I use evidence-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) paired with psychodynamic theory and neuroscience to help my patients make changes that improve their experience of life. All sessions are being held remotely. I am licensed in Oregon and California and welcome patients from both states.
Initial 25-minute consultations are free.
Each 50-minute individual session is $180.
I am in-network with PacificSource insurance only.
I offer consultation for those who want to understand more about eating disorders and treatment for eating disorders. I also consult with those who want to learn how to support someone with an eating disorder.
The initial 80-minute consultation session is $260.
Any subsequent 50-minute consultation sessions are $180.
I am available to speak to groups interested in learning about eating disorders and/or living life with more meaning and ease. Please inquire about speaking fees.
What To Expect From Therapy
Each of my patients is engaged in a course of therapy tailored specifically to them. The way your course of therapy unfolds will depend on a number of things, including your goals for therapy, your strengths, your history, and your readiness for change.
In our initial sessions, I encourage you to assess whether I am the right fit for you. Because therapy requires a level of motivation and openness from the patient, it is important to choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. At the same time, I will be focusing on understanding your needs and goals. I will get to know you as a whole person, so that changes you make will be most meaningful and long-lasting.
These initial sessions determine our next steps. For many of my patients, improving self-understanding is an important piece of the work. By exploring your current life and personal history, we develop an understanding of why you think, feel, and behave as you do. This understanding points to effective avenues for change. Self-understanding also promotes self-acceptance. When you allow yourself to be who you are, your inner critic has no leverage. You stop fighting with yourself, which gives you more energy to focus on what fulfills you.
Our therapy may also include solution-focused work. As needed, we will develop customized strategies to manage painful thoughts and emotions or change unhelpful behaviors. As an example, mindfulness is an empirically supported strategy that causes change at a neural level in the brain. It has been found to have significant benefits in a number of areas, including anxiety/stress reduction, improved ability to focus, less emotional reactivity, and reduced cognitive rumination. It is one tool I use with my patients to help change the way they are impacted by their thoughts and feelings.
Because it has taken you a long time to become the way you are, it will take some time and effort to create change. Important, sustained change does not usually occur over a matter of weeks. Typically, it will take months to achieve a major change in the way you see things, react to things, or behave. For more severe issues, such as a long-standing eating disorder, it may take a year or more.
Therapy is a place to focus on yourself, which is a rare opportunity in our extraordinarily busy lifestyles. It can help you solve a specific problem or gain more general self-acceptance. My knowledge, experience, and care are dedicated to helping each of my patients meet their goals and live a more fulfilled life.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Eating Disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder. The myth is that they are about ego and vanity. The reality is that they are attempts to feel emotionally safe and acceptable as a human. A person with an eating disorder uses food – eating too little, too much, getting rid of it, keeping records of it, focusing on it to an extreme degree, and/or being very, very regimented about it – as a tool to feeling emotional safety or comfort. Their ability to control food and make their body look the way they want it to become primary sources of self-esteem and worth. Their inability to control food and their body as they want to becomes a primary source of shame.
I have been working with people with eating disorders since 1999. Part of the work is understanding how the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors associated with the eating disorder create emotional safety for you. Then we will find healthier coping mechanisms. We will work on self-acceptance, cultivating other sources of self-esteem, and creating an identity that doesn’t revolve around the eating disorder.
Anxiety has many forms, but at its core it is a fear of what could happen. This fear is so significant that it prevents you from living life as you want. It may take the form of persistent worrying or planning, overthinking, rigidly avoiding feared situations, and/or a strong physiological reaction (e.g., an increase in heart rate, flushing, or shortness of breath). Rigidity in the way you think or behave, a need to be in control (especially of things you can’t actually control), and hypervigilance are other signs of anxiety.
I have been working with people with anxiety for over 20 years. Instead of worrying about or preparing for every situation, or whichever specific situations you focus on, we will cultivate trust that you can handle whatever comes up when it comes up. I will give you tools and strategies to manage anxiety-provoking situations. You will learn how to make room for anxiety, move away from unhelpful thoughts, and stay in the present.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
The primary therapeutic lens I use is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT focuses on helping us connect to what is meaningful in life and detach from what is unhelpful. It offers specific strategies for living a fulfilling life, managing painful emotions and unhelpful thoughts, and staying psychologically flexible. Mindfulness is one of the core components. ACT is an empirically validated treatment for eating disorders, depression, and various forms of anxiety, amongst other disorders (i.e., it has research to back it up).
I began my career steeped in the psychodynamic approach, and I still use it to develop insight about why we became who we became, but I didn’t find it useful enough in creating real-world change. When ACT was developed and I learned about it over 15 years ago, it resonated immediately. It is a holistic, practical approach to the challenges of life. I’ve seen it change lives in sustainable ways, mine included. It is the way I have come to approach myself and my life.