My intention is to initially listen to concerns and, with the client, develop goals that address these so that there is a sense of observable progress. I enjoy working in both brief and longer term models, depending on the client’s needs and preferences. My own experience as well as mainstream research on the efficacy of treatment show that when the client feels a positive connection with the therapist, progress occurs, regardless of the specific techniques used. I focus on listening well and using questions that might stimulate insights. I believe that our emotions are a large part of our shared humanity, and that the verbal expression of whatever shows up is valuable, and can be processed to bring new awareness and growth. I also use a process called narrative therapy that involves sharing our personal stories in therapy and, in the process, becoming more aware of how we ascribe meaning in ways that may be habitual and inaccurate. By looking at these narratives from a fresh perspective discovered through therapeutic conversations, clients can unlock new and more positive insights, and change behaviors and perceptions that have previously been troubling.
I have become interested in working with the issues that come up with aging, especially as these are become more personally relevant. I’m including physical changes, illnesses and longer term health conditions, the more frequent losses that occur at this stage of life, the dilemmas of how changes create new choices, the effects of aging on relationships in the family and support system, the exploration of spiritual questions, and how we derive deeper meanings from our individual lives.