I am a licensed clinical social worker and have been practicing psychotherapy since 1984. I received my social work degree from the University of Maryland and have continued in advanced training ever since.
I developed an early interest in group psychotherapy during my graduate training, both at Prince George’s Hospital and in the Counseling Center at American University. In my early career I worked as a staff therapist and intake coordinator at the Washington School of Psychiatry’s Meyer Treatment Center in Washington, DC. I also worked as a counselor at the St. Francis Center (now called The Wendt Center for Loss and Healing) where I studied therapeutic approaches to death and dying with William Wendt, who said “no one should have to grieve alone.” In the 80s, I completed extensive post-graduate work, including three years at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland where I studied individual, group and couples therapy.
I have been in individual practice since 1992.
I’ve spent many years studying different modes of therapy, and I want to give special acknowledgement to the people who’ve influenced me the most. I owe the greatest debt to the work of noted couples and sex therapist David Schnarch, PhD, who deepened my appreciation of Bowen’s concept of differentiation and its application to longterm intimate relationships as described so elegantly in his book, Intimacy and Desire. Further, Dave’s articulation of anxiety tolerance and its benefits is a game changer in the field of psychotherapy in general and specifically in couples work. I’ve continued ongoing training with Dave since the mid 90s and continue to gain even deeper appreciation of his commitment to the field of psychotherapy as his work evolves. I have also been significantly influenced by the ideas of Noel Larson, PhD. and James Maddock, PhD, particularly their work on the dialectic of power and control in intimate relationships. I have done my best to integrate their ideas into my work, empowering victims and increasing self-control in abusive and over-powered individuals.
The predominant focus of my practice is the development of a solid self. What this means is helping individuals develop the strength and flexibility to deal with the unavoidable anxieties of life so they can expand their options and choices. Often individuals shrink from challenges out of anxiety and in so doing, shrink their field of operations in life.
I consider my practice to be non-pathology based which is to say that I enjoy helping people grow themselves – moving from anger or helplessness to resilience; from blame or shame to self-regulation and competency; from depression and anxiety to joy; from cynicism to investment in self and community.
Couples, Group and Sex Therapy
I provide individual therapy as well as couples, group and sex therapy. My areas of specialty include developmental, sexual and psychological trauma as well as increasing people’s abilities to thrive, not just survive. I like working with people who want to understand and move beyond self-limiting behaviors that they may have already identified but are struggling to change. Ultimately, my goal is to help people increase meaning, choice and options in their lives.