My Approach To Therapy


As a therapist in Marin and Berkeley, I work within the framework of what I call psychodynamic relational therapy.The relational approach understands that as human beings we are powerfully shaped and affected by our significant relationships, both those that are current and those from our early childhood.

Relational theory holds that as individuals we develop within relationships and that the capacity for meaningful connection with others and with the different aspects of ourselves are vital components of psychological health. Just as emotional wounding occurs within relationships, both our early and our current ones, so too can healing occur within relationship.

Often behaviors and ways of relating that were once adaptive and had survival value in our early environment no longer serve us in our adult relationships where they are neither helpful nor adaptive and where they keep us disconnected from our authentic self--from all that we are and all that we can be. Relational therapy holds that the quality of the therapeutic relationship itself is the key ingredient in any successful therapy. Consequently I endeavor to provide a corrective emotional experience for my clients in an environment of empathy and attunement which I believe best facilitates healing. There is an old adage that says to be seen and understood is one of the great joys in life and to not be seen and understood is one of the great sorrows.

My integrated approach to therapy draws on many different approaches and is specific to each client I see. My training in psychodynamic therapy has sensitized me to addressing the centrality of unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts and their relation to personality development and the manner in which they are manifested in a person's present behavior. I have also been trained in gestalt therapy, family systems work, and control mastery therapy, and In addition, I draw on cognitive-behavioral therapy, Rogerian therapy, attachment theory and meditation in my work with clients.

In individual therapy I often weave back and forth between attending to the client's current concerns, challenges, joys and successes; the here and now of the therapeutic relationship; and developing an understanding of the past and its influence on the present life of the client. As we work together we will define our objectives and goals and along the way evaluate whether the process is supporting them. We will continually prioritize those issues that most effect your ability to live wholeheartedly into your uniqueness.

In couples therapy I help couples understand how their respective core wounds affect their relationship and help them develop healthy communication skills to better express feelings and needs. Learning to express ourselves in an open and vulnerable way builds trust, reduces blaming, and invites caring and a desire to understand each other that deepens the relationship.

Over many years I have worked as a therapist with a broad range of clients in a variety of clinical settings. In addition, I have had extensive therapy myself which has helped me to grow as an individual and has deepened my work as a therapist.

I believe therapy is a sacred journey that we take with someone we can trust. While it can be serious and challenging, it can also be exciting and fun.