The foundation of my therapeutic philosophy is informed by both Gestalt theory as well as Internal Family Systems (IFS). Both espouse essentially the same principle, that every individual has an inherent capacity for healing, to move toward wholeness. Thus, a primary goal in psychotherapy and counseling is to tap this capacity, supporting one’s own natural healing process to occur. In addition, both clinical orientations suggest that we have a particular way of adjusting to our environment, albeit not always optimally, and often outside of our own awareness. These adjustments form our way of being in the world, from our patterns of relating to others to our habits and compulsions.
When I discovered IFS in 2019, I saw a perfect marriage of the elegant theory of Gestalt with a sturdy and evidence based practical approach through IFS. These two models support one another beautifully, seeing the whole person to include both a Self, as well as Parts of self, unique ways that we have adapted to our experiences. IFS builds on the Gestalt view that we have an undisturbed essence, and adds a strategy to tap that essence to heal the parts of self that are in need. It also provides a way to foster a compassionate Self connection within each individual.
As a Psychotherapist who integrates the theory and practice of both Gestalt and IFS, I pay attention to my clients presentation, the unique way they "show up" in the room. This is an ongoing dynamic process which includes attending to the relationship that forms between us, and the relationship they have within themselves.
A deeper description of these concepts, as well as some others that influence my work, are: systems theory, cycle of experience, self regulation/self energy, field theory, personality theory of plurality, and paradoxical theory of change.
Formally, I graduated with a dual BS degree in Psychology and Information Science from Slippery Rock University in 1987. This was followed by a Masters degree in Counselor Education from Duquesne University in 1991. In 1997 I completed 3 years of post-graduate work in Gestalt Methods from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. After working for 13 years treating addiction at Gateway Rehab Center (1987-2000), I devoted myself to private practice full time.
During my tenure at Gateway, I gained extensive experience working with individuals, groups, families & couples. My experience broadened in 1994 when I began working with adolescents and some children.
In early 2021, I completed my Level one training in Internal Family Systems, and moved my office from Squirrel Hill to Aspinwall. I am excited about this new chapter and committed to evolving to my highest personal and professional Self.
I have extensive experience working with the following: anxiety and fear, depression, substance abuse, LGBTQ, relationships, grief and loss, trauma, abuse, shyness and shame, adolescent and parenting issues, adoption, and emotional dysregulation. Mostly, I consider myself a perpetual student, continually in the process of learning.
My fee is $110 for 50 minutes. I am an out-of-network provider with some insurances. This means that if your insurance has benefits for providers out of your network, you can be reimbursed at their out-of-network rate. In any case, when I receive payment, I will provide you with a statement that includes all the information the insurance companies will need to reimburse you. In addition, I will work with your insurance to provide any additional information they need. If you have a HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account), therapy is an acceptable expenditure.
For a more detailed look at my policies & procedures, please visit the Informed consent found in the "For new clients" section.
Licensed Professional Counselor: #PA000067
National Certified Counselor:#72648
Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor: #2755
National Provider Identifier: #1326286212
Highmark Non-par: #1326286212
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