My approach to therapy is warm, positive and respectful. I focus on your goals and support you in achieving them. My specialization extends to anxiety, depression, relationships, dating, self-esteem and spiritual issues. I have a client-centered style informed by attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology. I believe a strong and authentic therapeutic relationship is key to lasting change. I am open to both the short-term treatment of maladies such as depression, anxiety and specific couples issues, as well as longer-term therapy to address habitual patterns, longtime beliefs, and to support your transformation and movement into the life you seek. Regular therapy helps the brain rewire circuits and pathways to unlock one’s potential, and assists the nervous system in releasing fear and anxiety so that body and mind can cooperate fully in the fulfillment of life’s dreams.
There are different types of therapy. I practice individual, couple and group psychotherapy. Individual therapy is best for private matters needing specific individual support and exploration. Couples therapy is appropriate to work on strengthening your relationship, making it more fun, relaxed and fulfilling. Group therapy is effective in building emotional intelligence and greater skill in the way we relate to others.
The science of psychotherapy has gone through numerous incarnations since its inception. The field began with a psychoanalytic approach pioneered by Freud, Jung and others as a way to deeply explore the unconscious mind over a long period of time. Behaviorism (and later Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) emerged in response to analysis and advocated a shorter and more practically-oriented approach that addressed symptoms directly. Humanistic psychotherapy emerged in the 1970’s to address what seemed at times like a cold therapeutic relationship and to harness the power of relationship in the therapy session. In the midst of these phases, family therapists, body-oriented clinicians, and pioneers of several other models contributed to the development of the science. All of these models are still in use and enjoy wide acceptance as effective vehicles for personal growth. Although different therapists may espouse one style over another, research has generally shown that factors such as the therapist’s being and presence, the client’s motivation to change and grow, and the quality of the therapeutic relationship are more significant to therapy outcomes than the style of therapy.
We are currently enjoying a new revolution in the field of psychotherapy due to recent research in the areas of attachment, neurobiology and trauma work. Improvements in brain imaging technology are changing previous notions and bringing more ‘hard science’ to psychological theory and practice. Psychotherapy remains an ‘art,’ but that art is now informed by knowledge of how the brain, mind and body work together in a way we could previously only guess. This new science, which is changing many disciplines simultaneously such as education, parenting, mating and athletics, allows us to tailor therapy more accurately to areas needing support and development. This new research is also confirming the benefits of mindfulness, lending validity to ancient holistic and spiritual methods of personal growth. Collectively, this transformation of the field of psychotherapy is sometimes referred to as the 4th wave of the science, after the first three mentioned above.
I believe that a therapist must be engaged in their own personal growth in order to be of maximum assistance to clients. Therapy is an art that is difficult to practice unless one ‘walks the talk,’ so to speak. Therapists, in my view, should also have a healthy commitment to training and education, so as to keep up with changes in the field and test their skills and knowledge in a variety of settings. Austin is blessed in that many of the world’s top educators in the field travel here to offer workshops and in-depth trainings. If you are seeking a therapist, it can be a good idea to ask around for recommendations. You might interview several therapists to gauge the best fit. Some issues benefit from specialized therapy, such as addiction, intense trauma/PTSD and eating disorders, among others. Be honest with a potential therapist about your struggles and goals, as that helps define the best fit to meet your objectives. Look for therapists with a warm, authentic demeanor that are engaged in ongoing education and training and keep sessions focused on your goals and needs.
There are many styles of therapy to choose from now, but what tends to matter the most is that you and your therapist feel you are a good match for one another. The therapist will verify they have the requisite experience to handle your needs, and you should make sure that it feels good, healing and productive to be with that therapist. Good therapy is often challenging, so don’t be put off if an occasional session doesn’t feel as good as the others, or if you have difficult emotions come up as a result of the work. It is helpful to bring such feelings into therapy and discuss them openly so that you and your therapist can process and address them.
In addition to individual psychotherapy, couples, family and group work are also considered effective ways to address concerns. Speak with your therapist about the methods most appropriate for the issues you are working on. Couples work, in particular, is receiving a lot of attention as a good way to address not only relationship issues, but individual concerns as well. Couples therapy harnesses the power of primary partnerships to unlock healing potential. Many of our issues began in our early-life relationships with caregivers and others. Our current relationships have great power to serve as healing mechanisms for our psyches, wounded hearts and nervous systems.
In conclusion, therapy (also known as psychotherapy and counseling), is an effective way to deal with life issues and obstacles, to sharpen and support your mind so it can achieve its goals, and to help you develop greater self-love and compassion so can laugh more, feel greater peace, and form meaningful connections with others. Because psychotherapy has a rich and ancient history of personal growth strategies combined with the latest science on how the brain and mind function, it is a growth experience that can support many areas of your life, from your relationships to your mental health, stress, loneliness, spirituality, anxiety, depression, and a sense of meaning. I look forward to supporting you in your journey.