I began working in the field of psychological treatment while in graduate school in English literature. I took a position working with psychotic children in Harlem because I was curious and was thrust among experts in that field. I became fascinated with how imaginative, alive, and ever-unfolding the work was. As I broadened my experience, working in unusual venues (such as drug intervention on the street), I eventually made the transition to clinical psychology. I am grateful to have worked in New York City, whether inside locked units, the street, or in hospital clinics. However, my study of literature was some of my best training in interpersonal dynamics. I also credit my undergraduate work in art history for directing me toward nonverbal, symbolic modes of communication.
Alongside my training in relational, psychoanalytic theory, I have worked in the neuropsychology department of Beth Israel Hospital in New York. I integrate current theories of brain science in my approach.
I came to Seattle in 1990 and worked at the University of Washington (Hall Health Mental Health Center) for three years before entering private practice.
Currently, I supervise psychiatric residents in outpatient clinical work at the University of Washington Medical Center and at Harborview Medical Center. I also teach a course on sexuality at the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society.
Type of Therapy
I believe that the many influences exerting pressure on us arise from aspects of experience, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that require deeper understanding. These influences are not always subject to awareness, much less control.
Within a psychoanalytic framework, my model is relational and active, and I focus on day-to-day life, reflecting on how each person handles his or her relationships and what the patterns may be. I don't fit people into theories; each person is his or her own theory. This lets us test hypotheses about what is happening and challenges habits of thought or action that once might have worked but no longer solve life problems or cushion setbacks. How we interact and whether we repeat the patterns together is helpful to examine.
I treat the mind/body as a single entity and use current ideas about neuropsychology, which converge with psychoanalytic thought. I give special weight to the importance of trauma and on the unfolding desire inherent in our biological functioning to grow and to learn, to achieve intimacy, and to make meaning from pain.
In addition, I guide hallucinogenic assisted psychotherapy for a range of issues. I reserve this for people in therapy with me and use only medications currently legal (ketamine). I help integrate experiences with other hallucinogenics, but do not provide medications or sources.
The Clinical Psychology Degree
Clinical psychology presumes a rigorous training, leading to licensing. Some psychologists may not be clinical psychologists (e.g., counseling or educational psychologists), and some who hold doctorates (Ph.D.'s) may not be licensed as psychologists but as counselors. Being licensed as a clinical psychologist means you have undertaken hospital internships and post-doctoral training, have secured the required amount of supervision, and passed whatever national and state exams apply.