What if you could say anything?
And instead of being judged, you were simply understood.
If everything you’ve done so far hasn’t gotten you the life you dream of, perhaps you’re not flawed — it’s just that one-size-fits-all approaches to personal growth haven’t worked for you.
I had the privilege of experiencing deep, insight-oriented therapy starting at a very young age – but it was my relationship with my therapist in grad school that drives the way I work with and think about my clients every single day.
Why? She was hyper-nonjudgmental. I had always known that taking an inquisitive look at your upbringing, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings was essential for powerful growth, but the space that this woman created for me brought it to a whole new level.
I felt like I could literally say anything, and it was safe. When your feelings are acknowledged it’s easier to move forward and create true, lasting change.
Thanks in part to her, what I discovered is:
Your feelings have meaning.
Despite what many personal development gurus may tell you, you don’t have to change your feelings. They’re simply clues to what’s been holding you back. When you realize that, you become more self-aware. And when you’re more self aware? You can make conscious choices about how you want to design your ideal life.
This brings me to my next deeply held belief:
You don’t need to be “fixed.”
Change usually isn’t easy. Popular behavioral change methods often involve a short-term, follow-these-simple-steps and do-your-homework approach. If it doesn’t work? You are seen as the one who failed, not the system.
Talk about being judgmental.
If creating change were as simple as “JUST DO IT” we’d all be living the dream.
What I realized throughout my training is that we’ve been sold a false bill of goods. Insurance agencies and pharmaceutical companies have led people to believe that the “best” treatments are the ones that are the fastest, the cheapest, and the most profitable (for them!).
However, there’s growing evidence that supports the idea that the greatest, most lasting forms of change come when our deepest feelings and desires are honored and understood.
And it doesn’t stop at therapy. When I realized that these same principles — generalized approaches that sometimes fail people on an individual level — were being applied to the self-help industry, I wrote When Change Takes Time, my e-book on personal growth, and began integrating coaching into my practice.
Whether we’re in a therapy or coaching relationship, it’s my mission to provide you with a neutral, reflective, hyper-nonjudgmental space while guiding you to look at the next layer for clues. We’re like co-detectives.
Because I know one thing for sure:
No matter what you’re feeling, there’s always a reason.
I’ve never worked with someone who was depressed who didn’t have a very good reason to be – and who didn’t get better when they were able to understand WHY they felt the way they felt, and to stop judging themselves for it.
Are you ready to uncover the next layer?
Curious to know a little bit more about me and my background? Here’s a brief overview of my resume:
I fell in love with therapy at an early age (an experience that I talked about in my 2011 TEDx talk, Reconsidering Psychotherapy) and I was the kind of kid who went to college knowing exactly what I would major in.
Despite the fact that I took a brief break in my twenties to work in the music industry and to experience the world a little, I’ve devoted the better part of my life so far to the study and practice of psychology and mental health.
In my years in this field I’ve had a lot of varied experiences. In addition to an academic education that earned me a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a doctorate in Psychology – I’ve worked on locked, in-patient units of a psychiatric hospital, I completed extensive training in crisis de-escalation and management with San Francisco Mobile Crisis (the branch of the department of public health which deals with psychiatric emergencies), and I even spent a summer working as a translator and event planner for Le Centre International des Sciences Criminelles et Penales (CISCP) – a French government agency that educated law enforcement officers about the psychology of serial killers.
But today I’m mostly focused on what makes people thrive. In addition to my work as a private practice psychotherapist and a coach, I write for popular blog sites like Mind Body Green, and I have an interview series on Youtube that you can check out if you want a unique take on how to cultivate an authentic and gratifying life.
I live in San Francisco with the two loves of my life: My partner, Chris, and my 11-year old French Bulldog, Pierre.
I’m on a mission to change how the world looks at mental health and wellness, and to help people to see that therapy is cool.
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Deep, personal inquiry into our emotional lives isn’t just worthwhile – it’s essential to unearthing your potential.