Photos of J.J. by: Icarian Photography

How I Work

"I've DEFinitely never met a shrink like YOU before!"

- 15-year old's first session in 2004

Nor WILL you, is my bet...During my years in a group practice, I'd get referrals asking for the "active therapist" - one who "does more than smile and nod," a psychologist "that can teach me TOOLS I can USE to cope," or a clinician "that's funny."  The first session, I often say to folks "Be careful what you wish for..."

Here's what I won't do:

  • ​Call you my "patient." That was my training, and I never believed that YOU are the sick one and I am the one with all the answers....that's a WAY paternalistic norm. Nope.

  • Nod and tell you all the behaviors you are currently engaging in are working: I'm guessing if they were, you wouldn't need my help.

  • Speak to anyone about our sessions without your permission: even if someone else pays the bill, and even if you're under 18. (It goes without saying that emergencies are the exception).

  • Fall asleep or yawn while you're talking​.

Here's what I WILL do:

  • Retrain myself to refer to you as "Participant." The way I figure: You are the expert on YOU, and I am the expert in the science of human behavior. We work together to meet YOUR goals of CHANGE.

  • Work as hard as you do - never harder, but always AS hard. You choose the pace, and I'll meet you there with everything I've got.

  • Teach you new things all the time. You choose which ones make sense to YOU and start USING them.

  • Bring my authentic passion for the profound privilege of helping you increase your quality of life & your capacity to experience joy.

  • Challenge you if I clinically discern you need it - even when it causes me anxiety. Despite how it looks, conflict is not easy for ME, either... But, I consider it my duty. I'm not going to accept a fee from people for backing away from a teaching point because of FEAR. Nope...not gonna happen.

  • Piss you off. At some point, it's going to happen. I don't do it on purpose or maliciously, and it's not some psych trick to "help you find your anger" (eye roll). I think that if people interact truthfully over any real amount of time, conflict is inevitable. And although it's usually a misunderstanding, it is a precious opportunity to learn how to "fight fairly," work together toward resolution, and actually ENHANCE a relationship - both in the room and out.

  • Laugh with you...a lot. Humor is NOT just a's a tool for calming the CNS (central nervous system), and a road to pure joy.

  • Be genuinely thrilled when you exhibit courage. Yep, I'm a sucker for bravery and will probably embarrass you with my vocal and gesticular support of it.

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