Here are some of the areas in which I specialize. You will find that many of them are related — for example, Healing Shame and Relationships may overlap with Challenges of Long Term Recovery. Depression may be connected to all of them.
If you have something you want to work on that is not named here, please ask!
Shame lives at the root of many of our most common problems — depression, anxiety, self-hate. We all have shame, but because shame itself is experienced as shame-full, we rarely talk about it. We do our best to stay busy, focus elsewhere, but too often it gets worse.
Healing Shame (Lyon/Rubin Method)® is a targeted, strength-based way of working with shame that allows you to identify shame, develop resilience, and gain clarity around whose shame you are carrying and how to give it back.
There are many reasons why people develop depression, which may show up in a variety of ways: lack of energy, loss of pleasure, loss of appetite (or constant hunger), irritability, an endless all-consuming feeling of emptiness or grief.
The good news is that depression is almost always treatable. It is not unusual for treatment to be avoided, however, because the same belief system that created depression may be responsible for making us believe we are doomed to an empty life. The first step is facing depression and opening the doorway to change.
Challenges of Long Term Recovery
One of the many challenges of long-term recovery from any number of addictions – drugs, alcohol, food, relationships – is learning to navigate “life on life’s terms.” Most people find that it is one thing to get sober, another thing to stay sober when life doesn’t deliver the expected rewards.
In many cases, staying sober involves understanding the role the addiction played in our life, learning to manage “unmanageable” feelings, identifying and grieving losses, and developing a support system to help us stay present and cope with reality.
Adult Children of Alcoholics/Addicts
Addiction impacts everyone around it, distorting roles, rules, values and communication. Individuals who grow up in families with addiction often need help to identify how they have been affected and to reconcile complex feelings that may include shame, powerlessness, inability to trust (self and others), anxiety and the need for control.
Traumatic memories interfere with day to day functioning and rob us of our ability to live in the present, no matter how satisfying our lives may be. I use a variety of methods to help identify and work with traumatic memories, including psycho-education, body awareness and EMDR.
EMDR is an acronym for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, a way to resolve dramatic kinds of trauma, as well as more subtle experiences of abandonment, neglect or shame.
We are relational creatures living in an age of increasing confusion about what it means to be connected to others.
If you did not grow up in a nurturing environment, therapy may be one of the few places you can come to as an adult to learn the basic skills of healthy relating: direct communication, appropriate self-care, personal boundaries, and conflict resolution.
Creativity is a powerful life force. It requires that we be acutely aware and alive to our experience as human beings, in a culture that pulls for denial and avoidance.
Creativity has great energy but can be elusive and hard to control. How to take care of our creative self can be a central issue, especially if our well being, financial or otherwise, depends upon it.
Identity and Aging
Many factors contribute to our sense of identity: family, culture, temperament, genetics, chance. Many of us are able to answer the question “Who Am I” by our early 20s but sometimes establishing who we are in the context of the world around us takes us into our 40s, 50s and beyond.
Often we achieve a workable self-definition only to find that life circumstances force us to revisit that same question at a much later stage. Therapy can be a helpful place to explore issues of identity and navigate change at every stage.
Hunger and Eating
Hunger and eating are the first ways we connect our vulnerable infant selves to the world. All sorts of people from all walks of life have problems with hunger and eating but our culture offers few solutions.
Symptom management (like diet and exercise) offers little long-term relief for hunger that may be related to abandonment, low self-esteem, or trauma. Eating problems can also be connected to a host of issues around identity, expectations and the models of self-care we grew up with.
Family of Origin
The struggles you experience in your life today can oftentimes be traced back to your family of origin, the original blueprint for how you experience yourself and the world around you.
By taking the time to explore concepts such as family roles and rules, how emotions like grief and anger were handled, how power was shared and how your family communicated love and expectations, you gain access to your own unconscious and the ways you may be blocking yourself from getting what you think you want.