LCSW, LMFT, CST
Many individuals deal with challenges regarding their sexuality and/or sexual relationships. Since these are rarely talked about, people feel isolated and do not realize how common many of these issues are. These include things for men such as: erectile dysfunction and/or delayed, early or no orgasm; for women: vaginismus and/or anorgasmia. Other sexual issues for both men & women include: low/no sexual desire, sexual inhibitions, negative feelings regarding sexuality/body image, pain, hormone deficiencies, sexual side effects of medications, etc. It is my firm belief that there is no reason that people cannot enjoy some level of sexual functioning for the duration of their lives.
Women undergo many changes during their lives, beginning with puberty and continuing through menopause and its aftermath. They may experience losses such as infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, hysterectomy, post-partum depression, as well as invasive treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Other gynecological problems include Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS), Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), post partum depression and peri- and post-menopausal mood swings. The inevitable hormonal and physiological changes of menopause may also create additional challenges for many women.
All of these experiences affect their emotional well-being, and if they are in a relationship, that will be affected as well. Women face challenges in their roles as individuals, wives, mothers, daughters, professionals, etc. Finding a balance in life, with all its stresses, can provide quite a challenge.
Understanding men and their emotional states, has long been an area of interest for me. Historically, men have been less likely to identify depression in themselves and less likely to seek help, although fortunately, this is changing. I work with men, both individually and in couples, and my practice is evenly balanced with both genders. My work with men has taught me a great deal that I, as a woman, might not otherwise have had the opportunity to learn. This has engendered in me an ever increasing respect and greater understanding of some of the challenges which men face in today's world.
Cancer and Grief Work
Throughout our lives, we all experience loss in a variety of ways. Working through grief, whatever its source, enables people to unblock their ability to feel, heal and move past the intensity of their loss and sorrow. As a breast cancer survivor, I also have an in-depth understanding of the special experiences and needs of the cancer patient/survivor and their caregivers. I offer help with the grieving process, moving forward to accept the "new normal" or dealing with end of life issues, if that is necessary. Since loss is a part of life, our ability to handle it in a healthy manner is a very important process.
Sexual Orientation and Identity
I have worked with many people in the LGBTQ+ community regarding issues such as coming out, becoming comfortable with their own sexual orientation and identity, as well as life issues which occur in individuals and couples. Sexual fluidity, questioning, finding answers and acceptance of self are frequently top of mind. As we increasingly understand the vast arena of sexual needs and preferences, we think in broader terms. I understand that safety is particularly important, and it is of the utmost importance to me to provide an accepting, non-judgmental environment for this work to take place.
With the divorce rate hovering above fifty percent, more and more families are blending in second and subsequent marriages. The divorce rate is even higher for this group. These families face some unique challenges and often need assistance in making it work to benefit the family as a whole. I have worked with this population for many years and bring extensive experience to the work.
Most therapists are able to address problems such as depression and anxiety, which are extremely common. I work closely with several psychiatrists who prescribe for these conditions, as needed. I am aware that some people do not want to take medication, and I will respect a client's preferences, as long as their safety or the safety of others is not compromised. Having practiced for many years, I'm quite certain that I've heard just about everything, so I am probably impossible to surprise or shock. That is often a relief for people to hear. My job is not to judge or tell people how to live their lives, but instead to help them develop the tools, self-awareness and courage to forge their own path. That is both my mission and my commitment.