I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and I’ve worked in private practice for over 25 years, as well as in community mental health in various settings, including inpatient, residential and outpatient care, for nearly 40 years. This has afforded me the opportunity and privilege to get to know numerous individuals with serious psychiatric and behavioral challenges and often included getting to know the families, friends and loved ones of these individuals. These challenges included symptom of mood and/or thought disorders, trauma, substance abuse and family violence.
I am a long-time activist for social justice, which over the years has included opposing the war in Viet Nam, participating in the developing of the modern wave of feminism, engaging in the study of constructive criticism and examining the ways that race and socio-economic class affect the fabric of our lives. Many of the individuals I’ve worked with have been profoundly affected by poverty, inadequate access to healthcare, education, and decent housing, as well as facing the stigmas imposed on many marginalized people. The study and practice of Health at Every Size continue to inform my advocacy of self-acceptance in facing the stigma associated with living in a larger body.
I bring these experiences, along with my multi-faceted approach to how we humans move through the world, to my work as a therapist. I believe in change, renewal and recovery and I delight in the creativity each person brings to the table.
About our work together:
After we talk on the phone to learn more about what your goals are and I find that I have the skills and experience to address your concerns, we discuss my fee, my office schedule, and find a time to have an initial meeting. I will also ask that you print out and look at the Informed Consent form carefully so that we may establish the shared understandings about how our work together will be confidential (with the legal and ethical exceptions listed there), the guidelines for communicating about missed appointments, and we will review and sign the form at our first meeting. This meeting will also give us an opportunity to get a good sense of how we work together, and I invite you to evaluate and let me know if you have any hesitations. Further I will assess how I may best meet your needs for therapy and if I believe I am not the best fit for you I will assist you to find someone who will be a better match.
We will discuss the fee for therapy on the phone before we first meet. I do not have affiliations with any insurance panels, however I can provide a statement for your records at an agreed upon interval.
Areas of particular interest:
In my work both inpatient and outpatient with clients with serious psychiatric symptoms I found that any time I could work with one or more family members (which includes blood and chosen family), the net effects were exponential for all involved. Sometimes a mother found her first opportunity to exhale, knowing she no longer had to feel like the only person who cared for her adult son. A pair of adult daughters and their husbands and kids felt helpless whenever their mother declared she was suicidal at home, and our work together gave everyone a language to identify the despair before it reached a crisis. If you find yourself in need of this kind of support, education about your family member’s illness, medication and treatment, let’s meet for 3-5 sessions to review these questions, and make future decisions about coming back in for tune-ups as needed.
If you google “Health at Every Size” you will find a wealth of information about an exciting non-diet approach to living in a body that does not fit the tradition beauty standard. Science is finally catching up to the anecdotal knowledge many of us have had about our experiences with dieting (imposing famine on the body serves to make the storage of fat more efficient), bullying and stigma, and a much needed approach to treating eating disorders. Getting off the dieting merry-go-round can be a frightening experience, but I’m here to say it can also be exhilarating.
Finally, as I am approaching my 70th birthday, I’ve faced my share of aches and pains, temporary and permanent disabilities, and while I’ve learned that each of us must find our own pathway toward making lemonade out of the lemons we are dealt, I’m certainly willing to work with you to find your recipe for that lemonade. My therapy office is wheelchair accessible, with the entrance in the rear of the building.
Psychotherapy with heart, intelligence and a loving sense of humor.
Here are a few forms to get you started. Please read the Informed Consent thoroughly as we will discuss any questions you might have during our first session. The other two forms cover your basic demographical information and a review of concerns and symptoms you might have, as well as a review of some aspects of your personal history.