I tend to be warm and collaborative. I’m going to like you, and I’m going to care about you. (If that makes you cringe, don’t worry, I can be cool about it.) Second, I ask a lot of you. I ask you to be completely honest with me, to share painful thoughts and feelings, and to try new and sometimes scary things.
I like for us to be clear on our intentions and goals in therapy.
I work relationally. That means that I consider the momentary verbal and nonverbal interactions between us, as well as our evolving relationship, to be crucial sources of information and learning. And much more than that: in ways that are often quite subtle, our relationship in itself can help you grow and heal. By the way, this is not my original idea; it’s perhaps the best-supported finding in psychotherapy research.
I am practical. I like experiments and evidence. I believe in changing behaviors, not (only) thoughts. As appropriate, I offer resources such as readings, recordings, or videos, and teach skills and practices. If you’re good with structure and homework, I can provide it. If you’re open to learning to meditate and/or interested in Buddhist psychology, I can really help you. I have 20+ years of my own meditation practice and study, and taught 8-week intensive mindfulness training classes for years, before the pandemic.
See About Me for more about me and my training. For now, I’ll mention some of the better-known therapy schools and practices that influence me as a therapist: mindfulness and self-compassion practices derived from certain Buddhist lineages; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT); Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT); developmental attachment theory; some Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It’s okay if you haven’t heard of these!
Men and women from 20 to 80+ years old who struggle with anxiety, depression, trauma, life transitions, spritual challenges, loss/grief, relationship issues, health issues, sleep problems, and/or personality problems. (That covers a lot.) I enjoy collaborating with psychiatrists and other providers if medications or other treatments are part of the picture. Due to my training and current position (core faculty at the California Pacific Medical Center Health Psychology Post-doctoral Psychology Fellowship), I have a lot of experience working with medically ill individuals. My patients are diverse, and I’m comfortable and effective working with all cultures, genders, sexual identities, etc. That said, I do not specialize, as many therapists do, in any particular identities. (Though I’m pretty good at my own – I identify as white, male, cisgender, straight.)
I’m sorry to say that I don’t take insurance except for Medicare. I am happy to provide you with monthly “superbills” that you can submit for out-of-network reimbursement. I am also a provider for Lyra, in case your employer has that service.
My fee is $240 per 50-minute session. I am committed to offering reduced-fee therapy to clients who need it, and maintain some reduced-fee slots in my practice.
I offer in-person therapy at my office in San Francisco (which I prefer) as well as video/phone therapy.
Our first step is to have a (free) 15-30 minute conversation on the phone, to get a sense of what’s up and whether I think I can help. We’ll talk about logistics and I’ll answer any questions you may have. Then we can meet for an initial consultation, usually 50 minutes. If we decide to work together, I might recommend some formal assessment (e.g., personality tests) at the start of therapy, to help us learn more right at the outset. I will help us set specific intentions and goals for our work together, and I consider it my job to monitor them as we continue to meet – which is usually once per week.
How long should therapy last? It really depends, and it’s often unknowable at the beginning. But my aim is generally to help you not need therapy. And sometimes that’s a relatively brief time.