I believe that the mind that made you sick, can more importantly, make you well. We retrain the brain to move beyond the negative conditioning that you have experienced. You will gain mind and cognitive skills that allow you to live and to experience positive emotions and thoughts, and ultimately become whole and integrated. I believe while psychopharmacology is needed in some cases, it does not provide us with the life experience to change our thinking, or our way of being, nor does it provide the power to make us whole, connected and useful. That is the purpose of the psychotherapy.
Therapeutic approaches, relief from the start!
I start with rapport, every encounter we have, including the first phone call and your assessment, is an opportunity for me to help. I pay attention to these opportunities and start work immediately in the first few minutes we interact.
Clients often come looking for immediate relief. One of the more useful things, that drives many to psychopharmacology, is an instant change in feelings. This shift in feelings, alone, can bring hope and provide a way out of feeling stuck. We can accomplish the same shift in feelings, this same sense of relief, with cognitive hypnotherapy, without the side effects. Hypnosis creates a change in feelings, from the first session. For example, a person feeling hopelessly depressed, anxious and stuck, can begin to feel relaxed, feel a beginning sense of pleasure that leads to a sense of hope. Hypnosis is also great tool for breaking automatic thoughts and habits for quick change. It is very useful for stress related disorders as well as it can break the stress response. But like, drugs, it lacks a critical element for wholeness – that element is awareness and in a broader sense mindfulness. So, while I may use hypnosis to get us started quickly. It is, much like medicine, a bridge to the power of your own mind.
My academic background is in neuropsychology (doctorate and years of experience). I possess the requisite skills to do neuropsychological assessments and cognitive rehabilitation. I am well trained in Cognitive Behavior Therapies (CBT) and Cognitive Hypnotherapy. I find cognitive therapies effective for quick resolution of anxiety and depression. I deliver them from the stance of Humanistic Therapy and often augment these more cognitive approaches with humanistic ones including client centered, existential and gestalt therapy.
I have been practicing mindful meditation myself for over a decade. This has positioned me to practice what is referred to as the 3rd wave behavioral practices. These newer approaches include Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for depression, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I find these approaches are great for longer term issues and maintenance and personal growth.
Lastly, I developed a skills training program I call, Mind Body Mastery for Stress and stress related disorders. This approach combines the best of neuroscience, cognitive psychology and eastern traditions to retrain the brain to relax, increase focus, ability to concentrate and to connect.
Be wary of those who say they practice one way, or those who say they are eclectic. Not one therapy works for all, nor does a hodge-podge of pieces work either. It is a lifelong effort to provide a well conceptualized, coherent and cogent set of therapies required to deliver just the right thing, at the right time, and for the right reason.
Personal Philosophy and Values
I believe that the psyche, the mind, is an energy force. It is so much more than the brain itself. To me the brain is like a radio or tv receiver, our device for processing that that energy. Psychology and religion both attempt to explain that energy, that life force. Both domains have much to offer until they become dogmatic, rigid in beliefs or attitudes. It is my belief; we all are psychic. We say things like “I get a good vibe from him” or “there is a darkness there”. It is the noise we create in our own minds that often keeps us from being connected to others, to nature, to a higher power or universe. Mental illness is a loss of connection, it is the aloneness that makes us feel powerless, stuck, abused and without what we need. It is in seeking connection, living in connection that we have power to face our challenges and can live each day with awe and joy.
I believe we are closest to the answer, the truth, when we can live in the paradox’s of life, therefore:
- In therapy, we are equal, while I am the expert
- I am nondirective, yet I will guide you
- We will have boundaries, yet I will love you to wellness
- We will abandon our old selves to new selves, I will be a new self for knowing you
- Therapy must be quick to get results, but growth is never done
- 1 in 5 respond to any approach, therefore I must have 20 approaches to have the right one
- There is an inner healer, yet it is activated from the outside
- We are not bigger than the environment we live in, but we can endure any environment
- Adversity is neither good nor bad, it is how we deal with it
- We must go with the flow, yet we must still maintain our direction and speed