I was originally licensed in California as a Marriage, Family Therapist in 1986. In my now 30 plus years in the field, I have had the opportunity to work with many different and interesting souls. I believe that all of these years of working with so many different situations and dynamics has enriched my perspective and resolve in this healing profession.
My philosophy has always been rooted in an “existential-humanistic” approach; emphasizing the uniqueness of each individual and the “system” or environment that has influenced him or her (or the couple or family). Therefore, although my experience has “enriched” me, I still attempt to enter each situation and client contact with what the Buddhists might call “Beginner’s Mind”.
I strive to achieve a special balance between using one’s experience to “connect the dots” (providing insight) while not being so prescriptive that I deny the uniqueness of each individual person and situation.
I believe one of the central components of good therapy and growth is having a healthy, safe relationship. This can be a by-product of many things, including the intuitive feeling in the room. Although I attempt to reach this level with everyone I work with, I realize that sometimes – for whatever the reason – the relationship is not a good “fit”. If not, we discuss the options and want to assure you that I also attempt to leave my ego at the door and will do whatever seems to be the best for you.
I have had experience working with mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, marital conflicts, addictions and loss. This has, in part, been a derivative of some of my career choices that have occurred along with my private practice. Working as the Director of an out-patient substance abuse treatment facility; Clinical Director of a non-profit Hospice; working on a Hospital’s Eating Disorders Unit; and teaching in the Psychology Department as a part-time lecturer at Cal Poly here in San Luis Obispo.
I have also been interested in the mind-body connection; specifically how exercise and nutrition affect our mental health. From my research, the jury is basically in - our nutritional and physical choices are big influences on our overall sense of well-being.
To this end, I try and work with clients on a more global, holistic scale, looking at all the factors that might affect outcome. Along with the aforementioned mind and body understanding, there is the undeniable power of the “will”. Our will often involves, and is connected to, understanding our personal “existential meaning” in life.
As the great philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche commented, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”.
In closing this short summary of my work, I do want to thank all of my past, current and future clients for providing me with the trust and opportunity to collaboratively risk and work together. I am grateful, humbled and appreciative.