Existential Psychotherapy and Medication Management
What age range do you treat?
I work with individuals ages 18 and older.
Do you address specific cultural, LGBT, or other minority-related issues?
While I do not consider this to be an area of expertise in my practice, I absolutely welcome all individuals regardless of gender, sex, orientation, race, nationality, political views, religion, spiritual practices, or any other form of self-identification. Witnessing the beautiful diversity among individuals and participating in their unique life narratives is one of the primary reasons that I love what I do. Come as you are.
Are there mental health-related services you do NOT provide?
Couples, family, or group therapy
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Intensive outpatient chemical dependency treatment
Emotional support and service animal letters
Labor & Industries (L&I) assessments
Assessments for work, weapon ownership, ability to drive a certain vehicle, child custody, etc.
How does an existential perspective relate to psychiatry?
Existentialism is a mode of philosophical inquiry arising in the 19th and 20th centuries exploring issues central to the human condition such as subjectivity, authenticity, choice, meaning, isolation, and mortality. Historically, many great existentialist thinkers have impacted the field of psychiatry by addressing human suffering in unique ways—laying the groundwork for influential schools of thought like psychoanalysis and modern cognitive-behaviorism.
The word “exist” derives from Latin, meaning “to stand out of being.” Hence, an existential perspective inquires into what it means to be—to identify as a self and perpetually create oneself—courageously standing out from the world from which one came to be and understanding oneself in relation to it. Contrary to common misconception, philosophical exploration is often an informal process that relates to a wide array of everyday human experiences. The only requirements are an open mind and a curiosity about oneself and the surrounding world.
What is your clinical approach?
I am a pragmatist—hence, my desire is to employ whatever evidence-based methods will be of use to my patients. Human beings are diverse and experience an array of adversities, some brief and limited, others chronic and encompassing. Given my diverse background and training, I am equipped to treat patients by various means to help them achieve a greater sense of satisfaction with their lives.
Though my practice is informed by psychoanalytic and "third wave" cognitive-behavioral theory, my interactions with patients tend to be relational and existentially-oriented, focusing heavily on personal growth and empowerment within a larger context of meaning and values. I am open to discuss the need for psychotropic medication or referral for other treatment modalities when appropriate and useful. I do not demand a specific approach as long as the chosen path is indicated, evidence-based, likely to be tolerable and effective, and something upon which we mutually agree. The goal is to deliver the care a patient wants and needs, when they want and need it.
The word psychiatry derives from Greek meaning “healing of the spirit”—it is my aim to achieve that end.
What types of conditions do you treat?
As a general psychiatrist, I treat and help patients cope with all kinds of mental health-related conditions including, but not limited to: depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorders, personality disorders/difficulties relating to others, addiction, insomnia, chronic pain, and more. Some psychiatric conditions may warrant specific subspecialty expertise or services that I do not offer, in which case I can provide referrals to appropriate providers.
What does treatment look like?
The first session will be an initial diagnostic evaluation, which includes gathering relevant psychiatric and medical histories in order to understand your current symptoms and concerns. This preliminary assessment will provide the basis for diagnostic clarification and treatment planning moving forward. It will also allow us to develop rapport, discuss procedures and policies, and determine whether or not it makes sense to proceed with treatment.
Thereafter, I typically meet with individuals either for medication management sessions (frequency from every couple weeks to couple months) or psychotherapy sessions with or without medication management (frequency from weekly to every couple weeks). If I recommend alternative or additional treatments that I currently do not offer, I can provide referrals to appropriate providers.
Coaching and Personal Development
What is coaching?
Coaching is a form of engagement that seeks to encourage growth in individuals through conversation—exploring thought/behavioral patterns, employing situational analysis, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and formulating strategies for self-improvement to assist a person in reaching maximum potential. It generally takes the stance that clients have the "answers" within themselves regarding what paths they ought to pursue and in what manner.
What is your coaching style?
My coaching style is similar to the way in which I do psychotherapy, characterized by spirited dialogue, philosophical exploration, playful sparring of ideas, openness, and vulnerability. I strive to be direct and genuine for the sake of actively engaging my clients—and I am certain that none of them would accuse me of being shy or afraid to speak my mind :D
How does coaching differ from psychotherapy?
Although some have written about the ways coaching and psychotherapy are different, in practice often there is a great deal of overlap between the two. It should be noted that the field of psychotherapy is well over a century old and was first called "the talking cure" by Sigmund Freud. Today there are hundreds of different theoretical models and methodologies of therapy such that it can look like many different things in practice. Coaching is a much newer field, drawing upon principles and methods that have been employed in therapy for decades, particularly in the realms of cognitive-behavioral therapy and positive psychology. Probably the most significant difference is that coaching has no formal or legal requirements for education, training, or licensing whereas therapists must meet these all in order to practice.
What is personal development?
Trappist monk Thomas Merton observed, “People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” In other words, one must identify foundational principles and values upon which one may then build a life. My goal is to help individuals discover and cultivate this deep-rooted sense of direction within themselves.
What should I do if I am in acute crisis?
If you are experiencing a psychiatric emergency, you should seek immediate attention by calling calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room.
How do I schedule an initial appointment?
While communication will be returned as promptly as possible, I do not provide any urgent, after-hours, or emergency services. If you are having a medical or psychiatric emergency, do not wait for a call back. Instead, take steps to keep yourself safe by contacting emergency services as specified below.