Treatment Philosophy

As a social worker, I believe in the importance of human relationships and in the dignity and worth of the person. I therefore approach every client as an individual and focus on establishing a strong therapeutic alliance. I believe in each person’s inherent ability to grow and change. I believe that we are inherently well intentioned and are simply learning who we are and how we want to show up in this world as we go. I believe that the relationship established in a counseling setting is a main priority and factor in the work and growth that is achieved, and I therefore work toward fostering a relationship with my clients that cultivates authenticity. Through a non-judgmental stance, grounded in empathy and compassion I establish a safe and comfortable environment allowing for honest, genuine feedback, and ultimately personal growth. I aim to support clients in developing a strong and healthy sense of self.

As a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, much of my treatment is an active type of therapy focused on how our thinking directly affects our feelings. Originally developed for the treatment of depression, Cognitive Therapy approaches have been proven effective for a variety of other difficulties including anger, addictions, anxiety, low self-esteem, stress, and relationship conflict. This approach is supportive and directive with client and therapist working collaboratively to resolve issues and minimize symptoms by changing self-defeating thoughts, thereby enhancing positive emotions and actions. Such a treatment approach will often include behavioral experiments, skill building, psycho-education and homework. I believe that much of the work done in counseling actually happens between sessions and will therefore check in with you from week to week regarding use of skills, observations of self, and insights gained.

My treatment often incorporates mindfulness based approaches, including the third generation cognitive approaches such as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Such mindfulness based approaches guide clients in awareness of their thoughts and feelings and acceptance of such without attachment or reaction. They aim to teach people to allow for what is happening without the pressure of trying to change it or fix it in that moment. This third wave of cognitive approaches acknowledges and allows for the fact that there are times when changing our thinking is not possible or effective and we therefore need skills to ride out the wave of discomfort in the moment. They teach us that we do not have to act on every feeling we have and that we can learn to engage in behaviors that are in line with our values and goals.

I am also trained in EMDR (eye movement, desensitization, and reprocessing) which is ideal for processing trauma, anxiety, grief, disturbing memories and phobias.

“You have within you the ability to alter the situation you are now in and the emotions that you now experience. “

Sorensen, M. (2006). Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem. p. 296.