How I work with you
When I work with people individually I still very much take into consideration cultural and family factors - we are all products of the various cultures that we grew up with - some of which we have chosen and some of which we have not. But, either way, these are important elements of who you are and honoring and exploring their effects on your life and growth will have the greatest impact on the therapy work we do.
And, as someone who spent a long time in the arts, I have the greatest respect for the creative force within us and how that can shape the choices we make and the things we do. People tell me that they value my understanding and gentle sense of humor. My goal is to help you figure out your way and to help you find the possibilities out there - even when the way seems dark!
When we come together as a couple we are bringing with us everything that went into making us into the people that we are. On the one hand this is really great, and on the other hand this can make for some tough times as a couple. Differing expectations from family members and friends about what kind of marriage or relationship we will have can be difficult to manage sometimes. Our differences are usually what attract us in the beginning, but as time goes by these differences can become frustrating and hard to deal with.
I can help you both with figuring out how to best go about understanding and caring for one another while also honoring the unique backgrounds that you both bring to the relationship. My experience living in other countries and speaking other languages gives me a unique outlook on supporting couples in their relationship as you navigate the differences between you. Think of me as a sort of translator for each of you to the other one - in this way you can start to bridge the gap between what divides you and what unites you as a couple.
My specialty is working with couples whose differences are straining their relationship - and these differences can be anything. You CAN make your relationship what you want and hope it will be!
For those couples who are feeling like they may be close to divorce I also offer Discernment Counseling. This is a package of 5 sessions wherein I help you and your spouse discern whether or not you want to put all in for couples counseling. This is a specific type of work that can be a very helpful prelude to couples counseling, but is not, in itself, couples counseling - it can help clarify things for you. If you are interested in this option I can explain further when we meet.
Families and teens
I believe that each family has its own unique culture and I think of the work in therapy as a way to help all members of the family feel that they are an important part of that. I am particularly experienced in working with teenagers and their families - my goal is to help families negotiate those sometimes tricky teenage years and that teenage energy - while supporting positive and hopeful relationship work within the family as a whole.
If there are cultural differences within the family I can also be of help. Families that begin in one country and move to another often undergo a significant upheaval that can strain family relationships. What can sometimes happen is that the children and, especially, the teenagers in the family end up being bi-cultural in a way that the parents often aren't - and this can lead to tension and conflicts. Often the understanding presence of a family therapist can help you sort out what priorities your family has and lead everyone in the family to a place where they can thrive and do well.