Holistic Psychotherapy and Addiction Treatment
Welcome! I provide holistic psychotherapy to help you create a more joyful and fulfilling life. Feel free to contact me for a free Zoom or phone consultation to see if I'd be a good therapist for you.
As a therapist, my broader goal is in helping you experience higher states of fulfillment, joy, and peace of mind - rather than simply helping you decrease the symptoms you're having. It's about happiness and each person's unique recipe for that. I work well with a wide variety of psychoemotional problems such as anxiety, depression, psychosis - and relationship difficulties with family, friendships, or love life. Examining and improving the way we do relationship in our lives can be so helpful.
The backbone of my therapy approach is humanistic-existential therapy and cognitive-behavioral. I also bring in some elements from mindfulness and transpersonal psychology. I have years of experience as a clinical supervisor training intern therapists, as well as teaching classes at graduate school.
My style as a therapist is warm and easygoing. Holistic means understanding the way that the different dimensions of your life - psychology, relationships, biology and health, work, play, and perhaps spirituality - come together to create your overall level of wellness.
A main specialty of mine is treating addiction, and I'm an original researcher and theorist in the field. I recently published my "Multidimensional Developmental Theory (MDT) of substance addiction," which essentially rewrites the foundational rules of what addiction and recovery are, what is possible in recovery, and what a recovery process might look like. I developed this theory during my doctoral dissertation research project, and then refined it in the years afterward.
This theory represents a paradigm shift away from conventional ideas that one is a) an addict for life, b) that addiction is best understood as a progressive brain disease, c) that one cannot fully recover, d) that 12-step participation is required; and that e) all recovering people need lifelong abstinence.
I hypothesize instead that people can fully recover from addiction. You aren't defined forever by your addiction - and you don't have to be defined forever by being in recovery either if you don't want. As one of my research study participants with 20 years sobriety said, "why should I be defined by a period of my life that occurred, literally, during the Clinton administration?"
Rather than a progressive brain disease that one simply has, I hypothesize that addiction is a multidimensional developmental process that one is engaged in. In the brain disease model neurobiology is king - in the MDT neurobiology is simply one of multiple, dynamically interacting dimensions of development. I hypothesize that the severity of addiction is a function of the degree of change/development occurring in multiple dimensions of a person's life. Likewise to the extent that beneficial multidimensional change/development occurs, one can achieve increasing degrees of full recovery.
In my theory ion addiction and recovery truly individualized treatment is paramount, full recovery is possible, and substance use decisions are made on an individual, not global basis. The reality is that for many people with serious addictions, full abstinence from the problem substance is often needed, or needed for a time. But not for everybody. And other people may need complete abstinence from their problem substances, but may well be able to use other substances successfully. Likewise many people recover without inpatient rehab or 12-step programs - it's a myth that if you don't go to a 12-step program "you're not actually in recovery." This said though I think AA and NA are wonderful for those who resonate with them.
I'm in the midst of preparing quite a bit of additional website content related to the multidimensional developmental theory (MDT). For now though, if you're interested in reading the peer-reviewed article I published click on the link below. Perhaps skip ahead to the "Clinical Implications and Theory Predictions" section for the part that's most immediately accessible and relevant to therapy with me.