I have been doing therapy for a long time, and I love the work with my clients. I will sit with you, and we will look at what you present together. I will ask a lot of questions. I try to be very thorough, and to make no assumptions. I will also be a real person with you, listening, supporting, challenging, offering ideas, laughing, maybe getting it wrong sometimes, looking at all of it with you, working hard together.

I usually use the first few sessions to evaluate what you have presented to me and to determine whether I feel that I can be helpful, and if so, in what ways. You and I also use this time to mutually assess whether there seems to be a working "fit" between us. (If for any reason there is not, or if I do not feel that I can be helpful, I will usually be able to refer you to several other professionals who might be able to meet your needs. In this way, the beginning is a mutual evaluation period.)

Very early on, I will present to you my sense of what you have told me, and my ideas on how I might approach the issues. If we agree to work together—including an agreement on fees and payment methods—then we will then construct a treatment plan with concrete treatment goals, together.

Blue Mountain Counseling Guiding Principles

Goal setting. I believe in setting treatment goals in therapy. I think it is important to have a way to measure progress, to have some guidelines and structure to our work together.

Interactive style. I have had new clients approach me and ask: "Do you talk?" I will be working actively with you throughout, sharing my opinions and perspectives, and working toward positive change.

Transparency. This means that everything about how I work with you – my thoughts and feelings about what you are presenting, my assessment and formulations, my interventions, strategies, approach, and philosophy – will be transparent, and therefore available to you.

Client vs. Patient. I think of you as a client, someone who hired me, who I work collaboratively with; not as a patient, nor as someone who is waiting for me to fix or heal you.

Simple solutions first. This means that in general I will start with the pragmatic, applied solutions first, and go into more complex strategies involving greater levels of intervention as necessary. For example, I only begin discussing a psychiatric evaluation or medication consultation with you if necessary; and I will only explore underlying, family-of-origin dynamics if and when that level of exploration might be helpful or interesting to you.

Mind/body. I understand, study, and pay attention to the interaction between your physical and emotional behavior and health, and incorporate this knowledge into my work with you.

Client responsibility. I will show you how to be actively involved in your therapy, and to learn how to take responsibility for attaining and sustaining progress and health, to help you get the most out of therapy.

Awareness. This concept is the foundation of the therapy: we will develop a self-awareness that can act to some degree as an observer, to help you increasingly respond rather than react; to help you slow the process down so you can splice in a choice point, and make more conscious decisions about how you want to act.