Therapy for Individuals, Couples, and Families
Cognitive Therapy, TA, Gestalt, Energy Psychology
I earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1972 and have been working as a psychologist for over 40 years. Since 1982 I have been providing therapy primarily for adults, couples, parents, and families. In therapy people grow and change, learning new ways to deal with issues and also learning to deal with people who, in the past, seemed aggravating, overwhelming, or confusing.
I teach relationship ideas in which people learn a way of interacting that increases their attention to the positives in relationships. Without realizing it, many of us are less supportive of friends and family members than we intend to be; we benefit from learning ways to become more supportive or to feel more supported. I use cognitive-behavioral approaches, in which people learn to recognize when their strategies are effective versus when they’re not. I help people “redecide” how to approach life. That is, sometimes people made decisions when they were very young that they’re still following today, without realizing exactly what they are doing. When people become aware of the hidden rewards and consequences of their current actions, they usually decide to make the changes necessary for their lives to become satisfying.
I sometimes use approaches developed for people who have experienced trauma so they can now resolve events, thoughts, and feelings that have felt sad, scary, or otherwise uncomfortable in the past. Some techniques are also helpful for people who have not been traumatized, but who have difficulty making decisions or who struggle with unpleasant aspects of their lives. Among these approaches are EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and relatively new energy psychology techniques. If you’re feeling discontented, you might benefit from learning newer and more flexible strategies and approaches.
Sometimes when people move here, they find it harder to adjust than they had expected it to be. Therapy can be helpful in learning how to deal with relocation challenges. Knowing how people in different cultures interact is useful in helping people cope whether they have relocated here from other parts of the country or from other parts of the world.
People from different families also have different rules, values, and beliefs. It’s almost as if people from different families have different cultures because families establish expectations, patterns of behavior, and styles of communication or forms of humor that seem customary to them, but are surprising to others. We find friends, business associates, and romantic partners who sometimes react differently than we expect. Therapy can be beneficial in learning to tolerate and celebrate those differences. Regardless of the differences between you and those around you, relationships function more smoothly when we recognize that people are more likely to act in ways intended to protect themselves than in ways designed to make other people uncomfortable.
Most people come for sessions once a week for the typical 50-minute therapy sessions, although some people prefer longer sessions or come more or less often. Sometimes people whose schedules are variable (so they can’t come every week) or who live far away (so they want to come less often) come for extended sessions that last a a few hours, a day, or a few days.
I see people Monday through Friday, usually with my first appointment at 9 and my last appointment at 5. Payment is expected at the time of service as I no longer participate in managed care, other insurance arrangements (such as PPOs), or any form of insurance plans.