Most people view their lives as as series of experiences; some good, some bad.  Often times, they don’t see the patterns of behavior or repeated responses that create problems, or underscore stress.  In some cases, people blame their experiences on causes outside themselves, or refuse to accept that some of the things that happen to them might be as a result of things that they, themselves, actually do!

Because this makes such a difference in the result, a key element of my approach to psychotherapy is helping patients develop their sense of self awareness. Training and experience have taught me that by helping patients become more aware of their conscious and unconscious habits and reactions to stressors or problems is the first step toward helping them change.  Often how a person sees him or herself in the world sets the entire flavor of how they react and feel in the world.

Recognizing habitual defenses gives a person the first tool toward choosing a different response in a challenging situation.  Awareness of sensitivity to a certain line of thinking gives someone the option of responding to that comment in a more productive way.  A person can’t change a behavior until he or she first recognizes it — in herself. Being open to the differences in others allows more acceptance of one’s self.  All of these things can result in happier, less stressful, more satisfying relationships — and life.

I take a gentle, understanding, open-minded approach toward helping my patients discover the attitudes, habits and behaviors in themselves that are not serving their best interests.  Together, we discuss options that might present more life satisfying results.