I work with adults and teens on problems related to depression, anxiety, difficulty in relationships, problems with emotion, and all things trauma-related. I have been influenced by and believe strongly in attachment theory, which basically means that we have been shaped by our attachments growing up and have developed an “attachment style” that gets played out in our current relationships – from colleagues to family to romantic partners. I believe that a lot of our suffering can be traced to attachment wounds – not being seen or heard sufficiently enough in our most important caregiving relationships. Fortunately, we heal in relationships as well and that is partly what happens in therapy, in addition to understanding and accepting ourselves more fully.
In addition to working with adults and teenagers individually, I believe it’s important to work with the whole family – or at least the parents – when a teenager is referred to me. I don’t like to treat teens in isolation and I believe their family life is vital to understanding who they are and how they came to be. I often will meet with parents alone to talk about parenting concerns, anxieties and concerns about their child, and any personal issues that may be affecting their parenting. Once I build trust with the teenager, and talk about the quality of relationships in the family, incorporating parents in the sessions is a logical step. I tell my clients that I would eventually like to become irrelevant in the context of the family, meaning they will no longer need me to facilitate or translate concerns and dilemmas.