Therapy Approach and Areas of Specialization

For each client, I work with and honor the whole person.  Not any single issue.  You are more than just the reasons that may bring you to therapy.  My therapy approach is collaborative.  Together, we work to create other options to manage situations that may feel overwhelming.  Together, we work create new possibilities for finding balance in your life.  As relationships are some of the greatest sources of our satisfaction and suffering, therapy often involves discussing both you and your experience in relationships.

I have three primary areas of specialization, and also see people coming in for other reasons. I specialize in the treatment of eating disorders, disordered eating and body image concerns. I treat the full range of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and ED-NOS.  Having completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Eating Disorders Program at UNC Chapel Hill, I tailor treatments based upon a variety of treatment methodologies, including current evidence based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness training, and relational-cultural therapy.

I specialize in working with individuals who identify as transgendered, transsexual, gender variant or gender non-conforming, including providing therapy and letters for hormone treatment and surgery.  I do not consider gender identity, gender expression or  sexual orientation to be something that needs to be addressed in therapy.  However, there are times when therapy is the appropriate place to address any barriers to living your fullest authentic life.  These barriers may come from within yourself, or may come from trying to deal with past or current hurtful experiences.  I see people who are seeking assistance in transitioning, and people who are seeking a gender confirming environment where they can discuss issues unrelated to gender.

Finally, I specialize in working with individuals on the autism spectrum.  I particularly enjoy working with older adolescents and adults who are high functioning.  Individuals on the spectrum who are able to “fit in” with the neurotypical population often face a unique set of challenges including creating meaningful relationships, working hard to appear “normal” (only to have others not understand why things might be harder for you), and challenges finding ways to manage complicated emotions.  It is not uncommon for these challenges to lead people to feeling angry, anxious, or depressed.  Our treatment goals often include familiarizing yourself with your mind (how it’s different from neurotypicals and how it is the same), finding effective coping skills to manage intense emotions (if relevant), and helping you move forward in a life of healthy relationships and work/life balance.

Outside of these specialized areas, I work with many people who are dealing with anxiety, depression, adjustment issues, or who do not necessarily carry any diagnosis but are looking for ways to find more meaning and well-being in their lives and relationships with others.

On the surface, eating disorders, transgender care, and autism may appear about as different as specialties can get.  It was admittedly a meandering path that led to these specialties but there are surprisingly similar themes that arise from these areas.  These experiences contribute to how I work with all people I see.  Therapy often includes:

  • Understanding the ways our culture contributes to the ways we talk to ourselves, such as carrying the idea that we must be better before we can accept ourselves.
  • Increasing trust in yourself and what is right for you, even if there are others in your life who tell you otherwise.
  • Learning how to balance the knowledge we receive from our minds, bodies, and emotions.
  • Experiencing the connection between mindfully creating new habits in the present to create the future you want to have.

 

For new clients

Finding a therapist who is the right fit for you can be just as important as finding a therapist who specializes in your area of need.  Before a first appointment is scheduled, I will speak with you on the phone to discuss potential appointment times and my fee structure.  At that time, please ask me any questions and share any concerns you may have.  If by the end of the phone call you do not think we will be a good therapeutic fit then I am happy to help try and connect you with someone who may be a better match for you.

At this time, I am not in network for any insurance company.  If you have health insurance, please check with your company about what mental health services are covered and their reimbursement rate for out of network providers.  A subset of appointments are also available on a sliding scale fee structure.

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