To varying degrees and for our own unique reasons, we all struggle to process and use challenging emotional experiences that are inherent to life as a human. Thus, we develop survival tactics that help us skip over feelings that are overwhelming. But if early experiences left us with emotional resources that are insufficient or if circumstances are too pervasively stressful, we tend to over-rely on such tactics. Often without even realizing it, we engage psychological and behavioral numbing/heightening maneuvers aimed at drowning out our most essential feelings. The resulting sense of isolation, feeling less-than-real, or being caught up in depressive or anxious ruts are indicators that something’s gone off track; that in our attempts to take care of ourselves we’ve resorted to skipping over ourselves altogether.
My expertise is in helping you to break this cycle and restore a baseline from which to connect and thrive. My method for assisting you in this process is empirically informed and tailored to your specific and most present emotional needs. During each session, I will strive to facilitate an experience with you that is markedly distinct from the predictable back-and-forth interactions most common in everyday life. This unique experience is dedicated to maximizing space so that the aspects of you that are most often in hiding can begin to emerge and play a more productive role in navigating your life.
The experience may include an emphasis on our therapeutic relationship as a microcosm for difficulties you have in relation to yourself and others and, ultimately, as a model for change and new possibilities. As social animals, we need to feel the presence of an empathic companion in order to bear the reality of our most entrenched existential and psychological dilemmas. By working together to forge that companionship, we will gradually develop your capacity to deal with a wider range of emotional states than would otherwise be possible. The deeply felt sense of being seen and attended to, even when your feelings seem momentarily catastrophic, can itself be a life changing experience. There are a myriad of other benefits to developing a reliable space (first with me, and increasingly in your own mind) for dealing with your most challenging emotional experiences, including: increased capacity to identify and assert boundaries in relationships (thereby enhancing intimacy and interpersonal fulfillment), decreased symptoms associated with mental illness, and improved physical health.
Moreover, in being able to better tolerate the wholeness of your emotional world, you are more equipped to grapple with the tension between some of life’s unavoidable conflicts (e.g., love/hate, togetherness/separateness, destruction/creation, control/surrender, presence/absence, known/unknown, order/chaos). We will work together to transcend the rut of either/or and arrive more readily in the realm of both/and—a realm of possibilities, perpetual transformation, and enhanced dimensionality.
I view my work as an epic project aimed at developing your capacity to better observe and process your emotional experiences so that you can use your feelings to understand yourself more deeply, become more alive and creative, and connect with others in new ways. Far from wallowing in doom and gloom, our time together can ignite a sense of joy that is inextricably linked with knowing yourself more fully—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and finding that all aspects of you can coexist freely, fluidly and meaningfully.