I believe that in most cases people’s lives improve by setting a series of realistic goals, and then conquering those goals. My approach is behavioral, and has a very strong foundation in decades of clinical research.
My methods are action oriented. You will not be lying on a couch discussing your childhood. You will however be working with me to understand the best approach to helping you feel better. I will set a course for your treatment in the first several sessions. And we will work together to adjust that course as results come in.
As a cognitive-behavioral psychologist I believe in the importance of setting measurable goals. My clients know exactly what improvement means for them, and we evaluate that improvement every week. I use the analogy of a personal dashboard. Imagine individualized goals that are critical to feeling better set in front of you as you go through life. We celebrate the improvement of those goals. And if one of your goals is not being met, we address your needs and adjust our approach to that goal.
In our sessions we will discuss your relationships, daily routines, challenging habits, and overall motivation in life. My focus is always on early improvements to build momentum toward accomplishing your goals. I do not embrace an approach that has clients with me for years. Most modern research shows that this is seldom necessary or productive.
You will never see me embracing the fads that are introduced to psychology practices almost every year. I do not try out new techniques that have not been validated with strong evidence. Your time is too precious to have a psychologist experiment with you. Unfortunately, it is common to see psychologists using methods that have no solid research, but sound seductive in their promises to cure patients.
I am trained in a broad range of behavior therapies, family therapies, CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and various methodologies within the broader behavioral research. What does all that mean for you? It means that I take a practical and active approach to immediately assessing what is affecting your life negatively. I introduce solutions to you very early on in your treatment. I am constantly assessing your progress, and checking in with you through the use of a “dashboard” reflecting your mental and emotional improvement.
I believe strongly in a client having clear benchmarks for what it means to be “better.” For some those are personal examples of what it means to no longer be so depressed. For some they are personal examples of what they could accomplish with lower anxiety. Some describe what it means not to feel stuck in life. Others reference what they would like to accomplish within a relationship. These benchmarks are critical to setting goals. They are real life hopes that are made concrete and obtainable as we work toward them. This practical approach toward obtaining the life that you want is the cornerstone of my clinical practice.
A Comment About Psychological Practice in Our Area
There has never been a time in history where so many unproven techniques have been seen in the field of psychology. Respected institutions and psychologists around the country have been speaking out about the risks that consumers need to be aware of. This is especially true in areas where there is a high concentration of “therapists.” In these highly competitive environments we see so-called professionals promoting their own unique approach to healing. These are individuals who have attended a seminar, read a book, or went onto a website to learn about the latest magical approach to helping those that are hurting. In fact, all they are doing is victimizing innocent people who need real help. Real help comes through proven methods that have been researched at credible universities, conducting millions of dollars of well-controlled studies. Real help comes through techniques that have been published, replicated, and demonstrated to work effectively for the specific concerns they were developed for.
Unfortunately, it appears that once someone becomes licensed in the state of Colorado, whether it be as a psychologist, therapist, or counselor, they can pretty much do whatever approach they want. From what I can tell, no significant resources go into monitoring what this field is doing. So please be aware of this. You can see online just how people are marketing themselves. If you are fine with someone using a technique on you that has very little, if any systematic research then understand that you are making that choice. If you have been seeing a therapist for a long time and are not sure what the goals are, or if you are feeling any differently, then consider that your therapist might not be using evidence-based methods with you. It is a shame, but this is perfectly legal. It is, in many cases, considered unethical in the field of psychology. But it is still legal and extremely common in the Boulder area.