We must return and claim our past in order to move toward our future. It is in understanding who we were that will free us to embrace who we now are.
— Joy DeGruy, PhD, (The meaning of the word Sankofa.)



As a couple and family therapist, I take what is referred to as a systems approach to therapy, meaning that I help people see their lives in context, from the broad context of culture down to attachments to the people closest to you. Whether working with an individual, a couple, or a family, the system and its history are considerations because, when we change, it impacts other people in our lives.

My approach to therapy is most influenced by humanistic theories, attachment theory, and multicultural and feminist thinking. Humanism is based in the belief that healing is most likely to take place in the context of a genuine relationship of unconditional acceptance, in which it is safe to explore our patterns and experience in an effort to make sense of our inner and outer worlds. Attachment theory suggests that our earliest caregivers help form our patterns of thinking and relating. Sometimes we get stuck in patterns that interfere with getting our needs met or reaching our potential. Multicultural and feminist thinking address the role of culture in our lives, grounded in the belief that each of us is unique and equally valuable, regardless of the roles we assume or factors like race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, age, or other identities.

Some of us try to think our way out of problems and may run into dead ends. I will encourage you to pay attention to other sources of information and wisdom, especially your emotions and bodily sensations. We have all been hurt and feelings are attached to those hurtful experiences. We will be calling on your strengths and resilience to increasingly tolerate and experience those feelings, freeing the capacity for healing.