Areas of Special Interest
I specialize in working with people troubled by anxieties (particularly social anxiety), depression, relationship and identity/self-esteem issues, the effects of trauma, and couples that find themselves without the trust and connection they would like.
Life can be hard, and most of us find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by our problems at some point. Often at such times, we either feel like there is no-one safe to talk to, or that talking might make everything worse. I understand that when you are feeling scared or hurt the idea of opening up can seem crazy. But I also know from experience that working through your problems with a sensitive, caring professional can be an enormously positive, even comforting experience. It has also been proven to bring about lasting change.
Sometimes a few conversations with a thoughtful, nonjudgmental listener will get you back on track. But when problems are longstanding or overwhelming, a deeper exploration may be called for. While keeping a firm focus on your present circumstances, psychotherapy is well suited to exploring ways in which past experiences and early relationships are impacting your current life. I have been trained to help you understand and modify your own behavioural and emotional patterns, and working together with me, either individually or with your partner, to deal with whatever this brings up can give a fresh perspective on your past and present difficulties, and fresh optimism about your future.
I am warm, empathic and thoughtful, and interactive in style. I work in a collaborative way and approach wellbeing holistically. I also enjoy a laugh at times.
My primary training is in psychodynamic psychotherapy, but I also draw from other approaches. I work intersubjectively, which means I pay particular attention to how important relationships have set up patterns of thinking/ behaving that might not be serving your present interests. In couple work I integrate the attachment focus of EMT and developmental perspectives of David Schnarch with training in the Gottman method of assessment and intervention. I am also powerfully influenced by Ester Perel’s approach to supporting sexuality within long-term relationships. I have a commitment to gay-affirmative therapy.
Registrations and Professional Memberships
- Registered Psychotherapist
- Member NZ Association of Psychotherapists (MNZAP)
- ACC Registered Counsellor
- Masters of Psychotherapy (1st Class Honours)
- Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy Studies
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy Level 1
- Master of Arts (1st Class Honours)
- Bachelor of Arts
Background and Experience
I have worked with adults of all ages, and couples dealing with a wide range of personal and relationship difficulties. I have been married for over twenty years and have children of primary school-university age. Much of my practical understanding of how close relationships work is drawn from this experience, so this too informs my work with clients.