My approach is interactive and focuses on the development of practical skills to manage intense emotions, reduce self-judgment, and promote self-compassion. I specialize in the treatment of substance misuse and other problematic behaviors. I also have expertise in treating those who have experienced trauma and focus on enhancing the mind-body connection. I believe in the importance of honoring my clients' role and choice in the treatment process. Together, we can explore the function and meaning of the behaviors you're struggling with to develop a plan that is consistent with your goals and lifestyle.
By cultivating a safe therapeutic relationship where I am attuned to your evolving goals and needs, I view therapy as a collaborative process. My integrative approach is based on facilitating the development of mindfulness skills, which help reduce emotional reactivity and can enhance self-efficacy.
My experiences have taught me the importance of slowing down and focusing on the present moment. I have seen how simply focusing on the breath can provide relief from distress. We will work on increasing your capacity to pause and just be in the moment, as it is.
An article I wrote about my clinical work using mindfulness, The Practice of Mindfulness in Addiction Therapy, was published on TheFix.com in July 2013.
Taking Addiction to the Mat, a piece I wrote on incorporating mindfulness and yoga (mindful movement) in the treatment of substance use was recently published on TheFix.com's ProVoices.
We hosted a panel at The New School featuring Gabrielle Glaser, Emma Roberts, Lynn Paltrow and Andrew Tatarsky highlighting substance use issues in women and the need to shift the paradigm to one that is focused on public policy, health, and empowerment rather than incarceration and stigma. I wrote a summary of the panel for Rehabs.com's ProTalk column titled, Context Matters: The impact of Trauma, Culture, and Policy on Women's Health.
I have been interested in mindfulness approaches since I began my graduate training and have refined my own practice over the years. I see the value in learning how to shift one's focus away from negative, judgmental states to a place of more acceptance and compassion. I've developed practical and tangible techniques that I offer to my clients to help guide them towards the path of increased awareness, acceptance, and compassion. I employ this approach in both individual and group therapy and include mindfulness practices as an important element of the courses I teach and the trainings I participate in. I have immense gratitude for my friend and mentor, Jill Satterfield, who has inspired and empowered me.
Here are several mindfulness tracks I recorded that are used in my clinical practice. The first track is a guided body scan that will help strengthen the connection to bodily sensations and the breath that lasts approximately 21 minutes. The second track, which is about 5 minutes, is the SOBER Breathing Space that was developed as part of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention. And, the final track is a simple grounding and breathing practice using the five senses that can be incorporated throughout the day and comprises the last 10 minutes of the recording. Thank you to Dr. John Pasagiannis for helping with the recording process.
This is a brief mindfulness practice that is designed to help connect you with what's happening in the present moment and may be used as a morning meditation to get you started for the day. It can also be used throughout the day as a form of a "check in" with yourself.
The mountain meditation was practiced while each person held one stone, which was then incorporated at the end of the practice. The mountain meditation can be practiced during times when you need to feel more grounded and settled.
This is a second series of meditations I recorded that includes a check-in (acknowledging the breath, thoughts, feeling tones, and the body), an urge surfing practice drawn from Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention, and ends with a mountain meditation based on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. It still needs to be mastered and I will update the file once that's ready.