What Is Psychotherapy?

As humanistic practitioners, we are interested in listening to you and trying to help you understand how your individual experiences, often from childhood, affect your life today and the way you view yourself. Our goal is to create a safe therapeutic environment for you to feel emotional freedom. Your therapist also wants to hear about your hopes, dreams, and fantasies. There is not one, specific point in life when people turn towards therapy, but it is often when confronted by the sense of feeling stuck or not finding meaning in life. Significant events such as bereavement and loss, relationship difficulties, abuse, questioning who one is, or feeling lost are common reasons for seeking a therapist. Depression and anxiety are often present and very difficult to get over alone.​

Many clients come to us with an overriding concern, but work through not only that issue, but many others in addition. The process itself of therapy is a powerful catalyst for change and can lead clients to delve deeper into aspects of their personalities, relationship patterns, and behavior that they did not expect to encounter when beginning therapy. For this reason, it is best to begin therapy with an open mind.​

Beginning therapy and moving through the process can be frightening as it often brings up difficult or painful emotions and memories. It is your therapist’s job to support you gently and safely in the processes of self-discovery, recovery, healing, and growth. We deeply respect every client, and feel honored to be able to play an important part in each of their lives.


After you have taken time to browse my website, you can book an appointment online using the “Book Now” button. This service allows you to choose a time and date and even gives the option of paying online if you wish. If you have any questions, please contact me:​

Email: [email protected]
Office Main: (480)-800-8664 Office Fax: (480)-716-9161

The first session is about exploring how we may be able to help you in a relaxed, open and confidential way. Feel free to raise any issues or questions concerning you. I will ask you some questions, but the session is not a test and rather will be more of an informal conversation. It is a way for you to get to know me and for me to get a sense of understanding of how we can work together to achieve your goals. If you decide to go forward with therapy together, we can discuss progressing with weekly 50-minute therapy. For personality issues and complex trauma, more intensive therapy of one-two times per week is often beneficial.

Sometimes clients will come to me who have issues that are more within another therapist’s area of expertise. If this is the case, I will offer to refer them to another therapist.

Therapy is a process. There is no predefined, minimum or maximum amount of time for us to spend working together – some clients may find that it is helpful to continue the process for a number of years, others for several months. I would recommend that clients give therapy a chance for at least 6 months.​

For depth therapy with long lasting effect, it is recommended that clients invest in a minimum of weekly therapy–and commonly therapy two to three times per week–for at least one to two years.​However, shorter term therapy can also be effective to relieve many symptoms and to provide coping techniques as well as to provide practical advice and new ways of looking at one’s behavior and emotions, and we can discuss that, too. When the time is right, we will work together to agree on an end to therapy.

However, patients are welcome to return for additional therapy months or years after they have left to work on new issues after they have left work on new issues or to revisit unresolved issues in greater depth.

​Endings in therapy – just as endings in life – are important. It is imperative that we keep an open communication about how therapy is progressing and about your thoughts and needs in regard to stopping therapy. It is always a client’s choice to stop therapy at any time. However, I like to devote at least a couple sessions, and often several more, to concluding our work together and to saying goodbye.

You are encouraged to discuss what you would like, from what is bothering you on a certain day, to feelings, thoughts, loss, fantasies, aspirations, memories, and dreams. Sometimes clients like to bring in significant photos, letters, artwork, or other things that they would like to share, but most days we will sit together and talk. I will provide a safe environment in which to explore your issues and work with you towards finding meaning and wellbeing in your life.

Your discussions with your therapist, and any notes they write, are confidential and will not be disclosed to any other person without your consent.​

Exceptions to this rule would be if your therapist is required to disclose information by a court of law, or in order to protect you or another person from perceived harm.​

Everyone needs help now and then. In our work together, we’ll help you explore and identify your strengths and how to implement them to reduce the influence of the problems you are facing.

What’s the difference between talking to you vs. my best friend or family?
A mental health professional can help you approach your situation in a new way, and teach new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. Furthermore, psychotherapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing my business.” Lastly, if your situation provokes a great deal of negative emotion, and you’ve been confiding in a friend or family member, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could start avoiding that person, so you aren’t reminded of this difficult time in your life.

Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective, but it alone cannot solve all issues. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with therapy. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for psychotherapy, it will be different depending on the individual. Therapists here at TherapyPort LLC tailor our therapeutic approach to your specific needs. Normally, the therapy ‘hour’ (50 minutes) is a time and space for you to talk about the issues that are most important to you. Sometimes there will be something pressing from that day or week. Other times, you may want to focus on themes or patterns prevalent in your life or on difficult memories. Usually, we will talk. However, you are welcome to show me photographs, journal entries, art, writing, text messages, or anything else that you feel is important to share and discuss.

I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
The clinicians at TherapyPort LLC are dedicated to you getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success. Sticking to the framework of weekly or twice-weekly sessions is a crucial part of gaining the full benefits from psychotherapy.

Individual Therapy

Relationship Concerns and Identity Exploration

Individual Therapy is used to improve overall well-being and resolve personal, relationship problems, and/or sexual issues from the individual perspective. Individual therapy can be helpful for people who are single, newly dating, or for those whose partners are not ready or unwilling to come to couple’s treatment. Some clients seek out individual therapy as it provides more individual attention and privacy for your concerns. Together we can figure out what might be getting in the way of you having the life or relationship that you desire but cannot currently achieve. We often feel unhappy with our current situation or unsure about how to get to the next step in our lives.

