What does it mean to you to live well?
There is no question more important, and for many, more difficult to answer on their own. We live in a world where expectations and responsibilities are many and great. We feel these pressures from our external world and also experience them from within. They effect how we feel about and treat ourselves and others. These pressures influence creative flow, and our ability to find and create passion as well as peace of mind. As a therapist, helping patients restore this necessary balance is one of my primary goals.
Trauma and Early LIfe
Trauma frequently contributes to a life out of balance. Early experiences of all kinds, including trauma, can inform our sense of well being, autonomy, purpose, and capacity for enjoyment . We get through many of life's difficulties employing coping strategies we developed as very young children.
As we get older, these strategies are often no longer helpful and, in fact, can cause problems in our work lives and relationships. I work collaboratively with patients to identify goals and strategies, and to define what it means to them to live well.
Choosing the Right Therapist
In deciding whether you can benefit from therapy, my rule of thumb is to ask how intense and disruptive the problem has been in your work or personal life. If the emotional pain has become a consistent and recurring drain on your energy and well-being, the next step is to find the right therapist.
Finding the right therapist is not always a straightforward process. Recommendations may come from friends, neighbors, clergy, or from websites like this. It's often useful to contact two or three therapists and arrange for a brief interview over the phone. The first thing you might ask is: Does the therapist you are interviewing have training and experience treating the problem you bring? Ask yourself if you are likely to feel safe talking to this person about your inner thoughts and feelings. Finally, as the treatment goes on, you should begin to notice a growing trust in the therapist and in her/his competence and care. It's important to remember, though, that building this trust can take time.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with 17 years of experience in mental health, including work in community and non profit mental health settings, the UCSF/Langley Porter Psychiatry Department, and private practice. I provide therpay to adults, adolescents and couples. I have advanced training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis.
I completed a year of training at the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Insititue, Sensorimotor is a gentle, body-centered therapy that can help relieve the devastating effects of trauma, abuse and emotional pain. It's a way of listening to sensations within the body and becoming more aware. It teaches us how to use the body as the door to awareness, so that frozen feelings and buried memories can come to the surface. That heightened awareness allows us to release ourselves from the old patterns that keep us stuck and prevent us from living life fully.
If you have questions or would like to set up an initial consultation, please contact me at 415.820.1557.