Counseling

For over two decades, I’ve provided counseling to adolescents and young adults for a wide variety of concerns. These days, I meet with Teen Guys, Emerging Adult Males, and Transgender Youth/Young Adults, addressing a variety of concerns.

My main areas of clinical focus include:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Substance Related Issues

In addition, I frequently meet with individuals addressing:

  • Behavioral Addictions
  • Impulsivity
  • Intrusive Thoughts
  • Suicidality
  • Oppositional Behavior
  • Existential Concerns
  • Attachment Challenges
  • LGBTQ+ Topics

After over two decades counseling youth and young adults, I’ve developed some deep dive specialities. These include:

  • Co-occurring substance use and mental health concerns in youth and young adults
  • Sexual trauma in adolescent guys
  • Teens who are reluctant to engage in therapy or have had prior ineffective counseling
  • Challenges unique to being an adopted teen

MY APPROACH
Change is a process, not an event. My goal is to help you or your teen successfully navigate that process.  We’ll do this by making choices about what to change, identifying what to leave behind, and developing the insight to move forward.

Numerous studies show that a strong therapeutic alliance — which we can define as the connection between therapist and client — is essential for positive counseling outcomes. This is especially true with teens and emerging adults. With this in mind, I’m very relationship-oriented. Initial sessions focus on developing a strong alliance and most of the clinical work I do is one-on-one.

Beyond this relationship-oriented foundation, I’m pretty pragmatic. That means I use a variety of clinical strategies with the goal of helping you or your teen get unstuck. These include  motivational interviewing, existential approaches, everyday mindfulness, and narrative therapy.

Motivational Interviewing
Many teens are extremely ambivalent about the process of change, even teens who actually want to attend counseling. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based approach that focuses on resolving this ambivalence, identifying genuine reasons for making change, developing skills for taking action, and supporting the process of doing something new.

Existential Approaches
Existential psychotherapy addresses pointlessness, stuckness, and The Big Questions — topics which are especially relevant to those dealing with depression, trauma, and substance-related concerns. Existential approaches help us identify these concerns, explore them, and develop practical strategies for managing — and even embracing — them.

Everyday Mindfulness
Mindfulness involves acting with intention, focusing on the present moment, and being non-judgmental. Everyday mindfulness encourages us to use these skills in our daily lives to improve focus, decrease negative thoughts, and more. Practicing this kind of mindfulness can be extremely helpful to those challenged by depression, trauma, impulsivity, substance-related concerns, and more.

Narrative Therapy
The stories we tell about ourselves define how we act, think, and feel. They determine how we interpret the information of our lives, how we interact with the world, and how we make sense of our past, present, and future. Narrative therapy encourages us to revisit these stories — exploring if they are useful or lead to stuckness, and re-authoring the parts that no longer serve us.

CONSISTENT, PREDICTABLE, AND IN-PERSON
I very much believe that counseling must be consistent, predictable, and in-person to be the most effective most possible. In fact, it seems to me, inconsistent counseling can actually make things worse.

To help assure a consistent and predictable therapeutic experience, I only schedule sessions on a weekly recurring basis and all appointments are in-person. In addition, I strongly believe that teens and emerging adults — at least those in counseling for trauma, depression, substance use, and/or impulsivity — have the best outcomes when sessions are held in-person.

It seems to me that therapy, at least effective therapy, is a liminal space — we’ve intentionally come to a set-aside place, where we are neither here nor there, in order to focus specifically on some sort of transition. Meaningful liminal spaces simply can’t be created online.

Weekly in-person sessions aren’t what everyone wants. However, I can say with conviction that the clients I meet with, who are in counseling to address the concerns I focus on, will have the best treatment outcomes when they engage in consistent, predictable, in-person sessions.