Types of Therapy

Psychodynamic (and Self-Compassion) Therapy

What is psychodynamic therapy? Put simply, it’s talk therapy that focuses on understanding how your past experiences, thoughts and beliefs impact how you feel in the present. By talking about and exploring your own history, family dynamics, early attachments and belief systems, you can gain the awareness and understanding you need to begin to unlock your own power to heal and grow. 

Along with helping clients develop this understanding and insight, I interweave self-compassion practices to our work together. I help clients recognize their negative internal dialogs and self-judgements, and increase their self-kindness and empathy. While awareness of past patterns, thoughts and behaviors is important for the healing process, without reducing self-judgement and practicing self-compassion (and sometimes self-forgiveness), it is easy to remain stuck. 

Attachment-Focused EMDR

Our body’s nervous system has a natural way of responding to traumatic and fearful experiences. When it perceives that something is dangerous, it activates your fight or flight system to help you survive and move through the experience. When this natural response gets blocked or hindered, the traumatic experience can get stuck in the body and brain. As Bessel van der Kolk says in his book, The Body Keeps the Score: “Trauma affects the entire human organism–body, mind and brain. In PTSD, the body continues to defend against a threat that belongs to the past.”

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based therapeutic approach that helps clients process through unresolved past traumatic experiences that are adversely impacting them in the present. With EMDR, we can process through and release experiences that are trapped in the mind and the body, so you no longer have to feel the physical and emotional symptoms that come from this “stuckness”. Initially developed to treat trauma and PTSD, after years of research and clinical practice, we now know that EMDR can be used effectively to help heal many issues or challenges including: anxiety, phobias, panic, unresolved grief, addiction behaviors, negative beliefs, attachment or relational trauma, and many mind-body or somatic symptoms. Commonly, these types of challenges often are connected to something in our past that remains unhealed or incomplete. Attachment-Focused EMDR adds an additional layer of healing by considering a client’s attachment needs through the process. EMDR is safe, non-invasive, and can be used with people of all ages.

Mind-Body (or Somatic) Therapy

Our emotions are experienced not just as feelings and thoughts, but in our bodies as well. When we feel anxiety or nervousness, we can experience feelings of fear and worry, racing thoughts, rapid heart beat, tightness in the chest, and more. Depression is experienced as sadness and negative thoughts, but also can impact sleep, physical energy and even result in physical pain in the body. Our minds and our bodies are connected. How we feel emotionally effects us physically, and vice versa.

Working from a mind-body perspective, I take this into consideration when working with all my clients. I gently integrate somatic and mindfulness techniques into the therapeutic work. These techniques may include simple tools to help regulate the nervous system, somatic tracking or calming breathing techniques (if appropriate). I also may ask clients to notice sensations–tightness or openness–in their bodies as we talk about and process certain experiences. For clients who are open to it, I may encourage the use of meditation to support your healing process. These various tools and techniques can help clients to heal not just their painful thoughts and feelings but also release the physiological symptoms of those painful emotions in their bodies. For clients who are less comfortable with these techniques, we work collaboratively to determine which techniques or methods work best them in their healing journey. 

 

Chronic Pain Coaching

For clients living outside of California, I offer TMS/PPD or chronic pain coaching. Coaching differs from psychotherapy as we focus specifically on understanding and implementing tools to reduce and relieve your chronic pain symptoms. In the coaching process, I partner with clients to uncover the beliefs and thought patterns that may be contributing to the existence of their physical pain or and/or hindering their healing process. I also help them learn and develop concrete tools to shift those beliefs and patterns, as well as change their relationship to their pain. Such tools may include somatic tracking, pain reprocessing techniques, nervous system regulation tools, and various mindfulness practices. There may be occasions during the process of coaching that more serious issues, trauma or mental illness may be uncovered or revealed. In such cases, I work with my clients to find appropriate, local referrals for psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment

 

Rates and Policies

Session Rates

Sessions are normally 50 minutes long. I have a standard fee of $245 per 50-minute session. I do offer a limited number sliding scale appointments based on ability to pay. If you need a reduced fee, please let me know. If I am unable to accommodate your financial situation, one of the Associates in my practice may be able to meet your financial needs. Otherwise, I will try my best to assist you in finding appropriate referrals.

Cancellation Policy

I maintain a 24-hour cancellation policy. Because clients’ appointment times are reserved for them and not available for others to reserve, cancellations made within less 24 hours prior to the appointment time (including all same-day cancellations) are charged the full session fee.

Insurance

I am not in-network with any insurance companies. However, I am happy to provide you with a monthly statement of services rendered (a “superbill”) if you wish to seek reimbursement from your insurance company. I recommend that you to contact your insurance company prior to the first session if you are seeking reimbursement, so you can get information about your individual coverage, including percentage of fees covered for an out-of-network provider, your deductible amount, and number sessions covered.

Good Faith Estimate

You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your medical care will cost. Under the law (No Surprises Act (H.R. 133), healthcare providers need to give patients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.

  • You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your healthcare provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service.
  • If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill.
  • Make sure to save a copy of a picture of your Good Faith Estimate.

For questions about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, you can ask your visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises or call HHS at 800-368-1019.

 

Resources

We all need a little extra help sometimes. Below is a list of resources, including crisis hotlines as well as other support lines, website recommendations and book referrals for clients or family members in need of additional support. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Support Lines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800.273.8255

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800.799.SAFE

The Trevor Project: 866.488.7386 (Suicide prevention and crisis support for the LGBTQ community)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 800.662.HELP (Treatment referrals and information)

Teen Line: 800.852.8336 (Support and resources for struggling teens)

TMS / PPD Resources

Psychophysiologic Disorders Association: www.ppdassociation.org

Mind-Body Medicine: www.mindbodymedicine.com

The TMS Wiki: www.tmswiki.org

This Might Hurt: www.thismighthurtfilm.com

Curable: www.curablehealth.com

Recommended Books

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristen Neff, PhD

Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and the World with the Practice of RAIN by Tara Brach

The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown, PhD

Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter Levine, MD

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

Books for TMS/PPD

Healing Back Pain by John Sarno, MD

Psychophysiologic Disorders by David Clarke, MD, Howard Schubiner, MD, et al.

Think Away Your Pain by David Schechter, MD

The Way Out by Alan Gordon, LCSW with Alon Ziv

Unlearn Your Pain by Howard Schubiner, MD

The Last Best Cure by Donna Jackson Nakazawa