Borderline Personality Disorder/Narcissistic Personality Disorder/Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Here are just a few examples of what feelings or thoughts may come up for someone struggling with a personality disorder: Why do my feelings about myself change constantly throughout the day? Why is my behavior so mood dependent and why do i feel out of control? Why is it so hard for me to get along with others and keep relationships? Why do I feel I have to act or think a certain way to please others or my environment? Why do I do things that are self destructive and risk my health and safety? Why do I feel like everyone is talking about me or out to get me? Why can't I feel compassion for others? Many times, it is very difficult to get help or even be aware that behaviors linked to these thoughts are getting in the way of achieving goals in life. Beginning the journey of self awareness in a safe environment is a first step to improving your relationship with yourself and others. I am extensively trained through marsha linehan’s behavioral tech in dialectical behavioral therapy. DBT is one of the only evidence based therapeutic practices available to effectively treat borderline personality disorder. DBT incorporates a practice of mindfulness while learning specific skills to tolerate distress, improve emotional regulation, and foster healthy interpersonal effectiveness.
If you are a parent, it is probably a safe assumption that you want your child to grow up with confidence and self agency. Incorporating therapy into your children's lives can help support their self esteem and strengthen necessary social skills to navigate change. When approaching adolescence, life can become confusing, particularly when faced with challenges of impulsivity, hyperactivity, inattention, distractibility, and forgetfulness on top of hormonal and emotional disregulation. I work with your child to strengthen their areas of confidence and opportunity. We collaborate on implementing coping skills unique to your child's own personality to boost confidence and self worth. I believe starting therapy early is critical to developing an authentic inner voice when faced with challenges such as adhd, depression, parent child relational conflict, addiction, behavioral issues, and bullying.
Being in relationship is hard work. Over time, intimate and romantic relationships have the ability to challenge our patience and tolerance and defensiveness is inevitable. The reality is our foundation for being in relationship is based on our primary experience in childhood and all of us have experienced this differently. Regardless of how ideal or difficult it may have been, we operate from that base. Lots of times we may not even realize we are engaging in a pattern of behavior reflective of our early modeling. Having a therapist as an observer and a guide in relationship can help to recognize these patterns and strengthen healthy, authentic communication with our partners. Beginning to be consciously aware of our unique patterns and the impact we have on those closest to us improves couple connection and fosters a deeper understanding of ourselves. As a therapist I will help you face this with acceptance as a couple, helping you to navigate your communication with care and understanding. I work with complex cases and apply dialectical behavioral therapy skills to increase distress tolerance and improve emotional regulation prior to reduce the likelihood of communication being impulsive and defensive, using dr. alan f. fruzetti’s (2006) "the high conflict couple” as a reference.
At times we wonder about why we do the things we do, why we continue to experience disappointment when we thought we were doing the right thing, why we feel suffering when we can't identify exactly what is wrong, why we continue struggling with relationships and commitment, and feeling as though who we are is not the person we are "supposed to be".
I believe this is grief. It is essential to grieve the person we think we should be to honor and accept the person that we are. Many times trauma, addiction, illness, death, relationships, and life transitions shape our perception of the world and ourselves making this acceptance more difficult as anxiety and depression can set in. As a therapist, we will explore this together so that your relationship with yourself becomes the strongest one you have.
Family Therapy and Parent Skills Coaching
Family therapy can be helpful in identifying maladaptive patterns in a family system, recognizing the roles that each family member plays in the system, and implementing healthy boundaries and skills to improve connection and communication. In addition, change brings discomfort, meaning that when we change behavioral patterns which have been in place for many years, we unconsciously will work to bring the system back to where we were comfortable (in the discomfort!). Consistent family therapy helps to provide support and attunement in a safe environment while implementing change. I specialize in addiction in family systems. When a loved one is struggling with addiction, the entire family has its own role in the disease’s manifestation and i will work to help your family acknowledge and accept a healthier way of communicating and connecting.
I also work with parents seeking help in maintaining a healthy relationship with their adolescents. adolescence is a time of physical and emotional transition, however the fact is that as adults, we have our own transitioning happening at the same time. I work from the belief that we are all doing the best we can with the tools that we have, and that we all want to improve. In addition, i use marsha linehan’s dbt skills workbook and rathus and miller’s dbt skills manual for adolescents as a guide for coaching.
I strongly believe in the process of group therapy in didactic and process oriented settings. Please inquire within, a variety of groups may be available based on time of inquiry.
Eating Disorders/Body Dysmorphia
Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. Like anything that provides a temporary escape from life or a way to control our emotions, food is no different. Unfortunately, we live in a media culture that has placed personal value on body size, weight, and image. This concept is not rational. It is a conformist concept in a world of diversity and for those of us with low self worth, we are vulnerable to using nutrition to punish or reward the way we feel about ourselves. When we feel we have no control over anything but our nourishment, we can take it to an extreme. As a therapist, I believe wholeheartedly in Carolyn Costin’s philosophy of the "healthy and unhealthy self". We will work together to identify the voices of the healthy and unhealthy self to manage and create coping skills for maladaptive eating behaviors and thinking. In addition, I work with friends and families to help support their loved ones through eating disorders and body image issues.
It is so easy to reach for an antidote, something to help us get out of the moment, the feeling, and ourselves when things become too much or even too little. Unfortunately, too often many of us are impacted by our environment and a genetic predisposition. Our life can become unmanageable without us really noticing the connection between our unhealthy coping behaviors and life's challenges. We blame others, the situation, event, or bad luck without seeing that our need to escape ourselves takes us out of the moment and clear decision making. As a therapist, I specialize in addiction counseling which focuses on identifying the triggers and problems which precipitate maladaptive behavior, assist in developing alternative coping skills to replace addictive patterns, and focus on strengthening our healthy internal voice to inspire mindful decision making. In addition, I work with friends and family members to help support themselves and their loved ones struggling with addiction and offer intervention services.