Executive Functioning issues including ADHD
Social challenges with peers and adults
Collaboration between home and school
Stress and anxiety
Anger management and emotion regulation
Adjusting to life in college
Creating positive changes for a client, rests in the relationship and trust that is built between the client and provider. I am mindful of this fact, and use a kind, sensitive, and when appropriate, humorous approach to counseling so that the client feels safe and at ease. My work with clients is informed by techniques and traditions from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), solution focused therapy, 12-step programs, and mindful awareness and self-compassion practice.
Finding the right counselor, one with whom you feel comfortable and understands your unique struggle, is essential if counseling is going to be helpful. If you have questions, or would like to speak with me to see if my work might be a good match for what you are looking for, please feel free to contact me. And if it turns out that I am not best able to meet your needs, I would be happy to help you find referrals for someone who might be a better match.
My Beliefs and Principles:
Client autonomy - My clients have free will to choose the course of their lives. I do not see it as my job to convince clients of something, they themselves, do not believe is important. I see my job as helping clients explore what is most important to them and encourage them to move toward those values.
Collaboration - I work collaboratively with clients. There are a number of reasons for this, but first and foremost is that while I do have expertise in psychology, you are the expert on your life. I will partner with you on your journey toward a life of meaning.
Experiential Avoidance is often the root cause of our difficulties. In other words, our tendency to avoid things that trigger uncomfortable feelings is often the culprit for our longer-term suffering. For example, if I feel anxiety when I am around other people, and therefore I avoid people, this will lead to longer-term loneliness and suffering. Experiential avoidance is choosing short-term relief over longer-term wellness. The challenge is that experiential avoidance is usually our default mode of operating in the world. Whether it be avoiding that challenging project or difficult conversation, we are attempting to escape the distressing internal experience (e.g. fear, boredom, sadness) triggered by the external situation. Fortunately, there are evidenced based strategies to break experiential avoidance patterns that I can teach you.
Everyone has strengths - One of the tenets of my work is to notice and appreciate the strengths of my clients. This has a profound impact on client empowerment and motivation to change. Too often, clients come to me having been beaten down by negative criticism and feel ready to give up. While it is important to take an honest appraisal of one's self, we and others are prone to minimize our strengths, and emphasize our short comings. This is not honest appraisal, it is one-sided.
Change is the rule, not the exception - Everything is in flux all the time. From the atoms and molecules that make up our body, to the rising and falling of the ocean tide, change is always happening. Each moment is a new opportunity. No problem lasts forever. Unfortunately, no moment of joy lasts forever either. When we can bring a beginner's mind to our lives, our relationships, and environment, we are truly present to what is in front of us. There is a great freedom and wisdom in being present to this moment. This person at this time. This experience.
Assumptions about Young People [Adapted from Insoo Kim Berg]
Until proven otherwise, I will assume that young people want to:
be involved in activities with others
be engaged and motivated at school
be included in decisions that impact them
Assumptions about Caregivers [Adapted from Insoo Kim Berg]
Until proven otherwise, I will assume that caregivers (parents, teachers, etc.) want to:
have positive relationships with their children/students
do what’s best for their children/students
be hopeful and optimistic about the future of their children/students