As a relational and psychodynamic therapist, I attune to the patterns of how you learned to relate to others early in your life through present day. We'll examine together how these relational patterns have both benefited and held you back. As we get to know each other, the relationship we share on a weekly basis will be an important source of self-understanding and healing.
I work with people of all genders. Together we may examine the ways you have had to adapt to live in a world that is patriarchal, white supremacist, hetero- and cis-normative, and capitalist. Often these adaptations have helped you survived but have harmed your being. Even if you receive benefits from certain societal structures (perhaps you are white, or male, or in an "opposite sex" relationship), you may still suffer from witnessing its effects on others, conscious or unconscious knowledge of your complicity, and/or from feeling that you do not fit the dominant culture even if your appearance or identities suggest you should.
My work is aimed at depth rather than quick fixes. My goals for you are not just reducing anxiety, but growing courage in the face of uncertainty or instability. Not just feeling less depressed, but experiencing aliveness that comes from connecting with your core self. Not just making a seemingly impossible decision, but growing strength to hold the many paradoxes life hands you. Not just feeling less lonely, but stepping towards others in faith that even the most hidden parts of you are worthy of love and care.
An old professor of mine used to quip, “The bedroom is the most crowded room in the house.” Meaning, those with whom we relate intimately (emotionally and/or sexually) inevitably stir up our earlier, and now largely unconscious, intimate relationships. This is both beautiful and terrible. Where we had early life experiences of closeness, connection, safety, honesty, and appropriate freedom, we bring a sense of inner solidity and contentment into our adult relationships. Where we had confusion/chaos, neglect/distance or impingement/smothering, and shame, we bring a sense of confusion, anxiety or irritation, discontent, and either perpetual longing or perpetual numbness.
I will be interested in the history of your relationship together, and the history of each of your lives before you met. The ultimate goal is to help you understand what you came into this relationship carrying inside of you, and what kind of patterns have developed in the history of your relationship. By increasing your understanding of yourself and your partner, you will find you have more freedom to choose what you’d like to keep from your past, and what it might be time to rethink and replace.
As a feminist couples therapist, I keep an ear out for how each person’s gender socialization may be impacting the current relational pattern, in both positive and negative ways. I do not “side” with one gender, rather, I invite conversation about how masculinity, femininity, and other gendered experiences were discussed, valued (or not), and modeled in each person’s family and culture of origin.
I work primarily with monogamous couples, as that has been my training and experience. Because I do depth and exploratory work, I would be a good fit for couples who are either in or exploring a long-term commitment with each other, and wanting to deepen their understanding of themselves as individuals and their relationship.
I’ve found that for most couples who are not in crisis, meeting every-other-week for 75 minutes is both more convenient and more practical than weekly hour-long sessions (the rate for 75 min is $250). I hold some spots for couples at this time length and frequency. Please feel free to contact me to see if any are available.
Adolescence is a time of contradictions. You’re the same person you always have been; but you’re also not the kid you once were. You’re ready for more freedom, but you might also be anxious about all the choices and unknowns that are ahead of you. You may have a sudden change in feelings about friends or romantic/sexual partners. The feelings you have about your body and appearance may also be radically different from one day to the next. Any kind of struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, family conflict or tension can exacerbate what is already quite a lot to go through mentally, emotionally and physically (there’s a reason adults are always reminiscing about what OUR teen years were like—- we’re still processing them!).
My ultimate goal for your therapy is to create space for you to explore who you are and who you want to be. You and I will decide together what our sessions will look like. Some people prefer more structure, having me guide the session by asking questions and offering strategies, others would rather have a listening ear to help them process their feelings, experiences, and desires.
A word about privacy and parents/caregivers. With the exception of serious safety concerns, what you tell me is kept strictly confidential. I don’t speak with anyone about you without your permission. However, I’ve often found that helping teens communicate with their parents/caregivers about certain things can reduce fights and hurt feelings, decreasing worry of parents and increasing a teen’s sense of freedom and safety. As I get to know you and the kinds of things you’re dealing with at home, school, and with friends, I may suggest bringing parents/caregivers in for a session or having me speak with them by phone. This is always something we would collaborate and agree on together, with the goal of improving family communication and your life in general.
Feminist Therapy for Men
Most of the men I work with come in with similar concerns to people of all genders: depression, anxiety, traumatic or painful experiences, grief, relationship decisions, career stress or career decisions, etc.
As a therapist with a feminist orientation, I am particularly interested in helping men find freedom from the ways that patriarchy has harmed them throughout their lives. Specifically, I invite men to work with me around:
Sexual assault, rape, misogyny
Body image, exercise, and food
I've found these are very difficult subjects for men to discuss openly. Many men have experienced sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse, and some fear that naming and identifying the impact of these experiences will be terrifying, humiliating, or disempowering.
Know that you are also welcome in my office if you have (or worried you might have) pressured someone into sex, raped, or assaulted someone else, and you need a space to work through feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse, and/or a place to think through restitution and repair.
I also welcome you if the women in your life have given you feedback around your interactions with them (mansplaining, unequal domestic labor, emotionally shutting down, etc), and you need a space to consider how your socialization as a man has impacted your relationships with women and people of other genders.
You are also welcome to discuss your relationship with food, your body, and exercise with me. There has been more awareness in recent years of how men are encouraged to pursue a particular body shape/size through rigid exercise and diet routines. I have specialized training in diet culture and its impact on men, and can provide a space and some guidance for you to come to a more peaceful relationship with food, exercise, and yourself.