Welcome

This work, for me, is about bringing more vitality and a deeper sense of satisfaction into your life. My approach is grounded in mindfulness, acceptance, and acting on what matters most to you.

I hope I  can be helpful to you and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your interest.

Tom

TS-14

 

Be empty of worrying,

Think of who created thought!

Why do you stay in prison

When the door is so wide open?

Rumi

My Approach

The starting point is appreciating who you are as an individual and honoring your experiences, thoughts, and emotions.  I try to convey my warm regard, and to demonstrate compassion and empathy while also being honest and direct. I collaborate with my clients to create a relationship that is both supportive and challenging enough to promote healing and growth.

I practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is a framework that integrates cognitive behavioral therapy with Eastern psychological strategies such as mindfulness and meditation. The basic idea is to encourage flexibility and personal growth through mindful contact with your experience, clarifying what really matters in your life, and taking actions based on your values., We’ll focus on you relating to your thoughts and feelings in a way that allows you to live your life more fully just as you are. We’ll deemphasize the idea that the solution is to change your thoughts and feelings altogether. Paradoxically, it’s often the struggling to get rid of thoughts or feelings that creates a lot of the suffering in life.

Individual therapy can focus on specific issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship or family issues, creative block, grief, trauma, or substance use. Or it can simply be a space to process your experiences, broaden your perspective, and take steps for personal growth.

Generally, we’ll meet privately for 50 minutes each week to discuss your challenges and build on your strengths. Sessions consist primarily of talking but they might include exercises that involve meditation, visualization, or roleplaying. Depending on your goals, we might work together for a few weeks or months, though some of my clients build a relationship with me that extends for longer. My goal is to equip you with a variety of tools that remain useful after your time in therapy has ended.

My Office

My office is located in Mid-City, at 137 N. Clark St; just one block from Canal St.  The building I’m in is shared by several therapists, offering privacy and confidentiality in a comfortable atmosphere. When you arrive for your first appointment please have a seat in the waiting area; I will meet you there and bring you to my office. The building is handicap accessible and although my office is on the second floor, I can reserve space on the first floor to meet with individuals who cannot use the stairs.

If you’re coming by car, there is on-street parking or a small parking lot in the rear of the building (accessible from Iberville St.) If you take public transportation, in addition to the Canal St. streetcar, there are several bus routes nearby. I’m also just a couple of blocks from the Lafitte Greenway and Jeff Davis Parkway for those who travel by bike.

 

Diversity and LGBTQ

In today’s social and political climate, I feel called to recognize and protect the value and beauty of our diverse identities, whether they are defined by gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, abilities, spiritual beliefs, or any other form of identity. As human beings, we’re each precious, we are wonderfully varied, and extraordinary. We each have a personal history and purpose that is worthy of respect. Our work together should recognize how we are unique, remarkable individuals.

 

While there are times when people seek counseling because they are struggling with some element of their identity, there are other times when we are in distress separate from our identity. I recognize that it’s too common for individuals with minority identities to be given the message that their identity is “the problem”, – which is not my perspective. I want to affirm who you are, to strengthen your confidence in the rightness of your goals and values, and to help you really represent the best version of you.

My Values

The work that I do will often include helping people clarify what they most want to stand for in their lives. Making our choices and taking action grounded in our values is one of the ways we bring vitality and meaning into how we live.

In my work as a therapist, I make a commitment to the values of compassion, presence, and effectiveness.

I work to embody the value of compassion by being non-judgmental and patient, giving my clients the time they need to explore their experience and convey their struggles. It also means being active with them in that exploration, not leaving you to struggle when I can offer a helpful suggestion.

Presence – paying attention seems like a pretty minimal expectation, but the more I practice as a therapist, the more I appreciate how essential it is and how important it is to commit to it as a value. I’m committed to minimizing distractions so 100% of my attention can be on what happens as we work together. Being present in the room gives me more awareness not only of what’s being said, but also what isn’t being said, so I can really be there with you.

Effectiveness.  In our first few meetings it’s important to me that I understand what your life goals and values are, and to decide with you how therapy can help you move toward those desired ends. I want to be effective helping you in that movement. It’s important to me that we stay focused, and if there’s something interfering, that we acknowledge and work to change it. What I don’t want to do is have you waste your time and money in weekly sessions that may feel reassuring but aren’t producing the lasting change you’re seeking. My value of effectiveness is also the reason I rely on Evidence Based Therapies; meaning I rely on approaches informed by (1) scientifically proven methods, (2) my practice wisdom and experience, and most importantly, (3) ongoing discussion with you to tailor our work to fit your needs.