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Working with Lisa

Who are your typical clients?

I work with all different clients—adults, kids, couples and families, working people and students. A typical client comes to me because something big is not working in their life. They may have anxiety, or chronic sadness and emptiness, or depression, or relationship problems, or unhealed trauma, or grief, or they’re just disappointed or hopeless about how their life is going. Many come in suffering from a damaged view of themselves, unsure how to make changes in their lives. They may doubt if they have the right to be happy, or have no idea how to go about it.

What type of client do you work best with, and what is expected of me?

I love working with clients who believe there is more to life than suffering and are dedicated to improving their own lives. I love working with people who have been told they aren’t smart or don’t deserve much—yet hold on to a belief, however dim, that maybe it’s not true, and life can be better. I love watching self confidence blossom, self awareness grow, and relationships deepen into satisfaction and joy. I love working with anyone who is committed to the process of therapy and willing to take back their own lives.

What is expected of you? Show up and tell the truth. Work on building a trusting therapeutic relationship with me. Consider what I have to say and try out suggestions. That’s it.

How are you different from other therapists?

There are many wonderful and talented therapists and coaches out there. Here’s what distinguishes me:

  • life experience
  • a holistic approach, and
  • unending learning

I didn’t go directly from college to graduate school to private practice. I get what it’s like to work in the real world.

Rather than trying to fit you into one modality of therapy (like cognitive behavioral, or Jungian, or humanistic) I listen deeply for what you need. From years of experience, I draw on what I believe will work best for your particular issues. I offer not just individual work, but also group work (I’m a Certified Group Psychotherapist), couples work (I’ve trained with John and Julie Gottman), family work, workshops and life coaching.

I train and learn seriously. Right now, I’m engaged in The Daring Way, Brené Brown’s certification process for counselors and therapists. This rigorous training program involves coursework, testing, supervision and demonstrating learned skills. I’m also studying Internal Family Systems and pursuing certification in the near future.

Finally, you’ll receive resources to use outside of our time together, whether it is a workshop, a book, a website, the latest research that pertains to your issue, or even another therapist to pursue another type of therapeutic work. My goal is to get you well and happy as soon as possible, using all the resources available to us.

What happens if you haven’t worked with someone like me?

I’ve worked with thousands of clients in a wide spectrum of environments both in private practice and in organizations and institutions. Chances are, I’ve worked with someone very similar to you. But even if I haven’t, you are not at a disadvantage. It may even be an advantage. Here’s why: I bring to my work a dedicated openness and listening to YOUR particular story. If you bring in something new, I recognized that, study it, seek consultation on it.

And, I actively pursue new training (see above), to bring new knowledge and the latest wisdom directly into my work. I’m committed to my own development and to being the most effective therapist I know. Therapists need to challenge themselves, open themselves to new knowledge, and make sure they give clients the best treatment they deserve. I do that.

Is there any type of client your services won’t work for?

Yes. If you have no insurance and/or are in a financial crisis, we won’t be able to work together, at least not right away. It’s been my experience that people in financial crisis are unable to commit to therapy and are simply emotionally unavailable to do the work therapy entails. If you fall in this category, it’s absolutely OK — please know I understand – we’ve all been there. Until you are able to pursue the therapy you need, do yourself one or more of these favors:

1) Get some money coming in with a full or part time job, ideally with benefits. (There is nothing wrong with taking a job just for the benefits in order to be able to do therapy. It’ s OK that it’s not the ideal job, and it doesn’t have to be a forever job.) Having a little money and benefits will give you enough peace of mind to look at the big picture and allow you to avail yourself of the gift of therapy.

2) Visit my website, blog, and Facebook page regularly, and take advantage of the free, helpful information there. These are great tools that can start the process of growth for you and move you toward your goals until you are ready to work with me one-on-one.

3) Do some of the recommended reading. Most if not all of these books are easily available at the library, bookstores or Amazon. Reading is a great way to introduce yourself to concepts around growth and therapy. And the books I recommend are all ones I have read, believe in, and know are helpful. By reading, you are already starting our conversation!

4) Look into free or reduced-cost therapy options (see a list in Resources), as well as relevant 12-Step groups.

Doing any of these four things will really help you get primed for our work. When you’re ready, call me and we’ll get you started!

Other people my services won’t work for are individuals who as a baseline are unmotivated for change, deeply skeptical, or chronically make excuses and challenge every aspect of therapy. If this describes you, I respectfully ask that you not call me and I hope that you understand why. We would probably not work well together, and I wouldn’t want you to waste your time or money.

How do I know if you’re a good fit for me?

Consider this question seriously. Therapy is a deeply personal relationship. It’s also a commitment to, and an investment in, yourself. For you to do good work in therapy, there has to be trust, chemistry, and certainty—as well as kindness, and challenge. Do your homework: ask trusted friends for references, pay attention to results, listen to your gut when we meet. You’ll know if we’re a good fit.