I have worked with many different kinds of people with many different goals. In fact, I think that there is only one thing that almost all of my clients have had in common: when we started working together, each one didn’t really know how wonderful they were. That may sound sappy, but it is absolutely true.
This is a sampling of the kinds of people I work especially well with:
- A person who is disconnected from his or her emotions (often a very intelligent person)
- A couple struggling with a relationship not matching their expectations and assumptions
- A young man or woman searching for personal and professional fulfillment
- Someone in middle age yearning for greater authenticity in life and love
- A person feeling overwhelmed by their emotions
- A person who feels different or isolated from others – perhaps due to sexual orientation, a difficult past, discrimination based on appearance, etc.
Most of my clients have struggled to some degree with anxiety, depression, and/or self-esteem issues, for the simple reason that these are all extremely common in our society.
Many people who come to therapy can’t initially say exactly what they want. That’s fine; in fact, learning to recognize and acknowledge what you want is often what therapy is about.
I have worked with many men who were struggling with what their masculinity meant to them and how to be men in a culture that has confusing and contradictory views of manhood. Many of my clients did not grow up with positive male role models. My gay and bisexual clients often have had many of the same questions and confusions as my straight clients, in addition to other layers of challenges around identity and social acceptance.
The lack of positive fathering has impacted many of my women clients as well, often making it hard to believe that they can have satisfying relationships with men. Other women clients have had to deal with the emotional aftermath of sexual and/or physical abuse by men. Although at some stages of healing from abuse it is too triggering to work with a man, many of my women clients have found working with a caring, sensitive male therapist to be important to their later healing and ability to open to relationships with men.
I have worked with many couples, both straight and gay, as well as with people in nontraditional family configurations. Many men prefer a male couples counselor, and my approach is such that women in couples have almost always felt comfortable working with me.
Some people come with specific goals. For example, I have helped several clients with weight loss issues. With such clients I do not provide a diet plan or program; generally these clients will be working with Weight Watchers or a similar program. I work with them on issues of self-esteem, self-sabotage, fear of losing the perceived protection of being overweight, etc.
A number of my past clients have had some kind of challenges being in social settings. This can range from lack of self confidence to phobias or panic attacks. These clients can often benefit from group therapy, which is one of my areas of specialization.
Of course, I am not the ideal therapist for everyone. Some people would benefit from expertise that I do not have. No matter what, the client-therapist relationship simply has to work in order for therapy to be successful. In the fairly rare cases where a client and I simply don’t “click”, I am happy to help them find a therapist who does.