The kinds of folks I help
Maybe you can relate?
I tend to help guys with busy creative minds who want to slow things down a bit and focus more - some have ADD some have what I call ADD-lite. I also help calmer sometimes geeky guys find ways to shake things up a little more. Work, school and intimacy tend to be high on the list of topics.
I often help women to be gentler on themselves in a world where voices --inside and out!— are telling them to be perfect wives, girlfriends and professionals. Stuff like body image, work/home balance, parenting and making room (or time) for deeper intimacy.
My favorite gig hands down!! Whether you’re in one of those blame-game, fighting couples or low-intensity, but passive-aggressive ones I can help you dig out of there but it takes real work! I love teaching couples old and new communication tools. It’s amazing to watch in real time.
So your career is on track, you've passed some milestones and now what? I help the above 40's reconnect with their passion - in their couple, a new career, managing calm, learning to be retired... I can coach you on ways to find oomph when there are fewer hurdles to leap.
blurb about how i work and who I am
I’m the guy who strangers on planes share their sexual history with ;-) ◆ I listen well ◆ But I do a lot of detective work to find out how these brains of ours work ◆ I like to help my clients become curious about their own brains ◆ I keep focused on goals and revisit them regularly ◆ I strongly believe in building off successes - even small ones — to create momentum ◆ I often say stuff like: “So what did you learn this week?”, “How do you suppose you could you do more of that?” ◆ I help my clients uncover multiple motivations for things - even contradictory ones to get to the root of how they are being in the world ◆ Au fait je suis parfaitement bilingue ◆ IF YOU WANT SOME HISTORY ABOUT ME KEEP READING ◆ I studied psychology straight out of high school, dropped out, moved to Paris where I studied Poli-sci and journalism. ◆ I traveled around the world writing about anything but human psychology for 12 years ◆ I created a foundation to support caregivers of people with AIDS and ended up back in mental health helping in a dozen French hospitals ◆ I moved back to the US in 2000 and surfed the dot.com wave til it crashed then got a dual masters in Clinical and Social Psychology ◆ Had fun working with kids (and their families) with a variety of difficulties in San Francisco area schools for 5 years. ◆ Moved to a low fee clinic in the Haight Ashbury for adults and couples dealing with depression, addiction, intimacy difficulties ◆ It's amazing what can happen in 50 minutes! ◆ (PS….I also worked as: a professional chef, film-maker, talk show producer, translator; I built cabins for a meditation center in Sonoma and restored a 17th century fixer - upper. I try to surf. I love to swim in the ocean and I have an organic garden full of vegetables.)
the small print
The part where I tell you why I'm qualified to help.
MA in Clinical & Social Psychology ◆ BA in Humanities, ◆ Certificate in Poli-Sci Journalism ◆ Oodles of training from The Couples Institute (check them out!)
7 years of one-on-one and couples work ◆ 5 years with teens in schools ◆ 11 years with docs, nurses and patients in hospitals and hospice
I'm a member in good standing of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists - and their local chapters in SF and SC.
I'm licensed by the State of California's Board of Behavioral Sciences - under license number MFC75002.
(yesterday's) quick fixes
Some favorites I encounter: 14 hr work days, midnight fridge raids, right-handed visits to the net, extra-conjugal excitement, an undying fascination with food and exercising, all spiced up with a substance or three. At some point we either a) get busted or b) discover these don’t cut the mustard anymore. I teach folks how their brains work and why these behaviors are so sticky. But our decision to pull away can seem impossible because it means we'll have to deal with some serious discomfort. No pain no gain in this arena since our brains love repetition and not discomfort. I'll teach you about the pleasure circuits and how they work, about hormones and neuronal pathways. Together we'll find research based strategies that will help make change happen. Often this goes hand in hand with looking at some early learning - whether we like it or not we are creatures of habit. I have a pretty good track record for helping people find a lot more room to breathe so they have the freedom to choose from at least two options.Read More
judge judy in my head
For some reason we totally forget the 3 compliments we received in the day and hang onto the one frosty bit of feedback. We wake up with and —try to— fall asleep with a voice that's not always our best buddy. We read the expert study that says changing our attitude will make things better and of course we think: "That'll never work" or "Well that only works for other people.” or “That would have worked but….” We smile but this can be a living hell. My experience is this often happens among thoughtful people; folks who choose to live an examined life but then at times it gets a bit too examined. Part of the good news: because these not-so-helpful thinking patterns can affect our mood, our choices, our posture, our relationships we can also come at them from different angles. Together we'll identify the pay-off in sticking with the old thinking pattern. We'll develop exercises to slow it down or to at least head it off at the pass. Together we'll find the ones that best fit your world so you can practice.Read More
the intimacy dance
Working with couples is really its own beast. Because our primary relationships are the place where stakes are the highest —will I get loved or rejected? — they are fertile, I mean FERTILE, ground for making healthy change happen in our lives. And as we know they’re the place where we get to see all our crap rear its ugly head. It’s why I’ve been training for years with couples counseling pioneers Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson to perfect my work. I leverage my extraversion to get couples communicating better relatively quickly. Once we get that pump primed then we focus on how each member of the couple plans to stretch in order to make their life better (which then impacts couple and the family). Sometimes I use this with parent-child or siblings even. I’ve pretty much seen it all.. . both as a therapist and as a member of a couple whose been in therapy. Contact me and let me know what are the ways you want to go deeper in your couple but —and perhaps primarily-- in your own life.Read More