My preparation for clinical practice includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work followed by post-graduate training and international certification as a bioenergetic therapist (New York Society). Bioenergetic Analysis has its roots in the early psychoanalytic work of Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and others who saw the origins of personality as deriving from, and perpetually linked to, somatic experience. This approach, which focuses on the interrelationship between psychic structures and somatic patterning—how the mind expresses what is felt in the body and vice versa—provided a base for my early clinical work and helped me attune to subtle nonverbal cues that convey critical information about what patients need me to “hear” about unspoken emotional experience.
Building on my base as a bioenergetic therapist, supervisor, and trainer during the 1980’s, my interest in the past two decades turned toward the branch of psychoanalysis known as British Object Relations. Just as bioenergetic theory elucidates the significance of somatic experience, this particular school of psychoanalytic thought sheds light on the infant’s earliest emotional experiences and how these are represented in unconscious phantasies that shape one’s core sense of self and serve as a lens through which relationships are experienced over the lifespan. Both approaches pay close attention to pre-verbal as well as verbal forms of communication.
My professional development concentrated on British Object Relations and includes certification in parent/infant psychotherapy; infant observation; and training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Center for Object Relations; and additional training and qualification as a psychoanalyst from Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society (2009). Upon completion of my psychoanalytic training I was admitted as a Fellow of the International Psychoanalytical Association (FIPA).
I began working in the mental health field in 1980, providing substance abuse counseling and education at TC Williams High School (Alexandria, VA). I also served as a consultant on smoking cessation to the American Lung Association (District of Columbia). I have been in fulltime private practice since 1984 providing psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis to adolescents and adults. I also offer clinical consultation to licensed mental health professionals and approved supervision to those working toward licensure. I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Washington State.
My clinical experience for over thirty years leads me to believe that the quest for authentic understanding of one’s self and others is a universal human desire. It is equally evident that there are unconscious forces within all of us that sometimes obstruct or interfere with the full expression of this desire.
Seen in this light, psychoanalytic treatment is much more than a means of alleviating emotional pain and suffering, which it surely does. From this broader perspective, treatment is also an opportunity for delving into and discovering the authentic nature of who we are as human beings. The central question, then, is not so much what is “wrong” or what needs to be “fixed”, as it is how can I get to know this person and understand what prevents them from living their life as creatively and passionately as possible?
The answer to this query evolves differently in each analytic partnership, the nature of which cannot be known in advance. At the same time, every successful treatment or clinical consultation is a collaborative process dependent on the mutually earnest involvement of both parties. These views, plus my ongoing study of psychoanalytic theory and practice, form the core of my approach to psychoanalytic treatment, clinical consultation, and psychodynamic education.
Alliance Community Psychotherapy Clinic
Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies
International Psychoanalytical Association
Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study
Northwestern Psychoanalytic Society
North American Psychoanalytic Confederation
Washington Association for Infant Mental Health
Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work
World Association for Infant Mental Health