My Counseling Philosophy
I assume that most of us develop the difficulties that bring us to counseling as a natural reaction to the hardships we experience in life (e.g., life-stressors, relationship struggles, trauma, discrimination, etc.). Oftentimes, over-emphasizing a diagnosis can result in the belief that the person is to blame for their own difficulties, when in reality many forms of suffering originate or intensify due to an external experience.
While experiences of suffering may originate outside of us, I also assume that we are the only ones that can bring about healing in our own lives. Therefore, I work with clients humanistically ~ listening deeply to each person as they share their own experiences of struggle and the impact these difficulties have had in their lives, as well as their hopes for change and healing. At the same time, I offer solution-focused suggestions to help each person move beyond the places in their lives where they feel stuck. In other words, we will work together to pave a path that has the potential to lead to greater joy, inspiration, meaning, and connection.
One of my key strengths, as a counselor and as a person, is that I am able to see beyond a person's current experience to their true potential to thrive. When a client isn't able to hold that vision for themselves, I hold it for them. I will do the same in my work with you.

My Counseling Specializations Include Working with Clients on the Following Concerns...

Achieving Life Goals

Do you have a vision or goal for your life, relationships, or work but find that you are having a difficult time following through with your hopes? If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle with experiences of feeling stuck. Oftentimes, the main culprit is the negative beliefs they hold about themselves or their abilities. To make matters worse, many of us have been taught to focus on our limitations rather than our possibilities and potential. Whether you are an entrepreneur, artist, writer, activist, or someone who otherwise wants to live your life to the fullest potential, I can help you release the beliefs and patterns that keep you from achieving your goals. One of the primary ways we can do do this together is by utilizing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). EMDR draws on our current knowledge about brain functioning to release beliefs and memories, and their corresponding emotions, that act as barriers to your success and happiness.

Letting Go of Painful Emotional and/or Relational Patterns
Life brings with it a range of experiences ~ from wonderful moments that we cherish to painful experiences that stay with us far longer than we would like. For some of us, those painful experiences and our responses to them (for example, trauma, anxiety, deep-seated fear, betrayal, resentment, addictions, grief, chronic illness etc.) have gotten in the way of our relationships and our hopes for our lives. In some cases, we may feel stuck or imprisoned by them, trying over and over again to release these experiences to no avail. If you find that you struggle with some of these concerns and are wanting more for your life, counseling can help by offering you the opportunity to gain greater awareness and understanding of the conscious and unconscious forces that may be keeping you stuck and overcoming the pain or sense of 'stuckness' you may experience. In the process, you may discover your own inner knowledge about what your need to heal and to thrive.

Exploring Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

In many of our cultural environments it is often assumed that a person's sexual orientation and gender identity is consistent with the heterosexual norms, unless otherwise stated. At the same time, it can often be a difficult choice to come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. While some people or groups are accepting of persons of various sexual and gender orientations, others are not and may promote hostility or discrimination towards difference. It can be difficult to know the consequences and potential benefits or suffering that will result from openly being who you are. If you find yourself questioning your sexual orientation or gender identity, struggling with the decision to come out, or experiencing discrimination based on your sexual orientation or gender identity, counseling can help. In our work together, we can discuss your hopes for your life and relationships; reflect upon the most important elements of your own identity, including but not limited to sexual orientation; and help you access the strengths and knowledge you need to make the best decisions for yourself, your life, and relationships.

Navigating Life Transitions

There is a saying in the Buddhist tradition that everything is change . Sometimes life can certainly feel that way. Whether you are experiencing a transition in your work, your relationships, your caretaking responsibilities, your values, your identity or other elements of your life course, these changes can be stressful. For some, they can simultaneously produce feelings of joy, sadness, resistance, fear, and anticipation. Transitions can also be complicated when successful movement through these life changes requires new skills or ways of being that were not previously needed. If you are experiencing a life transition, I can help you clarify your own experiences, strengths, and goals for this time in your life; identify the obstacles that are getting in the way of your goals and/or are getting in the way of how you want to be in the midst of the transition; develop the necessary awareness and skills to successfully and meaningfully move through the transition; and find and use the resources needed to thrive as you make the most helpful changes in your life.

Exploring Spiritual Concerns

If religion, spirituality, and/or a sense of meaning are important in your life, it can sometimes be helpful to incorporate them into counseling conversations and activities. We can do this in a number of ways: by talking about your spiritual beliefs and experiences, by incorporating sacred practices into our work together, and by grounding your ongoing development in your tradition or practice. I also recognize that some clients may feel uncertainty or conflict in regard to their spiritual beliefs or experiences. If this describes your experience, counseling can help you reflect upon your beliefs and values with the aim of clarifying what is true and meaning-filled for you as you continue to grow into who you are becoming. Whether you identify as Buddhist, Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, New Age, or Atheist, in our counseling together, know that your religious or spiritual perspectives will be respected. My goal is to help you access your beliefs, values, and experiences in order to promote your own growth and life-choices.

The path that leads to healing and transformation
is available in every moment!