Individual therapy

A lot of people have been told by the social world how they should be, how they should interact, live and love. So a lot of people I work with do not know what they want or how they want to live their life – they have been told for so long by others how they should be that they often have a hard time trusting themselves and understanding how they want to be in relationship to other people.

Individual therapy is about helping you to learn to trust yourself and understanding that your thoughts, feelings, and sense of intuition are important sources of information. Therapy often also involves learning to trust your decision making process and developing self-advocacy skills and social skills that make navigating the social world more effective and ultimately less emotionally painful. Ultimately therapy becomes about learning how to be in relationship both with yourself and with someone else.

How it can help

Cognitive change

In therapy you will likely discover new things about yourself and gain new insights into your life experience and your relationships with others. You will gain an understanding of how your behavior impacts those you love. You will develop a framework for understanding how their behavior, thoughts, and feelings impact you. Many start to understand the role their sensory systems and autonomic nervous system arousal have on their everyday experiences.

You will gain awareness of how your childhood experiences and upbringing in your family of origin impacts your current belief systems. We will examine your social experience, including social rejection, cruelty and relational trauma to understand how these experiences impact your current social behavior and relationships. You can expect to gain new understandings that you can apply to current and future social relationships.

Distress tolerance skills and soothing strategies

Learning to manage distress and anxiety will increase your sense of control over your own responses, because many people experience their emotions as unpredictable. Gaining awareness of how your body and mind reacts to stress can then give you choices about how you want to respond, and this will make you more effective in your interactions in the world.

Relief from past trauma

For many of my clients past abuse, neglect, and/ or relational trauma intersect with their ASD symptoms and further compound their daily suffering and affect them in their present relationships. I often use EMDR to address past traumas because it's very effective in helping people to see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way.

Interpersonal and social skill acquisition

Our work will help you will gain insights that will let you develop and maintain the relationships you want, while valuing and living as the person you are. You will develop interpersonal skills that will help you navigate the seemingly chaotic social world of neurotypicals and ultimately improve your quality of life. You will develop your own, unique personal system of rules or formulas that will help you decide how much you want to engage in the social world. Ultimately I think you will gain a way to live in a world that has been confusing, unpredictable and terrifying.

How the process works

  1. Contact me to schedule a brief phone conversation where we can talk about your situation, answer any questions you may have, and schedule an appointment if you decide to go forward.
  2. Download and fill out these forms to bring to our first meeting
  3. Plan how to get to my office in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. The address and directions are on my contact page
  4. Our first meeting will be the intake session. The goal of this meeting is to become briefly acquainted with one another, define expectations and social rules that govern our therapeutic relationship, to answer questions you have, and to develop a sensory soothing kit. It will also be an assessment of your unique needs and goals for treatment. Please bring your completed forms from step 2 above.
  5. Subsequent meetings.We will meet weekly. Some people prefer to meet for 45 minutes twice a week; others find it helpful to meet once a week for 60 minutes. I am open to either modality and am interested in your preference (see Social and emotional safety). We will determine the duration and frequency of our therapy sessions during the intake session, and will evaluate your goals and progress regularly.