Specialties

Our practice is based on the idea of secure attachment. We believe every human being needs to be able to turn to loved ones for emotional support, from the cradle to the grave. We believe the ability to turn toward our loved ones for emotional support is a sign and source of strength. Closeness helps us survive. When that closeness is threatened, we sometimes use unhelpful coping strategies to get that connection back.  Unfortunately, these coping strategies create more problems. Please read below for all specialty areas.  

 
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NICHES:

Couples Therapy and Trauma with Adults and Children, including attachment trauma and PTSD

 

MODALITIES OF EXPERTISE:

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Play Therapy

 
 
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Theoretical foundation for couples:

Romantic love is not longer a mystery.  Most arguments are really protests against disconnection. As specialists in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, we will help you identify those negative patterns of interaction that create disconnection and conflict for you and your partner. After we have helped you and your partner de-escalate the conflict, we will help you create a new pattern of interaction that will foster emotional accessibility and responsiveness between you and your partner.

We want to know and feel that we can depend on our partner, that our partner is there for us, that our partner will respond to our emotional needs, that we matter to our partner and that we are valued and accepted by our partner.  We help you and your partner get there.

 
 

Theoretical foundation for trauma:

Our past is present.  Just because it may seem that we have forgotten about something bad that happened to us does not mean we are unimpacted that that bad thing.  Whether an adult or a child, we use Attachment Theory along with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing to help you heal from the trauma.  After all, studies show that secure connections with our loved ones help us heal from past traumas and help us cope better with current and future life challenges.

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Emotionally Focused Therapy *(EFT) for Couples and Families

EFT is usually a short term treatment approach developed in the 1980's by Dr. Sue Johnson. Research has been conducted on the efficacy of EFT and has found that 75% of couples report reduced distress and 90% report significant improvement. EFT helps couples by the first identifying the interaction that creates disconnection, often called "the dance" by making explicit the attachment fears and emotional responses thereby creating a relationship in which both partners feel safe to risk with each other.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

My favorite treatment approach for trauma is EMDR. EMDR has been shown in research studies to be effective in reducing symptoms from traumatic life experiences. I use eye movements, or other types of bilateral stimulation, to process traumatic memories and disturbing emotions. I start by targeting a disturbing memory. Then I ask the client to hold in mind different aspects of the memory as I begin to administer eye movements. As the processing occurs, the original disturbing memories and emotions are desensitized. EMDR can process traumatic events faster than traditional talk therapy. After the memory has been desensitized, I install a positive, more adaptive belief and clear any associated body sensations. If you have had a traumatic life experience, I would be happy to talk with you about how EMDR could help you.

 

Play Therapy

I feel play is important to children, adolescents and adults alike! Play Therapy is helpful for a variety of presenting problems including aggression, acting out behaviors, emotional struggles related to divorce, abuse and neglect, trauma, social skills, anger, depression, anxiety and more. Play Therapy is especially helpful for children who are not developmentally capable to communicate verbally or cognitively process traumas or worries. Garry Landreth states "toys are words and play is language for children" (2002). I use Play Therapy to help children process and work through problems using the normal communication and learning processes children currently have available. I would be happy to talk with you about how Play Therapy could help your child.