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Approach Overview

My approach in providing individual and couples therapy includes the following important components.

Identity and Relationship Affirming Beliefs

My approach in providing individual and couples therapy is positive, supportive and affirming of a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity and intimate relationships.

My therapy process includes the following beliefs.

  • Being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) person is a positive and healthy expression of our human nature.
  • LGBT individuals and couples face unique issues in our society including lack of acceptance, discrimination, and lack of support from others.
  • LGBT individuals and couples also face the same issues as other persons in our society based on personal history, gender, race, ethnicity, and age.
  • LGBT persons can lead happy, satisfying and fulfilling lives whether we are single or in relationships with each other.
  • LGBT couples can have committed, loving and fulfilling intimate relationships with each other.

Therapy Approach

My theoretical approach in providing individual and couples therapy is grounded in several clinical orientations. I believe that we have the freedom to choose the life we want to live, that we need to understand how the past has impacted our current issues and situation, and that therapy needs to focus on our ability to change the present and address issues that improves our lives.

Choice Therapy
Choice Therapy or Reality Therapy is based on the belief that you have the freedom to choose the life you want with a goal of strengthening your relationships and connectedness with others. The focus of our therapy is more on current experiences than the past with an emphasis on making decisions, taking action and gaining control of your life. Sessions are interactive as we problem solve issues together and I provide you with direction, tools, encouragement and suggestions using a nonjudgmental approach.

Insight Oriented Therapy
The premise of Insight-Oriented Therapy is that issues and problems in our current lives originate in our childhood and past experiences. We review your childhood and personal history with attention to identifying underlying issues, unresolved conflicts and negative patterns that influence your current behavior and situation. I provide you with insight in recognizing and understanding how your past experiences have impacted your current situation. I also support you in addressing past issues to facilitate making positive changes in your life.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy believes that we can change our thoughts, feelings and behaviors to address current issues and improve our lives. The focus is on your ability to exercise control over how you conduct your life. As we address your identified issues, I provide you with specific techniques to improve communication skills, change negative or irrational beliefs, increase positive thinking, improve social and relationship skills, and change negative personal and relationship patterns.

Therapy Process

My therapy process is individualized to meet the needs of the individuals and couples I am working with.

  • Individual therapy can range from short to long term depending on your situation and the issues you need to address.
  • Short term therapy (3-4 months) is often effective in addressing specific or presenting issues that you need immediate help with.
  • Long term therapy (1 year or longer) may be necessary to address deeper underlying issues that you present with or that emerge in discussing presenting problems.
  • Couples therapy is usually short to intermediate term (3-6 months) in length with the goal of providing couples with the tools needed to continue resolving issues after therapy ends.
  • Most individuals and couples see improvement in their presenting situation during the initial few months of therapy.
  • Weekly therapy sessions are encouraged during the initial few months to ensure continuity with some individuals and couples moving to less frequent therapy sessions after presenting issues are addressed.

Initial Sessions

The initial few sessions provide you with an opportunity to discuss presenting issues, learn more about my approach and for me to understand your situation. The initial sessions also involve developing a positive working relationship together. I try to provide you with immediate help in improving your situation. I encourage both individuals and couples to use our sessions as a safe place to bring your issues initially in order to relieve the pressure of trying to resolve them on your own.

Personal / Relationship History
The next sessions involve reviewing your personal history with attention to identifying issues or recurring themes. This includes your experience growing up in your family, the development of your sexuality, and the history of your relationships. Our histories include messages that we have internalized and patterns in our lives that influence our current situation and relationships. The goals of therapy include supporting you in keeping positive messages, revising negative messages, and changing harmful patterns in your personal life and relationships.

Issues Focused Sessions
Subsequent sessions involve addressing each of the issues identified during the initial and history sessions. Sessions are focused on with both understanding why issues occur and problem solving with you how to address them. During this phase of therapy I encourage you to take an active role by taking steps to improve your situation while providing you with feedback, suggestions, specific tools, and encouragement. Each session includes a review of our previous week and an opportunity for you to address current issues as they are occurring in your life.

Periodic Review
My therapy process includes reviewing our progress in addressing the issues that you came to see me for help with. I provide you with the opportunity to give feedback on a weekly basis and formally review your progress every three months to ensure that you are satisfied with the therapy you have received. I may ask for commitments for additional sessions as part of these reviews based on your situation and needs. You are encouraged to discuss issues regarding our therapy at any time and are free to terminate whenever you feel it is appropriate or that therapy is no longer needed.

Remember that therapy is for you and is only needed for as long as it is helping you!

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