Grief and Bereavement
Grief can be all encompassing when it enters your life. Having someone to talk to about your feelings of loss can be very helpful. Please read my article in the blog section for more on this topic.
If you feel that something is awry inside you and worry excessively, sometimes about specific problems and sometimes about a myriad of different worries, psychotherapy can provide relief. I work with people who live seemingly full lives yet need someone to confide in for any number of reasons.
I treat food and body image disorders, including bulimia and compulsive overeating. In our sessions, clients identify how the destructive behavior once served them, and establish new ways of coping with difficulties.
Living with Chronic Illness
Part of my practice has included working with folks who live with chronic pain or are faced with a life threatening illnesses. These complicated challenges are dealt with differently by each person. Whether you are living with HIV, are newly diagnosed with cancer or other chronic conditions, therapy can help improve the quality of your life. You can feel supported to live life as fully as possible. In some situations, I help family members, and loved ones cope with facing the loss of people close to them; friends, family and life partners. Together we find ways to ease these transitions.
“The end is none, the road is all.”
As the writer and psychologist Amy Bloom writes, “My own interest in creativity in all its forms, gives me an intimate understanding of what it’s like to find meaning and fulfillment in this world of mystery.” Sometimes I work with clients as they make a change from one career to another. Sometimes creative energy runs dry, and together we try to get the wheels of inspiration moving again.
Depression often runs in families; there is no single known cause of depression, although experts believe a genetic vulnerability, combined with environmental factors such as stress or physical illness may trigger an imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Scientists don’t fully understand how imbalances in neurotransmitters cause signs and symptoms of depression, nor is it clear whether changes in neurotransmitters are a cause or a result of depression, but imbalances in three neurotransmitters — serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine — seem to be linked to depression.
- Heredity. Although researchers have identified several genes that may be responsible for bipolar disorder, and they’re looking for genes linked to other kinds of depression, not everyone with a family history of depression develops the disorder. Conversely, people with no family history of the disorder can become depressed.
- Stress. Stressful life events, particularly a loss or threatened loss of a loved one or a job, can trigger depression.
- Medications. Long-term use of certain drugs, such as birth control pills and medications used to control high blood pressure and alleviate sleep disorders, can cause symptoms of depression in some people.
- Illnesses. Having a chronic illness, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, puts you at higher risk of developing depression. Having even a mildly under-active thyroid (a condition known as hypothyroidism), can cause depression.
- Personality. Certain personality traits, such as having low self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-critical, pessimistic and easily overwhelmed by stress, can make you more vulnerable to depression.
- Postpartum depression. New mothers often experience a mild form of distress in the days and weeks following a birth. During this time you may have feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, irritability and incompetence. Postpartum depression, a more severe form of the baby blues, can also affect new mothers.
- Hormones. Women experience depression about twice as frequently as men do, which leads researchers to believe hormonal factors may play a role in the development of depression.
- Alcohol, nicotine and drug abuse. Experts once thought people with depression used alcohol, nicotine and mood-altering drugs as a way easing depression, but research has shown that chronic use of these substances may actually contribute to depression and anxiety disorders.