Areas of Focus

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma & Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Personality Disorders
  • Medical Illness
  • ADHD
  • Aging

Treatment Strategies
  • Individual Therapy
  • Couples Therapy
  • Family Therapy (including parenting & special needs)
  • Medication Management

  Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on helping patients gain full awareness of the psychological factors driving many of their emotional, physical, and interpersonal behaviors. As self-awareness grows, there emerges a fuller understanding of the influence of the past on many present behaviors and symptoms. Understanding these influences often helps patients feel increasingly freed-up from their pasts such that they can more fully embrace the present and shape their own future. There is a wide body of research that supports the efficacy of this approach, as well as intriguing data that psychotherapy can impact brain growth and development in positive ways.

While my psychiatry training at UCLA was psychodynamically rich, I sensed that there was still a set of patients that I remained unable to fully reach with the tools I had learned. These included patients with ambitious goals and limited time to devote to psychotherapy, as well as those who hadn't made optimal progress in traditional psychodynamic therapy. It was at that point that I was fortuitously exposed to AB-ISTDP or Attachment-Based Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy. In 2006, I completed a 3 year training fellowship in AB-ISTDP. Unlike standard psychodynamic therapy, AB-ISTDP relies chiefly on non-interpretive techniques. Emphasis is placed on the here-and-now experience of deep emotion. In many cases, AB-ISTDP can lead to dramatic progress in relatively short periods of time even when other treatment modalities have failed.

My therapy style is flexible and adapted to each patient's specific needs, goals, and challenges, all the while firmly grounded in the science of attachment. Primary caregivers have a profound influence on the adults we later become; affecting our ways of communicating, being in close relationships, and moment-to-moment awareness of inner emotional states. When these go awry, we are at increased risk of problems with anxiety, depression, anger, relationships, substance abuse, etc. Happily, through careful, attentive, and individualized psychotherapy that is grounded in this science, true transformation can happen and lives can be meaningfully, lastingly, and profoundly changed.

Alongside my work with individual patients, I also enjoy working with families and couples to help resolve conflict so that relationships can achieve their full potential. I have often found that a parent or spouse might be unsure about how to best provide their child or spouse with the careful attunement needed because they themselves never experienced this kind of attunement growing up. Happily, these and other emotional self-regulation skills can be learned in psychotherapy, often leading to a positive "ripple effect" on the couple, marriage and entire family system. Special needs families and the unmet challenges they face are an additional area of expertise.