As a holistic therapist, I combine several therapeutic models in order to best meet your needs, including psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness, biofeedback, and narrative therapy.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps clients become aware of, understand, and experience vulnerable feelings and the underlying dynamics that have been pushed out of conscious awareness by defense mechanisms. It emphasizes relationships and how relational dynamics are often repeated. I often use this approach to help clients gain a deeper understanding of these dynamics, integrate conflicting feelings, and heal the suffering on a more profound level.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), sometimes called cognitive therapy or behavior therapy, shows that thoughts, emotions, and behavior are inextricably linked. The way we perceive things influences our emotional, physiological, and behavioral responses, and inaccurate thoughts may underlie emotional and behavioral problems. I often use various CBT techniques to help clients examine and modify thoughts and behaviors.
Mindfulness emphasizes that we are not our thoughts. Much of our anxiety and depressive feelings stem from dwelling on the negatives of our past or worrying about possible negative outcomes in the future. I often teach clients mindfulness skills to help them stay present in the moment rather than getting tossed around by their thoughts.
Biofeedback is a training approach for the brain and body. Technology is used to monitor body processes (such as brainwave and breathing patterns) and return information (feedback) so that new and healthier patterns may be developed. I often use biofeedback to help teach clients relaxation techniques such as modifying their breathing patterns or controlling their heart rate, which change the body's response to everyday stressors and reduce the likelihood that the stress will accumulate in unhealthy ways.
Narrative Therapy focuses on the stories we tell about ourselves and how these narratives enrich or impoverish our lives and self-conceptions. Such beliefs are often problematically influenced by old family stories and/or dominant social narratives. I often use narrative therapy to help people access and express their own creative, unique, and empowering stories, which allow them to find their deepest values and potentials.
As a marriage counselor and relationship counselor, I combine several theoretical approaches to the ones listed above, including the Gottman Method, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Imago Therapy, and Discernment Counseling. Please view the Couples Counseling page for more details.
"Before I began meeting with Carolyn, I had true goal that many people have when they start therapy: to get help coping with personal problems that had arisen in my life. I was putting out small fires as they popped up, and I thought professional support would help me manage that better.
As it turned out, I was thinking too small. I had not realized that I was sleepwalking; I had not hoped for transformation. Never pushing me, only guiding and questioning and helping me listen to my own answers, Carolyn helped me realize that I needed the big fire, the kind that clears the way for new growth. And she helped me ensure that it was a controlled burn instead of a conflagration. She was right there with me, helping me understand that I am strong enough. have never been more grateful for the life's work of another person than I am for hers."
- former client
"I have found Carolyn to be really good at adapting to my style. She can phrase things in a way that I am best able to listen to them and suggest actions that fit with my personality and that I'd actually do. In our sessions, she achieves a good balance between listening to my stories and giving me feedback and suggestions. She's good at keeping track of what we've been talking about, even if it's been a long time between sessions, and bringing up issues from past sessions that merit more discussion. She also helped me with outside tools and resources to help me outside of our sessions."
- former client
"Carolyn has provided concrete tools and guidance to help me through a couple of difficult periods in my life. She is incredibly perceptive and processes information remarkably fast. I don't feel like I have to spend a lot of time explaining myself. She listens carefully and I'm often impressed by how she seems to pick up on things I haven't even articulated fully, getting straight to the core of an issue. She focuses on offering solutions, for example suggesting exercises to help change habits. Personally, I much prefer this to talking in an unstructured way, which can feel aimless. With Carolyn, I always feel like I'm getting somewhere, and I get a lot of value out of her sessions. I cannot recommend her services highly enough."
- former client
"I cannot speak highly enough of Carolyn, her method, and the relationship we built through therapy. I came to Carolyn in a moment of personal crisis. She helped me work through that period of acute stress and learn skills for managing anxiety longer term. Carolyn's approach -- which eschews quick diagnoses in favor of deep reflection and dialogue -- helped me understand myself better and accept myself despite my flaws and errors. Carolyn is extremely attentive, thoughtful, and non-judgmental, and the process of building a trusting relationship through therapy helped me learn how to be more open and vulnerable with myself and other people. I came to Carolyn feeling trapped by my own and others' expectations of who I was and should be. I feel so much lighter and more confident today, and I owe much of that growth to my work with Carolyn. I feel truly lucky to have been able to work with her."
- former client
(See other testimonials)