Psychotherapy Services

I provide a wide range of services based on the needs of the patient.  I think of therapy as a mutual creative project wherein we both provide each other with regular feedback about what works and what doesn't.   

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is usually conducted at a minimum of once weekly. People often begin psychotherapy because they have a burning issue: depression, anxiety, job stress, marital difficulties.  When that issue is successfully resolved, some patients choose to complete treatment and move on to living life.  Others choose to continue an exploration of self--what got them here, what makes them tick, and how might things be different in the future. 

 

I welcome both types of individuals, although I do often  encourage people to stay past their initial crisis, as I find work becomes more interesting and fruitful when one is not in crisis.  However, I also respect my patient's rights to self determination, so I am careful to avoid a coercive stance  in my efforts to explore engaging in longer term treatment. 

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis often gets a bad rap.  Images of a patient lying on a couch with an anonymous therapist doodling behind them  permeate our culture. 


 Contemporary relational psychoanalysis, which is what I practice, is a profoundly interactive experience.  While you may or may not lay on my couch, I am deeply involved in the experience with you and do indeed talk to you frequently throughout the session.   


Psychoanalysis entails more frequent sessions (a minimum of three times per week).  Its beauty is that the frequency and intensity really allow the individual to learn more about their connections to themselves, their past and their current relationships.  In analysis, we spend time talking about your relationship to me as well, as this is kind of a petri dish for your experiences  in the world outside.  

Somatic Experiencing 

Somatic Experiencing is a form of treatment that helps individuals relive the bodily reactions to a traumatic event(s) in a way that is bearable. It is truly amazing to me, a therapist trained in talk therapy, to watch the immediate transformation of simply asking patients to pay attention to what is going on inside their bodies.


The idea behind SE is that trauma overwhelms the neurological and physiological system, and therefore cannot be processed the way ordinary memories are processed and stored.  Trauma is experienced as if it's happening in the here-and-now.  


 In an SE session, we slow the therapy process down as I frequently ask you to check in with your bodily sensations.  The results are that the body unconscious is primed, and patients often notice new feelings and memories.  I provide SE when requested, but I also try to integrate SE concepts and exercises into more analytic work where appropriate, as it tends to open up areas that were heretofore inaccessible.  

Professional Supervision

Supervision is by nature a highly intimate encounter.  It involves courage and authenticity on the part of both participants.  I see supervision at its best as the meeting of two talented clinicians--one with less experience who wishes to learn and receive feedback about his/her work, and one with more experience who inevitably learns herself in the process of working with another human being  


In my work as a supervisor, I try to provide a balance of healthy challenges while also respecting the anxiety and vulnerability of the supervisee.  I attempt to establish an environment of sensitivity and trust wherein the supervisee feels safe enough to reveal difficult countertransference feelings and perceived mistakes.  

I draw on many theoretical schools in my work with supervisees.  


I am certified to provide psychoanalytic supervision.   While I am not yet certified to provide supervision to Somatic Experiencing students, I draw on attachment and somatic theory and, when appropriate, encourage my supervisees to pay attention to attachment patterns as well as to the bodily reactions within both their patients and themselves.  




Specialized Counseling for  BRCA + Individuals

Recently actor Angelina Jolie put the genetics of hereditary  breast and ovarian cancer on the map for the public.  One to four of 100 women of African American, Hispanic, Asian and White/None-Jewish decent carry the mutated BRCA gene.  For individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, the statistics are 10 in 100 women, or 10%.  


Pursuing genetic testing for the mutated BRCA gene, and finding out that one has this mutation, is a devastating experience.  It forces the individual to make some very difficult decisions:  do I have children?  do I have IVF to prevent  the reproduction of this mutation?  Do I undergo disfiguring and painful surgery to remove a not yet diseased part of my body?  Do I undergo early menopause and the loss of sexual and possibly cognitive functioning that entails?  


These are incredibly painful decisions.  Having a therapist who can help guide you through the process can potentially help you regulate your anxiety and manage the mourning process.  

Because of my Somatic Experiencing training, I am also able to help you prepare for surgery, should you opt for that as a risk reduction strategy.   This can be a  physically, emotionally and spiritually heart-wrenching experience. 

Couples Counseling

Couples usually come to treatment when in crisis--there is too much aggression, not enough love, stress around money, children, family of origin issues, just to name a few.  I see my goal as a couples therapist to help the couple reconnect on a deep level, which includes examining individual attachment patterns from childhood which are being played out in the couple.  I strive to teach couples to learn or remember how to show empathy toward one another.  I work from a strengths based perceptive that assumes that something, at some time, was working for this couple which led them to fall in love with all the attendant  hopes and dreams of a life together. 


On the other hand, it has been my experience that some couples come to treatment for help in making a separation.  This is  rarely the agenda of both parties, so mourning and metabolizing of betrayal and subsequent rage are a large part of this work. 


Finally, infidelity is an all- to-common experience in the life of a couple.  I strive to help the aggrieved  member of the couple experience validation of his/her experience while also helping the unfaithful member develop an understanding of his/her actions;  I also encourage the injured party to join in this exploration.