My Approach

My StyleLogo
I take an active, conversational approach to therapy.  At its best, therapy with me should feel like an intense, deep conversation with a trusted friend that happens to focus solely on you.  If you are looking for the conventional therapist that sits back and speaks infrequently; we are not a match.  I am especially involved and directive while working with couples. I have experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds and different life experiences.

Listening
Despite my active conversational style, I am well aware of the crucial role that listening plays in successful therapy.  I do plenty of that.  I guess you could accurately describe me as an "active listener".  I just tend to give more feedback and ask more questions than a typical therapist. I want to be clear that this does not mean that I give advice or talk about my own life.  That is not therapy.  My substantial training is in the old-fashioned, analytic style of psychology; however, I have chosen to adjust the stiff-conventional approach to a more modern conversational approach because I do not believe that therapy need be so dull.

Psychodynamic Therapy and Family Systems

I practice non-directive psychotherapy with the goal of using my training and experience to help you uncover your own solutions. My approach to counseling and psychotherapy is based on the theory of Psychodynamic Psychology, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy(EFT), and Family Systems theory.  These theories come with the understanding that all of our past experiences affect the way we live and feel today.  By answering the question of why you are the way you are, we can begin to bring about change in your life today.  By exploring how your personal history affects how you feel today, we will discover insights and bring new awareness to the changes you want to make in your life.

Couples Counseling
My approach to couples counseling is based on the well-researched and proven method of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).  EFT starts with the premise that our partner or primary attachment figure is a crucial resource for emotional, physical, and mental stability.  Basically, the well-being of our primary relationship is the crucial component to a sense of well-being with life.  For this reason, the focus of EFT is on strengthening the attachment bond between members of the couple.  This is accomplished through a series of interventions aimed at removing blame, criticism, and defensiveness by way of joining together as a couple to do battle against the negative cycles of conflict that couples co-create.  Yes, it might feel like your partner is the problem, but it takes "two to tango".  Feel free to read more about my approach to couples on My Couples Counseling Page.

Do I need a counselor?
I believe that almost everybody could benefit from some form of counseling.  We all could use a quiet, safe, and confidential place to explore the tumultuous events of life. Most people usually seek therapy only after an issue has become truly serious.  It is the same reason that people generally do not go to the doctor when they feel healthy.  This opinion is beginning to change however; as medical professionals realize that preventative care plays a crucial part in healthy living. With this in mind, I suggest that everybody should create a relationship with a counselor so as to be prepared for the inevitable challenges of life.  It is crucial to have a counseling relationship in place for when things might break down and require more serious attention.  Read more on my answer to: What do I do in Therapy?

Does therapy work?
Yes, but how? Well, let me relate a proverb that might bring clarity to this question. If you want to know how the water is, do not ask the fish.  Fish are entirely underwater throughout their lifetime, leaving them with less perspective as to the comfort of their surroundings.  It is simply all they know.  In contrast, as people, we can dip our toes into the ocean and rather quickly assess, "That is too cold."  It is our outside perspective and ability to compare the water and the air that helps us determine how the water is. 

My impression is that therapy works in a similar way.  You are surrounded by your own life, living in it, in such a way that sometimes it can be difficult to think and feel beyond the confines of your own world. Put simply, you are the fish in your own life's waters, and I am here to dip my toe in and help you understand your situation from a different, objective perspective; add in an altruistic goal of making your life more satisfying, and you have therapy.  Read more about this on my FAQ answer to: Will Counseling make me Happy?

How do I get started?
To get started, you can call me at 323.960.4346 and leave a message.  I will get back to you by the end of the next business day.  Feel free to read more of my thoughts on counseling in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website.  You can learn more about being a client in counseling or read my thoughts on choosing a therapist.  You can also leave me a voicemail any time with any questions or concerns you might have. 

More Info
I invite you to learn more about my background on my About Me section.  I can also provide referrals to psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, therapists, counseling centers, support groups, or social workers in the greater Los Angeles area.

I am happy to help.

Warm regards,

Jeffrey