Major life events, both positive and negative, can require emotional adjustments that sometimes take us by surprise. Even much desired life changes like becoming a parent, getting married, or graduating from college can lead to an unexpected range of reactions and a mixture of feelings. Other more painful or traumatic events can lead to depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behaviors. Current research on attachment confirms that humans are dramatically more resilient in the face of major life change and trauma when they feel that they are understood and supported by another. People are at their best when they feel connected to others and when their relationships provide empathy and compassion. I hold this in my mind when developing relationships with my patients. Our work together helps them cope with life’s transitions and losses in the context of a relationship where they feel recognized on many levels. This, in turn, helps them to seek out or fortify supportive connections in their daily lives.
I consider my role as a therapist to be a privilege and am extremely thoughtful about the approach that will be most helpful to each of my patients. I believe that the therapeutic relationship is complex in its meaning for different individuals. I find that the needs and reactions that arise for patients in the treatment present opportunities to explore each person’s experience of the world. I have a compassionate but direct approach, helping my patients to see their role in the obstacles they have met and helping them to develop tools and strategies for navigating emotions, relationships, and their life goals in healthier, more gratifying ways.