"Every single human being is trying her/his/their best. We’re all doing the best we can. When we believe what we think, we have to live out those thoughts. When there’s chaos in our heads, there’s chaos in our lives. When there’s hurt in our thinking, there’s hurt in our lives."
What changes do you desire in your life or relationships?
Sometimes I’ll hear a client say, "I know I come from a good home and I have everything." or "I know my problems are not important compared to someone who lost a job or a has had horrible past."
The truth is, it doesn't matter how your concerns compare to what others have gone through. The question is...,
Are you satisfied with your life right now?
When you wake up in the morning, do you look forward to what the day will bring?
If your answer is "No", then maybe there is something blocking you from feeling alive and confident.
Let’s figure this out together.
As a client-centered therapist, my job is to support you in reaching your goals and helping you identify and question anything that would stand in the way. Together we can assess the changes you aspire to and I can provide you with the skills and tools to become more mindful, resilient, and compassionate toward yourself and the others in your life.
My services ensure a safe, confidential, flexible and supportive space, free of judgment. Sessions typically last 50 minutes during which I address your interests and goals in a supportive and comfortable atmosphere that is personalized to you and serves your growth.
Areas of focus include, but are not limited to:
Fear of losing control
Anger and Conflict Resolution
Grief and Loss
Stress from discrimination/prejudice
Because all clients are unique, our sessions may include a variety of modalities and techniques including Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Solution Focused Therapy.
In sessions, I also frequently draw on the work of teachers who have profoundly influenced me, including Byron Katie, Jeff Foster, Eckhart Tolle, Brené Brown, Adyashanti, to name a few.
Does your child refuse to engage with you? Refuse to talk about what’s bothering them? Deny that there is any trouble at all?
As a loving parent you want to support your child but when communication between you breaks down, it’s time to ask for help.
Perhaps Your Teen:
Is struggling to keep up with schoolwork (Yup, this is important)
Has stopped sharing with you
Has retreated to their room and you have no idea what’s going on with them
Does not know how to handle their stress
Is overly hard on themselves
Complains about having no friends
Cries for seemingly no reason
Is suffering from isolation
Has been bullied and refuses to go to school
Harms themselves, or talks about harming themselves
Why Teen Counseling?
Well for starters, the term ‘Teen Counseling’ is itself a bit of a misnomer because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to working with teens. While it is quite normal for teenagers to struggle with very intense emotions—and lack the skills to cope with them--we have to respect that each teen is still their own unique individual. Just like us, they each have their own unique needs and wants, family background, personalities and friends.
Because of the nature of our familial relationships, a working discussion framework can be difficult to establish between parents and their children, despite the best of intentions.
That’s where I come in.
As a trained professional therapist, I bring an air of neutrality which gives teens a permission structure to open up about their feelings more easily.
Part of the power of counseling for teenagers comes from them just feeling seen, heard, and respected. Regardless of how hard a concerned parent tries, teens often feel like they can't talk about their feelings, so they bottle them up. This can lead to stress, which is tough to carry around all the time, especially in teens who are still developing emotionally and intellectually.
As a therapist, my role is to help teens identify their feelings, understand why they feel this way and how it affects their behavior. As we work together to gain that understanding, I can teach your teen how to let these perfectly natural feelings out in a way that works for them.
Regardless of the reasons why you (and your child) are seeking counseling, it’s important to establish some quick relief in order to cope with anxiety and depression. My approach is to prioritize teaching coping and calming skills so that we create a solid foundation on which to build as we work on customized programs tailored to your child’s own unique needs.
Why am I passionate about working with teens?
Some of my colleagues, often parents themselves, have asked me why I am specifically interested in working with teenagers. Understandably, teens can be a handful and working with them isn’t usually perceived as the path of least resistance.
But I think teens are amazing!
They can be creative, sassy, wise, adventurous, full of wonder but also innocent all at the same time. This is a feature we often lose as “fully fleshed out” adults, often caught up in the demands of daily life.
I really enjoy working with teens and young adults.
Growing up in Japan, we didn’t have access to any mental health support at all. My teenage years were sometimes quite difficult. There was no one to talk to about my personal issues with school, family, friends. This experience, which drove my interest in mental health and lead me to seek a career as a therapist, continues to inspire me to want to work with young people. I love helping teens create a life they love and feel good about.
It brings me so much joy to see my clients find confidence, enjoy life, and gain the freedom they’ve been missing in their lives.
Therapy can have a long-lasting and positive effect. Through therapy, your teens know that they are not alone. They become empowered to start to realize they are cool awesome young adults. They realize their larger capacity to choose the thoughts they pay attention to. Their outlook becomes positive.
And when they have that perspective, they can get back to accomplishing whatever it is they set their mind to.
It would be my joy and honor to help your teen in this way!
What is Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction?
Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR) is the method I use in my practice to help clients identify and question the causes of their suffering. Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction is also known as The Work of Byron Katie. IBSR is a way to identify stressful thoughts that we hold as true. Another way of saying this is that when we hold a thought as true, we are attached to the thoughts.
Take for example that someone says to you, “You are a tree!” or “You are a cat!” Does that cause you any stress?
Probably not, …right?
You might be amused or curious about why these things have been said, but since you know for sure that you are not a tree or a cat, the words are harmless and pass right through you.
But if someone says, “You are rude!” or “You are a liar!” Is there an impact? Do you feel an Ouch?
If you feel any irritation or hurt, something inside of you believes what it hears and attaches meaning to it. And it is this attachment that causes your suffering.
During our work together, we’ll start by taking a close look at the situation you bring and what you believe about it. I’ll ask you a series of questions, one at a time, with plenty of room for you to report the thoughts that arise inside. IBSR is a deep, meditative practice which allows you to see the wiring underneath your thoughts. In our work together we’ll also take time to consider what life would be like if you didn’t automatically answer to your stressful thought system. We’ll also explore opposite perspectives of the same situation.
I often hear people say that this method is too simple to be effective. Or that this method is disempowering and condoning the other person’s behaviors. Twelve years ago, I thought the same things. Since I started inquiring into my stressful thoughts with IBSR, I feel lighter and lighter. I’ve gained self-esteem and now have a new loving relationship with myself. My focus has sharpened like never before. Eventually, IBSR became a part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth.
I would love for you to have this very simple yet extremely powerful tool. All you need is curiosity. That’s all.
What are you waiting for? Come join me!