mindfulness and sex therapy.
Historically, I became interested in psychology through my love of the arts, specifically dance and later yoga. My MA is in Somatic Psychology (SP). Somatic Psychology integrates neuroscience and body awareness practices drawn from both eastern and western cultures. Somatic psychotherapy assumes that body and mind inform each other, and helps you access unconscious or pre-verbal material.
I started specializing in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy in 2009, and opened my private practice in San Francisco in 2011. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy uses elements of experiential therapy, systemic therapy and attachment theory. Attachment as described by researchers Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another over time and space.
Mindfulness is the process of bringing your attention to the present moment. Many large-scale studies have associated mindfulness with greater well-being and happiness. While meditation is the practice most often associated with mindfulness, there are many varied ways to incorporate the practices into our therapy.
I never saw myself as a person who would be doing sex therapy or talking about sex, but over time have seen how important having a direct dialogue about sex is for my individual psychotherapy and couples clients. It’s an area of life that is so important to most of us, yet can be so difficult to discuss. Within the realm of sex therapy my particular interest is exploration of psychological, relational and somatic aspects of ourselves as vital sexual beings. I’m currently pursuing a sex therapy certificate at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco.
I live what I teach. I am continually awed by my vibrant, complex (yes sometimes aggravating!) and beautiful marriage. I have had a mindfulness practice all of my adult life and use it as touchstone to navigate the continuous challenges that life has thrown my way. And though I am an expert in psychotherapy, relationships, couples and sexuality, I’m continually honored by my clients’ trust and learn from them every day.