Training and Approach to Therapy
I am a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in helping individuals and couples explore relationship issues and patterns and improve communication and connection. I have extensive experience treating adults dealing with a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, interpersonal problems, trauma, grief, sexual orientation and gender identity exploration, and major life transitions.
I received my doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northwestern University. Before returning to graduate school I worked for several years at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center where I was a research assistant and clinical case manager. The group there investigates biological and genetic factors in schizophrenia and provides clinical care for people with serious mental illness.
My PhD from UT Southwestern Medical Center included an APA-accredited internship with over 2,000 supervised clinical hours completed at the UT Southwestern Psychotherapy Clinic, Parkland Outpatient Psychiatry Service, Zale Lipshy Inpatient Psychiatry Unit, SMU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, as well as a rotation in the Parkland Memorial Hospital Psychiatric Emergency Room. I also completed my post-doctoral training at UT Southwestern, working again with patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well as evaluating and treating prospective bariatric surgery patients in the Department of General Surgery. I then joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and enjoyed seeing patients in the UT Southwestern Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic until I left to focus on my private practice.
My approach to individual therapy treatment is based in psychodynamic psychotherapy, sometimes called psychoanalytic or insight-oriented therapy. Understanding how past relationships and experiences influence current difficulties is an important aspect of this form of therapy. Often those who haven’t experienced success or meaningful change through other styles of therapy, and who have been experiencing long-term difficulties in their personal, professional, and relational lives, find this type of therapy helpful.
My work with couples is based on Stan Tatkin’s Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (or PACT for short). As a Level-II PACT psychologist, my work is experiential and strategic. Looking at the ways we were programmed to connect in childhood, I help partners understand and develop new ways to communicate and grow as a couple. With a deeper understanding of each other, I support couples in navigating their struggles more successfully, deepening their connection, and making meaningful changes in how they communicate and interact.
PACT differs from other couples therapy in some important ways. PACT is a capacity, not a conflict model of therapy; my focus is on determining what you as a couple can and cannot do, rather than on the specific issues that disrupt the relationship. Because of the experiential nature of PACT, sessions are longer than the traditional 45 minute therapy hour, lasting between 2 and 3 hours. We are able to make significant changes in these longer sessions, and as a result we often do not have to meet as frequently. PACT therapists also do not meet with or communicate with individual partners alone outside of the designated couples session. To do so would complicate things and make things worse for the relationship. It is to protect you as a couple.
Initial couples sessions must be scheduled for a minimum of 2 hours in duration, ideally for 2.5 or 3 hours. During that first session we will determine scheduling, including length and frequency, for future meetings.
You can read more about PACT here, or listen to Stan’s Tedx Talk on relationships here:
Northwestern University, B.A., Psychology
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology