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    Relationships
    Eating Disorders
    Adolescents

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(415) 820-3920

San Francisco
3236 Sacramento St.
San Francisco
CA 94115

Berkeley
3155 College Ave.
Berkeley
CA 94705

Orinda
23 Altarinda Rd.
Orinda
CA 94563

 

 

RELATIONSHIPS

My training and background is oriented toward understanding trauma and its hallmark of repetition, and nowhere does the language of trauma make itself heard with more force and impact than in relationships, because this is where most traumas originate. Whether I work with an individual or a couple, my inclination is always to understand how present dynamics serve to highlight the unspeakable, such as an earlier trauma of abandonment or neglect that was never processed, a loss that was never grieved, or an intrusion or violation that was shut off from consciousness.

Much of my practice consists of men and women who struggle with relationship problems, whether with a boss or coworker, with their children and family, or with a partner or spouse. Often the ghosts of the past revisit the present as some version of childhood trauma and wounding gets played out again, only this time it is the boss who represents the abusive father for whom nothing was ever good enough, or the unavailable boyfriend who represents the absent mother, or the needy child who evokes rage in the adult who was deprived as a child and learned to shut off all feelings of need and vulnerability. Many of my patients find themselves in the grip of powerful relationship dynamics that evoke very painful and troubling feelings and cause impairments in basic levels of functioning, such as

Working collaboratively, we slowly begin the task of unraveling and elucidating, bringing words and form to that which was hazy and amorphous, breaking the spell of silence and denial in order to liberate that which was trapped in the body and in the psyche and could only find expression in bodily symptoms, destructive relationship dynamics, and self-sabotaging behaviors.

In order to help my patients to free themselves of the compelling cycles of repetition, I use the vehicle of the therapeutic relationship as a transformational tool. I hold firm boundaries because I believe that many traumas have involved some form of boundary violation or dilemma. I name what I see, and, in so doing, I allow my patients to acknowledge both the ways they have been damaged and the ways in which they are still damaging themselves. I create a space where psychic pain can be expressed and embodied, instead of acted out or in. I embrace the impact my patients have on me because it is only by experiencing the full impact of my patients that I can understand their relational world and help them to understand themselves; that I can hold for them what they themselves have not yet been able to hold or bear; and that I can help provide a new model for relationship that can open up new ways of experiencing themselves and others and the world around them.

 


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