My Approach to Psychotherapy

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

My approach is based on psychodynamic theory, which can be summarized as follows.

(1) We do not completely know ourselves. Even the most self-aware among us have many unconscious thoughts and feelings.

(2) We do not completely want to know ourselves. In order to prevent emotional discomfort and pain, we unknowingly push certain thoughts and feelings out of conscious awareness. The ways we do this are often referred to as our defense mechanisms.

(3) We possess many contradictory thoughts and feelings. Each of us can be understood as containing a multitude of selves, and consequently, internal conflict is inevitable. Many of our problems result from denying this reality and failing to see the nuance and three-dimensionality of ourselves and others.

(4) We have innate needs for both relatedness and authenticity. Relatedness refers to our need for meaningful and supportive relationships, and authenticity refers to our need to discover, develop, and express our core self. Both needs must be met for us to acquire psychological health.

My primary goal will be to understand you and to help you more fully understand yourself. As your understanding increases, it is my hope that you will gain greater acceptance of yourself and better see how to get your needs met and resolve the problems that initially brought you to therapy.

Your Responsibilities

To this end, it will be your responsibility to speak as freely and truthfully as possible. It is important that you choose what we talk about each session. A good rule of thumb is to discuss whatever feels most alive at that moment. This might be an event that happened that week, a dream you had, or an emotionally intense memory that came to mind.

My Responsibilities

I will listen carefully and nonjudgmentally. I will often ask questions, sometimes to clarify something you’ve said and sometimes to encourage you to further explore an aspect of your experience. I will at times make observations and at other times conjectures, neither of which are intended to be declarative proclamations but simply possibilities to consider and encouragements to further explore your inner experience.

About Me

I received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy from Colorado University and a Master of Social Work from Metropolitan State University of Denver. I began my career as an elementary and middle school social worker and now provide individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults. I am credentialed by the State of Colorado as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (CSW.9925883).