The most profound lesson has been that all therapy work is essentially grief work on some level. When I listen to a client tell me why they have come in, or if I am 15 sessions deep with that client, they will inevitably reveal experiences of grief to me. Grief comes in so many shapes and forms. It is not just loss, but can be micro experiences of shame, rejection, loneliness, pain, sickness, abandonment, embarassment and much more. This leads to the uncovering of the ultimate grief: loss of the authentic self.
I have been asked this question quite a few times and it is an important one, not just for me but for the field as a whole. As a younger therapist, I asked myself this question a lot and I worried about it too. Nearly a decade later, I have learned to look for certain markers as beacons of progress. I am going to list them as they unfold from session one onwards: - Increased awareness of tension in the body, increased ability to breathe mindfully. - Ability to use words to tell your story. - Creation of a Loss Inventory: a written list of all experiences of loss (perceived and real) from age 0 to now - Awareness of negative, self-harming inner talk, ability to notice and track this internal tape. - Development of the ability to bring compassion to self and wounded parts. - Active identification and management: a daily practice of tracking, reflecting and creating space for the mind-body connection. - Decrease in denial, anxiety, depression, tuning out behaviors and avoidance. - Increase in energy, focus, healthy sleep patterns and enhanced relationship quality. This is whittled down to the bare bones obviously, but these are markers I work towards. The timeline is unique for each person, but if I had to provide a general average I would say the one year mark is where one can expect to have hit each of the markers.
I am an adult immigrant to the United States. I was born and raised in South Africa. I have lived on three major continents. I qualified as an attorney in South Africa, where I practiced family law. I have many life experiences on which I draw in the therapy room. These experiences are gifts I use to find parts of myself in others experiences.
Anxiety can mean nervousness, worry, or self-doubt. Anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that entails excessive, repeated bouts of worry, anxiety, and/or fear.
Children that experience parents and/or guardians that are avoidant, ambivalent, or resistant from an early age, may develop attachment issues. This can manifest as difficulty forming or maintaining friendships, romantic relationships and empathetic bonds throughout life, as well as other issues.
Involves a person sacrificing their needs to meet the needs of others. Their thoughts and actions center on a significant other, spouse, friend, or relative. Becomes an issue when relationships are unbalanced and unhealthy.
Process of defining one’s own beliefs and sense of self. Evolves over time and can become a source of stress and pain, especially if the concept of self goes against social, cultural, or familial norms.
Medical professionals' mental health
Many medical professionals have extremely difficult jobs. When the result of one’s work is a matter of life or death, stress is typical. Medical professionals’ mental health is oftentimes impacted by experiencing vicarious trauma, working long hours, feeling underpaid or unappreciated, and believing that the well-being of others is more important than their own. This may lead toward distress, compromised performance, resentment, poor mental and/or physical health, and burnout.
Depression often causes people to feel sad, empty, or hopeless, and can cause a lack of interest in life. It can also affect a person's thinking patterns and physical health.
Refers relationship issues with a partner or spouse. Can include issues related to relationship distress, relationship satisfaction, communication, intimacy, etc.
Grief is a reaction to an emotionally significant loss and often comes with symptoms of depression or anxiety. These symptoms can remain intense and last for a long time after a loss, making it difficult to move forward with a healthy lifestyle.
Self-esteem is the degree to which a person feels confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. Feeling low self-esteem can influence overall well-being and be linked to anxiety and/or depression.
Sexuality Based Issues
Sexuality refers to habits and preferences in terms of sexual behavior, which people express in many ways. Issues in this area may be related to confusion or distress about sexuality or sexual identity.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Emotionally Focused Therapy
Internal Family Systems Therapy
Trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Cross Country Education Advanced Master's Course in Psychopharmacology: University of California, Berkeley
TX, LPC, 86351
FL, LMHC, MH13206
Master of Science: Counseling Psychology, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach FL
I consider myself to be a seasoned and dynamic therapist, having worked with adolescents, families, couples and individuals, in an inpatient as well as an outpatient environment. I was privileged to have a London trained Master Psychoanalyst as my mentor for many years. I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me. I pursued clinical training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) - a therapy that combines radical acceptance with behavior change strategies. I have designed and run DBT support groups for at-risk adolescents as well as adults. I have conducted in-home family therapy, focusing on identifying and understanding attachment patterns in family systems. I have conducted many hours of individual therapy, working to heal addictions, codependency, depression, anxiety, obsessive tendencies, relationship challenges, personality disorders and extremism. The center of my practice ethos is collaboration: between therapist and client, therapist and the client's medical providers, therapist and the client's significant other or family if appropriate. While there is a place for diagnoses, I embrace a non-pathologizing framework and encourage a humanistic approach. My work is strongly relational, honoring the powerful mechanics of attachment in the human psyche. I am always open for questions about my clinical approach and experience.
725 N. Highway A1A, Suite 104, Jupiter, 33477, FL