While feeling anxious is common and a necessary part of our lives (if you weren’t anxious you wouldn’t study for that test or prepare for that presentation!), it becomes problematic when anxiety impacts your ability to live efficiently and comfortably. People often come for treatment when they experience an anxiety level that is higher than can be reasonably expected in a circumstance. With anxiety, an important question I always ask is “does the level of anxiety fit the facts” and then we work from there.
I treat anxiety with the most efficacious treatment: cognitive restructuring alongside exposure and response prevention. For specific fears, I work with you to create personalized treatment plans aimed to face the areas of your life that the anxiety has caused you to avoid. For more generalized anxiety, we will chip away at the deep-seated fears through deep exploration, targeted cognitive restructuring, emotion regulation techniques, and acceptance-based strategies.
Coping skills are the methods people use to deal with difficult situations, distressing thoughts, and negative moods. Coping skills can be internal or external, and they vary given the situation and the person employing them. No person is the same, and no one copes the same.
Research shows that effective use of coping skills leads to increased resiliency and improved quality of life. My specialty is helping you learn new and effective coping skills, and most importantly, how to apply them. I value educating people about how to cope with difficult thoughts, feelings, or experiences in a way that works for them. One of our treatment goals will include creating a toolkit of coping strategies to use when times get tough.
Depression is one of the most common reasons people come to therapy. People experiencing depression often report some or all of the following symptoms: low mood, loss of interest in once enjoyable activities, social isolation, physical symptoms, and changes in overall functioning. Research shows that a combination of genes, brain structure, environmental stress, and changes in the chemical function of neurotransmitters may lead to depression in people across races, genders, and the lifespan.
Depression is highly treatable with effective psychotherapy. I provide the “gold standard” of treatment for depression, which focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depression. I also focus on decreasing depressive symptoms through helping people navigate unresolved issues, improve their relationships, and increase their ability to live according to their values.
An unfortunate universal part of the human experience is the death of a loved one, whether a friend, family, or other close companion. Grieving is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone with whom a bond was formed. Grief has emotional physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While mourning a loss is part of the healing process, people sometimes experience a condition called “complicated grief” when their sadness becomes pervasive and they become preoccupied with the deceased in a way that impacts their everyday life.
If you’ve noticed that your grief feels overwhelming, or if people in your life have suggested that you would benefit from support, I provide personalized treatment to help you manage your feelings about the loss, confront the existential meaning, and help you cope with the significant life change.
Like it or not, we all experience numerous transitions in our lives. These transitions are sometimes by choice or opportunity (i.e., decided breakups, new jobs, moving), whereas others come from environmental ends (i.e., graduating, sudden layoff, unwanted breakups). Transitional periods, whether positive or negative, force us to change how we live our everyday lives and settle into a new routine. People often find that navigating their new roles is difficult as they experience new problems and their “go-to” strategies are no longer sufficient. This can lead to an increase in stress and have a negative impact on mental health.
During difficult transitional times, specialized treatment is encouraged to help people learn different ways to cope with the change, potentially grieve the loss of the old role, and manage the new demands of their life. I employ a combination of interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral strategies to help you adapt to life’s constant changes.
Older Adult Issues
Older adults often face different stressors than younger and middle aged adults. Research shows that approximately 10-25% of older adults experience depressed mood while 11% experience anxiety. Unfortunately, depression and anxiety in older adulthood often go untreated because many people think that they are normal parts of aging and natural reactions to chronic illness, loss and social transition. They’re not.
My plan for older adults includes the exploration and treatment of five core areas: depression, anxiety, cognition, medical concerns (i.e., pain and sleep), and practical life issues. I prioritize the management of day-to-day reality-based concerns while teaching real life strategies to improve mood and increase quality of life.
Pregnancy and Postpartum
The pregnancy and postpartum (“perinatal”) time comes with hormonal changes that increase a woman’s susceptibility to negative emotions. This, coupled with the demands of the new role, explains why research has found that pregnant and postpartum women are at high risk of experiencing psychological distress. While approximately 75% of women experience mood changes during the perinatal period, a shocking 15 to 20% of women experience clinically significant symptoms of anxiety or depression– and most do not receive adequate treatment. It’s time we talk about this issue.
I earned a certification in Perinatal Care by Postpartum Support International to treat women during the perinatal time. I use a multifaceted approach to help new moms adapt to parenting and overcome any feelings of sadness or disconnection to their child. My training in attachment theory will help you set the groundwork for your parenting style while increasing your sense of bonding to your child. I will also use my training in interpersonal psychotherapy, which is a specialized and empirically-supported treatment approach for new parents, to help you integrate into your new role as a caregiver.
Relationships are bonds between family members, romantic partners, coworkers, or friends. While relationships are often experienced as one of the most meaningful elements of life, unfortunately, the ability to have a healthy, loving relationship is not innate and sometimes requires work.
Therapy can increase your likelihood of creating and maintaining long, healthy, relationships. By exploring your upbringing, relationship history, personality structure, environmental context, and way of connecting, I can help you uncover your ways of relating while helping you master what it takes to make your relationships flourish.
Stress is the term people use to describe a feeling of pressure, strain, or tension. It is the body’s way of responding to the demands of our world. Stress can be adaptive albeit uncomfortable when it causes you to act in helpful ways (i.e., work hard at the new job); however, stress can be problematic when you feel burdened or unable to cope. Constant exposure to stressful situations without the perceived ability to manage it can seriously affect your mental and physical well-being.
Stress is often the result of our interpretation of events, and often what we find stressful differs from those around us. Thus, our treatment explores your “stress profile,” which focuses on identifying your stressors, examining your stress threshold, and preparing you to handle seemingly overwhelming situations via “coping ahead” and the use of hands-on stress management tools.
A scary, shocking, or life-threatening event that happens to you, or someone you know, can cause psychological distress. This traumatic experience can increase anxiety, decrease moods and self-esteem, bring on nightmares and flashbacks, and may lead to avoidance of everyday activities.
Treatment can tap your resiliency through targeted thinking exercises to elevate mood and perspective, hope-building strategies, and learning to regulate your emotions. I use evidence-based treatments to help you leave behind the life the trauma created and help you return to the life you want to live.