Relationship and Parenting Issues
The relationships we have with partners, children, friends, and family can be sources of great joy and great hardship. Together we will explore your interpersonal patterns to find out what is working and what is not. This might involve learning strategies to enhance your existing relationships or to cultivate new relationships. Interpersonal skills often focus on improving communication, increasing assertiveness, or managing anger more effectively. We may also focus on practicing compassion for yourself and others or reducing criticism.
Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Many people seek psychological treatment because they experience anxiety, depression, or a high level of life stress. Together we will work on finding healthy and adaptive ways to cope with these experiences. We will also spend time exploring your values in order to figure out what a meaningful life looks like for you. We all encounter some level of stress and difficult emotions. The goal is not to get rid of these emotions entirely. The goal of treatment is to enable you to work with emotions and stress more effectively so that you can live a fulfilling life that brings you joy. I have specialized training in anxiety disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (aka, the worry disorder), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder. My treatment approach is individualized and pragmatic and consists of evidence-based (i.e., shown to be effective by research studies) cognitive-behavioral treatments that include a healthy dose of acceptance, mindfulness, and self-compassion.
Coping with chronic pain
Pain is both a physical and psychological experience. Chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and headache (to name just a few) can be very stressful and difficult to cope with. Chronic pain can take a toll on your emotional well-being, your relationships, and your ability or desire to do the things most meaningful to you. In addition, stress and emotional distress can make chronic pain worse. Behavioral and psychological treatments such as mindfulness, relaxation and biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy provide tools to help individuals manage pain and stress more effectively. These approaches have also been shown to be very effective in helping people live a life that is worth living in spite of pain. I will work with your physician and periodically update them on your progress to facilitate a team approach to your care.
As a health psychologist, I use mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral strategies to help people break out of many different types of unhealthy patterns. Behaviors like eating too much, drinking too much, smoking, and lack of exercise often occur because we are stressed, tired, or trying to feel better. Sometimes physical addiction is a factor. These patterns may have been around for a long time and might feel too big or overwhelming to tackle on your own. Together we will examine your patterns and triggers for unhealthy behavior, identify why you want to do things differently, and find a healthier way to live.