I offer in-depth psychoanalytic therapy for individuals and groups. I also offer clinical supervision for post-licensure psychotherapists and group leaders.
My approach to therapy draws on the Relational and Modern traditions of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Therapy is a treatment for relieving mental and emotional distress. It’s based on an understanding of the unconscious, and how unconscious processes affect our minds as a whole, including our emotions, actions, thoughts and perceptions. It draws on experiences in our family of origin, among other things, as helpful for understanding the present. The goal of psychoanalytic treatment is to help people improve the quality of their lives and relationships.
Listening with a Purpose
The major function of the psychoanalytic therapist is to listen carefully and attentively to the patient in order to understand and facilitate progressive communication. When a patient can get in touch with and express all of his or her feelings, good and bad, emotional healing can take place. Psychoanalytic therapy is often known as The Talking Cure because its simple method heals through the talking interaction between patient and therapist.
The modern psychoanalytic therapist actively participates to help the patient understand what is getting in the way of satisfying growth and development. The outcome is greater understanding of yourself and others, and greater freedom to enjoy yourself, your relationships and your life.
Contemplative Psychotherapy / Buddhist Psychology
My psychoanalytic practice is informed by my background as a student and teacher of meditation, Buddhist Psychology and Contemplative Psychotherapy. Contemplative Psychotherapy offers a finely detailed understanding of how we suffer, and how suffering can be alleviated.
The Neurobiology of Attachment
My work is informed by the current scientific research on the central role our early relational attachment experiences play in our mental and emotional well-being throughout life. Current research on the neurobiology of attachment syncs up well with Relational and Modern Psychoanalysis, as both emphasize the necessity of “good enough” attachment in the development of our ability to regulate emotions, have positive feelings about ourselves, and connect with others in a satisfying way. Thanks to neuroplasticity, healthy attachment can be achieved in adulthood even if it wasn’t “good enough” in early life. This is an important aspect of what is healed in psychoanalytic therapy.
Much of our trouble in life stems from formative experiences in our family of origin and community. I lead therapy groups because they are so effective at bringing out a variety of feelings within ourselves and towards others, with the result that those feelings can be explored, expressed and evolved — with the help of the group therapist and other group members. As group members learn to access and express the full range of their feelings, they gain greater understanding of themselves and others, feel more alive, and experience more satisfying relationships.
Since the human psyche is vast and deep, there is never a finish line in the training of a psychotherapist. I remain engaged in advanced post-graduate training, including extended programs with The Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Group Studies in New York City, and The Colorado Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. I’m a member of an ongoing weekly psychoanalytic consultation group and receive individual professional mentorship to keep my thinking challenged and to be nourished as a psychotherapist. I’m a member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association and a Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP). I frequently attend professional conferences as a participant, as well as being a presenter. I continue to learn and grow in my own psychoanalytic therapy (individual and group), which are among the most important aspects of my training.
I received my Master’s degree from Naropa University’s three-year Counseling Psychology program in Boulder, Colorado. This degree gave me excellent combined training in Western clinical psychology, Buddhist Psychology, Modern Psychoanalytic Group Therapy and meditation, including month-long required meditation retreats. I received my undergraduate degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, where I studied literature and psychology. I also hold a law degree from the University of Georgia at Athens. A long-time student and sometimes teacher of the intersection of Buddhist psychology and Western psychotherapy, I have practiced meditation and studied the psychology of meditation under the guidance of senior meditation teachers since 1998. I founded and directed The Asheville Center for Contemplative Psychotherapy, and I am a Naropa-certified Meditation Instructor.
If you would like to learn more, or wish to set up an appointment, please contact me here.