Anything we experience, no matter how challenging, can become an open pathway to awakening.
— -Pema Chodron —
Navigating Life's Inevitable Challenges
For all of us, throughout all stages of our lives, challenges arise; painful experiences, unfulfilled goals, an inability to live authentically. And while life provides us with innumerable opportunities for great joy, at some point we experience feelings of sadness, anger, stress, shame, guilt, fear and loneliness. We struggle with insomnia, procrastination, distractibility, confidence, anxiety, depression, apathy, incessant fatigue and physical maladies, and these challenges influence all areas of our lives: family, friendships, school, work, social and recreational pursuits.
Confronted with life’s challenges, we try many things to feel better and improve the quality of our lives, yet, in spite of all our efforts, many of us continue to struggle. When we are confronted with challenge, stress and painful experiences, our instinct is to try to avoid, control and fix that which is causing us discomfort. We often rigidly and repeatedly employ strategies that have not worked and continue to not work. These unworkable behaviors often take the form of substance abuse, withdrawal, aggression, procrastination, addiction, maladaptive eating, etc., all of which only temporarily relieves our pain and, in the long-term, serves to perpetuate and in most cases increase our suffering. As a result, we end up stuck, spending all our time and energy trying to avoid what we don’t want rather than moving forward in pursuit of the things and life we do want.
As a therapist and counselor, I strive to support, empower and enable my clients to successfully navigate life’s challenges. My approach is relational, experiential and educational. I draw on an array of supportive psychotherapeutic approaches and techniques including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Client-Centered and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. I work collaboratively with my clients to explore areas of their lives that are not working and to identify gaps between what they have and what they want, how they are and how they want to be. Our work together often begins with discerning what is important to them, what they value, and who and how they aspire to be. We then take a look at what behaviors (actions, thoughts, feelings) might be getting in the way of living the life they envision. With an attitude of openness and curiosity, I encourage my clients to willingly contact the present moment and engage fully in their life experience. We work together to create goals and action plans that will help guide them in taking committed actions that are aligned with their values. Ultimately, my goal is to help each of my clients live a rich, rewarding, and meaningful life, one that is guided by their values and moves them in the direction of living authentically, that is, being the individuals they truly wish to be.