Divorce Recovery

Your relationship may have ended but the feelings of sadness and loss can stick around for months and sometimes years afterwards. The focus for us now should be helping you to turn your divorce or break up into a new beginning.

Perhaps you feel lonely, lost, or heartbroken.
Individual counseling for difficult separations and divorce offers hope and help to feel empowered and provide some clarity in a difficult transition. Together we will work to improve insight, communication, and stronger boundaries for yourself as well as your past, present, and future relationships. The clinicians at TherapyPort LLC are happy to help you with the many emotional and psychological challenges you may face during and after a break-up or difficult divorce including changes of lifestyle, career, finances, peer group, co-parenting, or navigating the dating world again.

Maybe you’re looking for love or recovering from relationship conflict or a break-up and seeking more understanding about yourself or your relationship history. Maybe you’ve been hurt and are questioning the idea of pursuing a romantic relationship at all. We can explore common fears and negative thought patterns such as:

-Am I doomed to be single forever?
-I feel like I’ve lost my soul mate. What do I do now?
-I’ve been hurt so badly. I’m ready to give up on love.
-I can’t stop thinking about him / her. Will I ever get over this heartbreak?
-I want a great relationship, but I always seem to self-sabotage
-I keep attracting the wrong kind of person
-I think I’m a good catch, but am I?

We specialize in helping newly single and heartbroken people bounce back from breakups, navigate commitment crises and infidelity, come to peace with past emotional hurts and injuries, and conquer loneliness to find connection.

Get a good start on your next relationship by developing a relationship with yourself—focusing on strengths, understanding your needs, as well as anticipating and working on future issues early in the recovery process.

Couples Therapy

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples’ counseling helps you and your partner express your relationship needs, worries, or conflicts in a neutral and comfortable setting. Many couple’s issues are rooted in poor communication or strained connection, which often leads to marital conflict, sexual issues, infidelity or emotional withdrawal. Therapy helps to restore open communication and to recognize and release the negative emotions that are getting in the way of your relationship.

-Are you feeling distant or avoiding each other?
-Do you feel like roommates? Is the affection missing?
-Do you feel like you’re walking on eggshells or tired of having the same fight?
-Have you contemplated divorce or splitting up but aren’t sure whether to stay or go?
-Has an emotional or physical affair affected the trust in the relationship?
-Are you needing to work on the quality of the sex and/or communication you have with your partner?

Rebuilding Connection and Repairing Conflict

Our passion is partnering with clients to overcome uncertainty and ambivalence in their relationships and break free from destructive self-doubts and negative interactions. I utilize the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples which aims to enhance awareness and effective communication, as well as emotional connection between partners. I work with couples to help each partner feel better understood, strengthen the respect they have for one another, learn to communicate more effectively and ask for what each partner needs.​

Together, we will assess the relationship past and present to gain new understandings and develop a path for moving forward including:

-Modifying “gridlocked” conflict patterns
-Repairing past hurts and injuries
-Improving intimacy and communication
-Restoring trust and stability
-Getting back into a vibrant, passionate commitment with your partner (and yourself)

Overview of Gottman Method Couples Therapy

The Gottman Method of Couple’s Therapy is based on Dr. John Gottman’s research that began in the 1970s and continues to this day. The research has focused on what makes relationships succeed or fail. From this research, Drs. John and Julie Gottman have created a method of therapy that emphasizes as nuts-and-bolts approach to improving clients’ relationships.​

This method is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy in your relationship. To help you productively manage conflicts, you will be given methods to manage resolvable problems and dialogue about gridlocked (or perpetual) issues. We will also work together to help you appreciate your relationship’s strengths and to gently navigate through its vulnerabilities.​

Gottman Method Couples Therapy consists of five parts:

​1. Assessment
2. Treatment
3. Phasing out of therapy
4. Termination
5. Outcome Evaluation

Early in the assessment phase, you will be given some written materials to complete that will help us better understand your relationship. In the first sessions we will talk about the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and goals for treatment.
In the next session, I will meet with each of you individually to learn your personal histories and to give each of you an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. In the final session of assessment, I will share with you my recommendations for treatment and work to define mutually agreed upon goals for your therapy.​

Most of the work will involve sessions in which you will be seen together as a couple. However, there may be times when individual sessions are recommended. I may also give you exercises to practice between sessions. The length of therapy will be determined by your specific needs and goals. In the course of therapy, we will establish points at which to evaluate your satisfaction and progress. Also, I will encourage you to raise any questions or concerns that you have about therapy at any time.​

In the later stage of therapy, we will phase out or meet less frequently in order for you to test out new relationship skills and to prepare for termination of the therapy. Although you may terminate therapy whenever you wish, it is most helpful to have at least one session together to say good-bye.​

In the outcome-evaluation phase, four follow-up sessions are planned: one after six months, one after 12 months, one after 18 months, and one after two years. These sessions have been shown through research to significantly decrease the chances of relapse into previous, unhelpful patterns. The purpose of these follow-up sessions then will be to fine-tune any of your relationship skills if needed and to evaluate the effectiveness of the therapy received.​

*Please note that this is a general overview of the Gottman Method. There may be some variations in this approach based on the judgment of your therapist.