I am licensed in New York and Idaho and can do psychotherapy sessions in my office, in your home, and on the telephone as well as video conferencing if necessary.
We may think we can control our grief, our terror, or our shame by remaining silent, but naming offers the possibility of a different kind of control… If you've been hurt, you need to acknowledge and name what happened to you… Feeling listened to and understood changes our physiology: being able to articulate a complex feeling, and having our feelings recognized, lights up our limbic brain and creates an "aha moment." In contrast, being met by silence and incomprehension kills the spirit. Or , as John Bowlby so memorably put it 'What can not be spoken to the (m)other cannot be told to the self.
The Covid pandemic triggered people with past trauma into old memories of helplessness and dread. Small t trauma in relationships, involving criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling (Gottman & Gottman, , 2018) from friends or family members, creates internal emotional crises which are invisible on the outside but feel horrible on the inside. Most trauma is complex, and unique to the person experiencing it. The terms big T and little t apply more to EMDR treatment than CBT or psychoanalysis, but they put things in perspective. Whatever your trauma, I feel passionate about helping you move beyond your fears to a life where you can deal with the limited and unhappy negative after effects of difficult and challenging situations.
Seven in ten Americans recently reported trauma, as well the following individuals:
4-Martin Luther King Jr
11-Nelson Mandela,12- Pope Francis-Jorge Bergoglio,13- Bill Clinton, 14-Abraham Lincoln, 15-Mick Jagger, 16-Tina Turner, 17-Whoopi Goldberg, 18-Barbara Streisand, 19-Lady Gaga, 20-Jackie Onassis, 21-Jane Fonda, 22-Stephen King, 23-Maya Angelou, 24-JK Rowling, 25-Axl Rose, 25- Jim Carrey
“The lucky ones among us have the luxury of confronting existential realities gradually and in small doses. Unfortunately for many, suffering and loss can come too hard and too early in life. When people are traumatized, especially very early in life, then assumptions of safety are shattered, and they are catapulted from the safe haven of denial. In these situations, the amygdala takes executive control of our brain and we are at risk of lapsing into a chronic state of anxiety.” (Cozolino 2008;p 160)
"We can hardly bear to look. The shadow may carry the best of the life we have not lived. Go into the basement, the attic, the refuse bin. Find gold there. Find an animal who has not been fed or watered. It is you!! This neglected, exiled animal, hungry for attention, is a part of your self."
Discovering joy is about discovering one's own capacity for fun and excitement.
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance… The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
– Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
Do you long to run your own company, however large or small? Do you yearn to wake up in the morning with a project that feels like yours alone- that you don't need to put aside the minute a bill comes due? When you read the paper about somebody who is doing what you wanted to do, do you feel cheated, angry, ashamed that they got there first? What about relationships? Does your avoidant attachment style seem to be leading to nothing but Netflix binge watching? Do you wonder if there is any hope?
Psychotherapy is a place where there is room for you to:
• Express, in words, sometimes for the first time, what has remained either hidden or unrealized until now, in some way that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you.
Psychotherapy makes room for:
• Expressing the unexpressed
• Making the unconscious conscious
• Integrating thoughts and feelings
• Restoring a sense of agency and perspective
• Providing a platform for exploring our maladaptive illusions
• The opportunity to trust through being with another person
Source: Cozolino 2015
Ingredients for good psychotherapy:
• A secure attachment within a therapeutic relationship which serves as a setting for positive change.
• Emotional security so that new information can enter a previously closed system of beliefs.
• An opportunity to experiment with new emotions, actions and language which allows for both editing and creating an entirely new script for your life.
• A good therapist studies a client, to see if the client’s stories about himself are blueprints for exploration, leadership and courage, or stories suggesting that he is waiting to be rescued by somebody else.
• A good therapist helps a client rewrite her story, with new plots, trajectories and conclusions, with herself or himself as the author.
Source: Cozolino 2015
“Is Life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?”
– Friedrich Nietzsche– Friedrich Nietzsche
Discovering joy is about surrendering to our deepest desires and finding healthy ways to express them.
“Is Life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?”
“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be.”
As the body ages, so do the organs in the body. We lose elasticity in our skin, we lose hair, eyesight, hearing and so on. At the same time, many studies show that older people report experiencing more happiness than younger people, and feel better able to control intense emotions. It’s not that older people don’t care, say these studies, but that older people have more empathy, and the capacity to put themselves in others people shoes more easily. As we age, we become wiser, more tolerant, and able to take ourselves a little less seriously. We can be grand parents, grand friends, grand mentors to our younger colleagues, family and friends. BUT, as we age, we can ALSO put ourselves down and begin to hate ourselves for the aging process itself. This is an unnecessary tragedy, with sometimes dangerous consequences. And this is where CBT type psychotherapies can help you change your thoughts, and psychoanalysis can help you transform your dreams, so that you can begin to enjoy yourself again, and to combat aging and decline with hope and imagination.
"Soon I'll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold?"
“Friendship, marriage, psychotherapy, parenting and grandparenting-in fact, any meaningful relationship any time of life- can activate neuroplastic processes and change the structure and functioning of the brain.”
research by the Yale School of Public Health demonstrated that individuals who
hold negative beliefs about aging are more likely to have brain changes
associated with memory concerns. The study suggests that combating negative beliefs about
aging, such as ‘elderly people are decrepit’ could
potentially offer a way to reduce the rapidly rising rate of this condition.
The study, led by Becca Levy, associate professor of public health and psychology, is the first to link the brain changes related to memory concerns to culturally-based psychosocial risk factors. The findings were published December 7, 2015 in the journal Psychology of Aging:
“We believe it is the stress generated by the negative beliefs about aging that individuals sometimes internalize from society that can result in pathological brain changes. Although the findings are concerning, it is encouraging to realize that these negative beliefs about aging can be mitigated and positive beliefs about aging can be reinforced, so that the adverse impact is not inevitable.”
Fear of the future-illness, death,poverty
Feeling less needed by society at large
The loss of important roles
Career losses, loss of spouse/friends/family
Financial limitations due to less income
The loss of independence
The loss of social respect (butt of jokes, silly movies, comedy skits)
Feelings of stigma-being unwanted-being devalued and pitied
Feeling happier, more abundant, less needy
Feeling wiser, more generous
More financial maturity due to years of surviving, and learning to value relationships rather than money
Improved mental health due to emotional maturity
Ability to sustain excellent cognitive health (most seniors retain excellent cognitive abilities and although the older brain requires more time to consolidate information into long term memory, many others facets of intelligence are not affected)
Ability to transform negative internalized beliefs about aging to positive beliefs, as studies show that presenting older people even subliminally with positive messages about aging (e.g.older people are creative) resulted in improved mental and physical health several weeks afterwards
“For the narcissist, aging represents a series of shaming experiences that can lead to deforming plastic surgeries, immersion in fantasies of youth, or withdrawal into depressive isolation. For these people, aging is a disease… But if we can build a deeper relationship with our inner experience, the slowing down of the body can be reduced to an inconvenience.”