Special Areas of Focus
The things that bother us, hurt us, make us anxious, and frighten us often involve not only us but other individuals as well. Much of the work we do in therapy includes not just the client in the room, but also the other people in his or her life. Interpersonal relating, or how we interact with others, is frequently central to the work of therapy. This is why group therapy can be so beneficial. One-on-one work with a therapist is key to understanding problematic patterns and behaviors; however, a group setting is the perfect scenario to confront and change those patterns.
Group psychotherapy provides a place where you come together with others to share problems or concerns, to better understand your own situation, and to learn from and with each other.
One of the advantages of group therapy is the opportunity to learn from other members’ experiences. For example, you will hear how others have dealt with their depression, anxiety or relationship problems. Hearing from others on what has worked and what hasn’t is a great benefit of group therapy.
As a Certified Group Psychotherapist and a member of the American Group Psychotherapy Association, I strongly believe that group therapy can transform the way we interact with those around us.
Often, the thought of talking about personal issues in front of others can be daunting. I work very hard to create an environment where my clients feel safe, protected, supported while still being challenged.
If group therapy sounds like a fit for you, contact me today.
Every year, tens of millions of Americans struggle with abuse of and addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Of this massive group, only about 10% to 15% actually get the treatment they need.* Also, many don’t understand that treatment doesn’t end when someone gets clean and sober. All sobriety or, in some cases controlled use, do is “clear the field” and set the stage for the deeper work of therapy: understanding what leads us to drink or use in order to feel better about ourselves or perhaps to not feel at all. If we can’t understand and address the fears, anxieties, grief and/or anger that lead us into addiction, how can we hope to avoid ending up right back in it?
Often, addictions have their roots in the individual’s struggles with self-esteem, family issues, stress. We drink or use to avoid the difficult feelings around these issues; however, when we stop drinking or using, the feelings are still there. Therapy is an ideal way to attack the root causes of our struggles so they don’t cause further problems. It will not change the past, but therapy helps clients reach a place of peace with those things that hurt us, frightened us or caused us grief.
I’ve spent most of my career working with clients who struggle with alcohol and/or drug use. I understand the process and know how to help.
Male Targets Of Non-Consensual Sex & Abuse
Over the past few decades, our culture has experienced a slowly dawning realization of how frequently sexual abuse of children and adolescents occurs. The mental health community has responded, but most of the attention and treatment models have been designed for and targeted to girls and women. Little attention has been paid to the fact that boys and young men are also frequent targets of non-consensual sex. When treatment and interventions were used for male targets of non-consensual sex, the models used have generally been those designed for females.
We know that boys and men experience sexual betrayal differently. We “encode” or understand and internalize the experience differently. Our lives, relationships and understanding of the world are impacted in ways that can be starkly different from the way girls and women are impacted. Social and cultural norms and myths conspire to keep the male targets of non-consensual sex from speaking out and getting help or support.
I use the phrase “male targets of non-consensual sex” rather than the more common “male sexual abuse victims” or “sexually abused males/men” intentionally and for several reasons. Among these, the label “victim” can be too off-putting or too threatening to one’s masculinity. Also, boys who experience sexual activity in early or pre-adolescence with someone older may often view themselves as “lucky” or “early developers” rather than seeing it as something harmful. Nevertheless, these early initiation encounters can, and frequently do, have long-lasting negative repercussions. An adolescent or child, regardless how willing at the time, has not experienced the emotional or intellectual development required to truly give consent to such activity. I use the phrase “male targets of non-consensual sex” because it encompasses all these individuals: those who were forced into sexual activity against their will as well as those who may have participated but who were not equipped to give meaningful consent.
Men who have experienced sexual betrayal, regardless of how they felt about it at the time, commonly experience questions and conflicts about their masculinity, sexual orientation, boundaries and intimacy. Many are secretly terrified that they will continue the cycle of abuse. Many clients have spent years carrying what they view as a toxic secret about themselves. Carrying such a secret is terribly corrosive to their sense of self, relationships and day-to-day functioning. Prior to entering treatment, substance abuse is common for these men, as is repressing the memory of the abuse.
With detailed understanding of how men experience these events, the proper support and guidance and, most importantly, the safe space to do the emotional work, life can get so much better! The corrosive secrecy and negative self-image can be left behind, replaced by a clearer understanding of the earlier experiences, a clearer conscience, a stronger sense of self and a more positive, healthy future.
I have been committed to working with the men I describe above since shortly after starting my private practice. I have made it my mission to help them from the time they first start to deal with their history until they reach a place of acceptance and peace with their past as well as optimism about their future.
Other Areas Of Focus Include:
- Substance abuse/dependence and recovery
- Domestic violence
- Mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar)
- Relationships and intimacy
- Grief and loss
- Sexuality and orientation