Above and Beyond
What I’d like for people who don’t know me to know about my personality and how I practice, is that I am creative, realistic, fearless, driven, and work tirelessly to get you what you need. I’m highly motivated, passionate, and energetic, with an easily approachable and open demeanor.
What sets me apart (as I’ve been told) is that I ‘just get it’ and I make psychotherapy easy for my clients. Easy for them to let their guard down and share openly with a willingness to learn new ways to manage their life stressors. When a topic treads in the heavier realms, I am relentless with coming up with a productive and useful way to make an idea, problem, or concern make sense. I will continue to work until we land on a strategy that best suits each issue and individual that I work with. This usually doesn’t take much time at all, but if and when it does, I give my clients the confidence that I’m with them each step of the way until we get there. While the disorders and concerns I treat are at their core, similar in nature, how each person perceives, approaches, manages, copes, and problem solves them vary. It is my mission and duty to know my clients well (sometimes better than they know themselves ;) ) to best guide them to reach their goals.
Many people think therapy just looks like a person sitting on a couch, and another listening for an hour. This is what many therapists offer as their only service. I’m not most therapists. Therapy can be so much more than that, and sometimes needs to be! Yes, in session we discuss endless topics, problem solve, improve communication, gain insight and understanding, evaluate patterns of thought and behavior, and so on. In addition to that short list, depending on the issue presented, many people benefit from the above and beyond work that I love to do. I am a strong advocate, connect my clients with other resources, and create a team when needed to find solutions to offer additional support. We will work at your pace while I give you the push and guidance to make the changes you are looking for to live the life you want to have. Many people don’t know what questions to ask, who to ask, or what resources are out there. I’m able to identify and access what people need outside of my office in addition to psychotherapy.
A short list of case examples where I stand by my clients side, help them fight their fight, advocate for, find their voice, and get what they need are:
Abuse, Rape, Sexual Assault, Harassment, etc. If and when a client is ready, I assist with making a police report, talking and meeting with attorneys at their office or mine, preparing for depositions and court appearances, and every step of the process the client is comfortable taking.
Adoption. Includes doing a home visit and thorough assessment of each family member. Connect with attorneys, provide forms, paperwork, and a formal recommendation to the presiding judge in family court.
Custody. This topic has many faces and extends past divorce situations. Children of unmarried couples, temporary custody by another family member when a parent is/has been/ is going to be incarcerated, has substance abuse or addiction related issues, abuse or neglect, abandonment, or any other reason a parent or primary caretaker is unfit to care for the child. In these cases I work closely with the Attorney for the Child (previously known as a Law Guardian), court, attorneys, and other family members or close friends of the family that are involved with and responsible for the care giving and safety of the child. Letters, legal forms, phone calls, meetings, appointments with anyone involved is likely as well.
Difficulty in school/college. Disability (learning, physical, etc), bullying, depression, anxiety, or any other school related issue that is impeding on learning, attendance, performance, and social relationships. School refusal is also a common behavior of concern. I advocate and work with the school to ensure appropriate accommodations are being provided. This includes requesting and attending CSE/504/IEP meetings, or having private meetings with school administrators, faculty, and staff. Other case examples include working with school districts to abbreviate or truncate the school day for a student (for a limited or extended period of time), and in rare situations (usually when safety is involved) we cross contract a student leaving their home district to attend a neighboring district to complete their education.
Divorce/Separation. The full process of starting, going through, and after. Meeting with any combination of family members. Scheduling issues (if living in the same house, time with kids, etc.), managing the emotional aspects as well as participating with legal teams when appropriate.
Fears/ Phobias. Exposure Therapy and Systematic Desensitization combined with CBT are incredibly useful and productive to minimize emotional and behavioral reactions to stimuli that instigate a fear response. I assist clients to essentially face their fear to gain back mental strength and control by confronting the people, places, or things that debilitate their functioning.
Therapeutic Reunification/ Therapeutic Supervision / Supervised Visitation. Working with any and all family members who informally seek treatment or are court mandated. Many times this occurs in cases of divorce, separation, parental alienation, abandonment, abuse, neglect, in need of supervision, parenting skills, as a means of completing an in/out patient substance abuse or a mental health program or recent release from prison. Slowly building up to increase time with the child in my office, working on establishing or re-establishing a healthy relationship, learning how to parent appropriately and effectively, improve communication between all parties involved, etc. Letters, formal assessments and evaluations, phone calls, meetings with family members, schools, attorneys, courts, probation officers, law enforcement, CPS, and so on are essential in these cases.