You’re aware of the deep pain that’s leading you to seek help. It’s likely you’ve been feeling this way for much of your life. But now it’s too much to manage on your own. You’re anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, or in conflict with a loved one.
No matter how much you’re hurting, I believe you can change and grow. We will work together to reduce your current pain while delving deep to address longstanding problems. Through the process of therapy you can work through past painful and traumatic experiences and develop greater freedom, flexibility and joy in your life.
Long before I became a psychotherapist I was a caregiver and “therapist” to many others in my life. Helping people comes naturally to me. I’ve also experienced many of my own struggles which have helped me to develop compassion for others’ suffering.
I’m a first generation immigrant to the United States, from Eastern Europe, and the oldest of 5 kids. It was a very difficult childhood. In my life I’ve been through poverty, violence, communism, and a whole lot of tough stuff. I’ve come to see value in both painful and joyful life events. It is these experiences that have helped me grow. And as a result of my own transformative personal growth I have a strong belief in the life-changing power of psychotherapy.
I earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology from St. Edwards University and am licensed as an LMFT in the State of Texas (License #202470). I completed an integrative 2-year post-graduate training program through the Middelberg Institute in Austin and am currently a Candidate in Studies in Adult Psychoanalysis at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies.
My approach to therapy
I’ve always been interested in the darker aspects of human experience. Below the surface we all have experiences of rage, sadness, despair and other unbearable emotions. Maybe your feelings of shame, self-hatred and anger overwhelm and scare you. You worry that if others knew this about you they’d reject you. The problem with keeping so much deep inside is that you feel alone and like no one can understand. So in our therapy sessions, I welcome all the parts of you: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Together we can untangle the web of your experiences.
I also believe that we’re all guided by unconscious forces we don’t understand until we start digging around and exploring. So in our work we will start with what’s bothering you and what has brought you to therapy. Current symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem? Painful and intrusive memories from the past? Difficulty forming or sustaining relationships with others? Unhealthy habits of drinking, overworking, or being destructive to yourself or others? Or maybe loved ones have let you know you have a personality disorder and you have a sneaking suspicion it’s true.
We will work together to understand why you do what you do. And how you can begin doing something different. I like to see therapy as a journey we undertake together. We will explore the recesses of your mind so you can know yourself better and have the freedom to make different choices in your life.
My style is calm, attentive, and emotionally-engaged. I listen deeply to your story and help you see patterns you’re not aware of. I value the therapeutic relationship and invite you to let me know about your reactions to our work. I’m serious and direct but also irreverent at times, and occasionally drop an F bomb. All the while, I’m passionate about this work and deeply committed to helping you.
Psychoanalysis is a deeper and more intensive kind of therapy. It involves meeting more frequently, generally 4 times a week, and lying down on a couch. It’s that original invention of Freud’s but it’s not your grandparents’ silent and stone-faced experience. Psychoanalysis has undergone many evolutions and is a warm and vibrant way of working together.
If you struggle with longstanding problems, trauma, or a personality disorder psychoanalysis is the treatment of choice. Sometimes people feel that they’ve made some progress with previous therapies but have not been able to effect deeper change. For example, you may feel less anxious or depressed but you still struggle with angry outbursts, or being socially withdrawn, or hating yourself, or habitually putting others’ needs before your own. Analysis is the only process that allows us to delve more deeply into the human psyche.
Through exploration of your childhood, history, beliefs you have about yourself, dreams, and other unconscious processes you can begin to experience relief from old problems and live a more full and meaningful life. Plus, we get to make a lot of Freud jokes.
If you’re interested in working together, please contact me to get started or schedule your initial appointment through the portal. At our first appointment we will discuss fees and frequency of sessions for ongoing work. I reserve space for reduced-fee psychoanalysis. Please contact me for more information.