Psychotherapy may be short-term or long-term. I work with clients who are dealing with a variety of concerns such as:
- Stress and anxiety
- Depression and sadness
- Exploration of sexuality
- Coming out
- Gender identity and expression
- Intersex variation
- Immigration and asylum
- Substance abuse
- Chronic medical illnesses
----such as Cancer & HIV
- Relationship issues
- LGBTQI relationship issues
- Kink, BDSM
- Sexual and intimacy difficulties
- Marital issues
- Sexual abuse
- Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence
- Sex work
- LGBTQI family building and parenting
- Parenting challenges
- Child and adolescent problems
- School difficulties
- Learning disabilities
- Child abuse and incest
- Healthy adolescent sexual behavior
- Career challenges and goals
- Life transitions
Individual therapy is a collaborative process that can help clarify your goals, heal from painful or traumatic experiences, build positive coping skills, improve relationships, and become more present overall in your life. Additionally, talking with a therapist allows you to get a sense of how you appear to other people, helps you get feedback on whatever you’re feeling, and offers insight on how those emotions are affecting your everyday life. It is an investment in your emotional well-being and actualizing your authentic self.
When you speak to a therapist that you connect with, you allow yourself to open up to what you’re struggling with and where you’d like to go from there. This allows you to work toward a goal, which can bring confidence, peace of mind, and, ultimately, more meaning to life.
I typically start individual therapy by assessing what you would like to accomplish, your strengths, current challenges, and what approach would be most effective in our work together.
COUPLES / POLYCULE THERAPY
There are many reasons why couples/polycules decide to go to therapy together — to improve communication, resolve conflict, work on sexual dissatisfaction, and/or to find a healthy and amicable way to end the relationship.
I listen carefully to each person’s experience while keeping in mind the shared goals and hopes of the couple/polycule. I also compassionately attend to how each person’s experiences in his/her/their own family of origin may unconsciously play out within the relationship and can help couples/polycules to find healthier ways of relating.
The overall goal of couples/polycules counseling is to strengthen the relationship by helping each member better understand each other, respect each other, and know each other's needs.
Couples/polycules often want to work on their sexual relationships as well. Most couples/polycules want to have a healthy sex life, however, it can be challenging to make time for passionate sex. Having a mismatched libido or sexual issues in your relationship can start to make you feel detached and disconnected from your partner/spouse.
I work with couples/polycules struggling with desire issues, arousal issues, and orgasm issues. There are a lot of misconceptions and false expectations around what sex should look and feel like. Sexual experiences should be romantic, raunchy, erotic, relaxed, and mutually orgasmic. I encourage my couples/polycules to explore sexual adventurousness, openness, non-monogamy, and/or fetishes without judgment.
Sex therapy is different from other kinds of therapy. It is important to work with someone who is non-judgmental and can help you to find ways to gently explore feelings about your sexual self, including all aspects of sexuality and erotic expression.
Family therapy is a way of exploring and healing personal issues and/or crises by collaborating with the entire family unit rather than just the individual. In family therapy, we focus on how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are a function of our relationships with others within the family unit. The family unit is where we develop ourselves as we interact with partners/spouses, parents, children, and other family members.
Family therapy can include (but are not limited to) issues such as bullying, child abuse, and incest, unhealthy sexual behavior, substance abuse, behavior problems, school difficulties, depression, anxiety, dealing with divorce, learning disabilities, and children living with medical conditions. A healthy family is not defined by the absence of conflict, but by how effectively it handles stressors as it responds to everyone's needs.
I use therapeutic approaches that are designed to help families improve communication, inner strengths, problem-solve, and enhance their sense of connection to one another.
LGBTQI INDIVIDUAL THERAPY
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI) individuals seek counseling for help with the many of the same clinical and life issues as heterosexual and cisgender people– depression, anxiety, relationship issues, work stress, etc. Many issues may appear to have little to do with sexuality or gender identity while others may be intimately connected to their LGBTQI identity.
For folks who identify as Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming, I provide therapy to increase personal awareness as well as facilitate decision-making around their gender identity and expression. Additionally, there can be group sessions with the individual's family members and/or partners because gender exploration and transition affect everyone.
I can also provide letters of support to doctors and insurance companies so that individuals have access to hormones and surgery. As well as letters of support necessary for individuals who need to change documentation such as name, birth certificate, passport, social security, and drivers' license.
Whether or not you seek therapy for issues related to your LGBTQI identity, I will work hard to ensure that you feel safe and supported during your therapeutic experience.
LGBTQI COUPLES THERAPY
LGBTQI couples not only have to manage the same issues as heterosexual couples but often also face another layer of challenges. Some issues such as coming out, acceptance, gender roles, and gender transitioning can create and compound stress and disconnection.
Furthermore, many LGBTQI folks were not raised witnessing healthy relationship role models, and even fewer saw examples of LGBTQI relationships in our families or the world around us.
Couples could benefit from the support and guidance of a culturally competent couples therapist to restore the health of a relationship. If you and your partner are struggling to communicate and connect, LGBTQI couples counseling can help you cultivate openness, compassion, and trust.
LGBTQI FAMILY THERAPY
Families often believe that youth have to be adults before they can truly know that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or intersex (LGBTQI). Many assume that being gay is a “phase” that youth will grow out of as they get older. Today, children and youth are coming out at younger ages, which significantly increases the risk for victimization and stress in the family, school, and community settings. Victimization has long-term consequences for health and development and impacts families as well as targeted individuals.
LGBTQI affirming family therapy provides an opportunity to support these young individuals and their families. Allowing a young person to openly explore his/her/their sexuality and/or gender identity in a safe and affirming space can also help families understand the impact of acceptance and rejection on their child’s well-being.
I use a family-focused approach that helps ethnically and religiously diverse families to decrease rejection and increase support to prevent risk and promote their LGBTQI children's overall health.
A great benefit to group therapy is that it can provide a safe and affirming place to come together with your peers. Hearing others speak about similar issues and concerns will help you feel that you are not alone.
Group therapy can often help you find your “voice.” Groups can teach you about yourself. They help with reducing isolation and gaining social skills. Groups can offer hope, encouragement, inspiration, and sometimes suggestion. Because of this, groups can provide peer support different than that which your therapist can provide to you in a one-on-one session.
Potential offerings for groups:
- Gender identity groups
- Intersex group
- LGBTQI families group
- Non-monogamy / polyamory groups
As a Seminar In-Field Instruction (SIFI) supervisor, I provide consultation to clinicians who want to improve their work with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex clients (LGBTQI). I work with MSW students on how to practice culturally competent social work within a variety of agencies and according to the expectations of the school and the profession. I review and comment on students’ process recordings, complete evaluations, meet with students’ faculty advisors on their site visits, and provide crucial guidance on social work practice. We typically meet once a week to discuss the MSW student's client caseload.