My Approach to Therapy

We are bombarded by the message

that life should always be light and happy, that pain is equated with dysfunction. But life does have pain in it. We all, if we allow ourselves to keep growing, experience breakdowns and disruptions from time to time.  They happen in our families, they happen at work, and they happen with our dearest friends and partners. Sometimes they happen in our very souls. We can't be fully alive without having to wrestle with psychological distress from time to time.

It's not whether we experience distress that defines us. Rather, the shape of our souls and the measure of our courage are determined by how we engage and grow in response to life's challenges.

Call for EMDR therapy  To take the next step call 802-860-9500.


Depression is often the result of the "natural" response to difficult experiences

of the past or present. I say "natural" because, often, being depressed is the only available response to a compromised and restrictive environment. The child, young person, or adult who is depressed has often had to switch off feelings in order to stay out of complete hopelessness or rage. When emotions felt as if they might overwhelm you or others, muffling those feelings may have been the only wise choice at the time.  Unfortunately, feelings tend to operate in only on or off mode. When they're on, all feelings come through. When they're off, they're all off. So, to shut down anger or sadness means cutting off your joy and exuberance as well.

There are several dimensions to therapy for depression.

Searching out and understanding the origins of your depression, we will work toward reprocessing the overwhelming or tabu feelings that have been stored away. By finding new responses to those early experiences that left you deprived of full access to your feelings, you can learn new ways of relating to your life and relationships. Don't worry, this doesn't mean you'll spend the rest of your life searching for insight but never seeing change. EMDR is wonderfully effective in helping to rework past experiences, relationships and emotional barriers. It's not your history we'll be seeking to change, but your relationship to your history. As the work evolves it will be natural for you to open again to your feelings. That's when depression begins to evaporate.    
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Like depression, anxiety is often a pattern that gets set up in the nervous system

in response to early (or recent) events, relationships or the general environment.  Here too, EMDR is a powerful tool. Research has shown that anxiety, embedded as it is in the nervous system, is often very responsive to the neurological re-patterning that is possible with EMDR.

Anxiety comes in many different forms. The term includes, but is not limited to, general but constant worrying, social stress, fear of intimacy and performance fears. It also includes specific fears like the fear of flying, school, spiders, etc. Phobias, like more general forms of anxiety, have been shown to be responsive to EMDR. The social and relational ramifications of anxiety sometimes make group therapy an effective process for relearning how to be safe and whole among other people. Anxiety so often offers the false premise that you can only be safe when you either control or avoid the situations that frighten you. But life presents us with many things out of our control. Group work can help your nervous system learn that what can't be avoided or controlled can be made safe.

Call for EMDR therapy  To take the next step call 802-860-9500.


Trauma comes in many forms.

It may be "capital T" trauma, those well defined events that change the direction of our lives. But sometimes those lesser events of the past, the "small t" traumas, can also leave us with scars. Examples of "small t" traumas are repeating experiences of neglect, or anger in the home, or pressure or bullying at school, things that may have made childhood difficult. Young psyches in particular will often form themselves around the trauma. When this happens, healing is necessary on two levels. First, the trauma itself must be healed. Then we will address the relationship and self esteem patterns that have resulted from all the years of living with the traumatic injury.

As with so many areas of focus in therapy, EMDR is especially effective in treating both large and small  traumas.

  Creative Blocks

Are you an artist, a writer, or performer finding your creative energy blocked?

It can be frustrating and even frightening when the creative juices have stopped flowing. EMDR can be amazingly straightforward and direct in addressing these blocks. After one to three sessions of preparation, we can use EMDR to directly address what's shutting off the creative flow.


It's elusive and hard to define

but we always recognize it when we experience it and know when it's missing. Deep contentment - in our relationships, in our jobs and in our solitude – it's only possible when we clear out the barriers to being fully alive. Therapy is an effective and compelling process for recovering joy and contentment. Joy is not achieved by walling off the emotional burdens of fear, anger and grief. Joy is the natural state that comes from encountering our inner demons and making peace with them. Joy is possible. You can get there from here. And you don't have to do it alone.

Call for EMDR therapy  To take the next step in starting therapy, call 802-860-9500.

99 Hall Street Winooski, VT 05404