I practice therapy from an attachment perspective. That can look different depending on the nature of the issues being addressed and where the issues lie-in the self, in the family, in the parent-child relationship, in the couple.
What is attachment?
Attachment has to do with how our early experiences have informed how we navigate in the world.
We all come from somewhere and how we were raised in our families of origin can cause us to come to certain beliefs about ourselves and about our sense of safety and security in the world. Knowing more about how our early experiences shaped our world views and how we operate in the here-and-now can help us to make decisions about how we want to react in real time.
We all navigate with emotional protections in place and my job is to help people notice and name these protections and to be able to decide if they are needed and wanted. Getting close to people can mobilize these protections so that we can be creating distance from others whether we wish to or not.
Who do you work with?
I practice with clients of all ages and how this attachment perspective is manifested really depends on who is in the room with me.
Children & Parents
With children and parents, I see my therapeutic role as a set of training wheels for a period of time in an effort to shore up and strengthen the bonds between parent and child. That may include conversations with parents about how to embody their roles as parents, set limits, assist with attunement and how to “read” their kids, how to regulate themselves so that they can be more effective at helping their kids regulate. This could also include helping parents and children cooperate and collaborate more effectively as they come to know one another better and read each other more accurately.
With couples, no other relationship can evoke the ghosts from the past more poignantly than this one. It is here that people can come to really confront the patterns established both in their families of origin and in their past relationship histories, including with each other. Couples therapy can come to include explorations of self in the context of the relationship, how to navigate the emotional ups and downs.
With teens, they are striving to define for themselves who they are, what they value and how they wish to be in the world. This can cause an inevitable push and pull between parent and child. Therapy can help teens learn to read their emotions more accurately, find more effective ways to regulate themselves and to deal with the stresses they face. Conversations with parents include ways they can support and scaffold their kids in the context of a confusing and tumultuous time in development.
With individual adults, work with me can help to identify ways that patterns get in the way of connecting with others in their important relationships including with themselves. I offer pragmatic discussion about ways to maximize self-care, address troublesome symptoms (such as anxiety and depression, trauma, and anger), reduce creative blocks and work performance issues, and change course in the face of loss or impasse.